Galway start-up joins prestigious incubator
A spin-out company from NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) has been accepted into the prestigious incubation centre, Dogpatch Labs, which has its European headquarters in Dublin.
Seevl, is a music discovery tool which contextualises users’ music listening experience online and then allows them to discover new music, and is designed to benefit both those who listen to and who create music.
It was founded two years ago by two researchers at DERI, Dr Alexandre Passant and Julie Letierce, taking on a third employee last year.
All three current Seevl employees will now take up residence at Dogpatch Europe, which is located at The Warehouse, 35 Barrow Street, Dublin.
There, the company will be provided with free office space and infrastructure, as well as having access to a wealth of mentoring and networking experience. The idea is that start-ups enter the incubation centre, benefit from the networking experience and gain exposure to potential investors.
Dogpatch Labs was founded by US venture capital firm Polaris Ventures and now has four locations, in California, New York, Massachusetts and, since, 2011, Dublin.
Previous alumni of Dogpatch Labs incubation centres include technology start-ups such as Turntable FM, Mixel and Instagram, which was recently purchased by Facebook for $1 billion.
Already, some of the residents in Dogpatch Dublin have had considerable success on the investment front, with companies such as Intercom.io and Profitero already receiving $1 million investments.
Seevl’s co-founder and CEO, Dr Alexandre Passant said the time is right for the company to take the next step and will begin the move next week.
“Our goal is to expand the company through new products and additional funding, so moving there makes sense,” says Dr Passant, who is originally from France, but moved to Galway four years ago.
The company has received a start-up grant from Enterprise Ireland in the past, but moving to Dogpatch Labs will allow the company to expand its offering and open it up to larger investment.
“We have had some preliminary contact [with investors], but we want to launch our next series of products before going more seriously into fundraising mode,” said Dr Passant.
Currently Seevl is a desktop programme extension for the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web browsers and works solely in conjunction with music viewed through YouTube.
Dr Passant said the company now aims to offer support for other music platforms, such as Spotify and Deezer and also aims to move into the mobile market and offer Android and iPhone applications.
“We really want to be where music lovers are, so we want to provide the same features on top of these different platforms,” he said.
Seevl is currently free to download, and Dr Passant said future apps, the first of which will be released before Christmas, will also be free. Revenue will be gathered through affiliations with other companies, such as concert ticket retailers.
Mr Passant said that Seevl will retain some links with DERI, although this will be at an informal level for now. See www.seevl.net.