3 Deep Tech Startups From The Emerald Isle

James Dargan

Silicon Docks

Ireland has been a magnet for global corporations for decades with its generous corporate tax breaks, yet the Emerald Isle is also a centre of many multinational tech startups whose focus is in the Deep Tech sector in specific verticals like AI and robotics.

Silicon Docks, an area in Dublin, Ireland around Grand Canal Dock, stretching to the IFSC, city centre east, and city centre south near the Grand Canal, is a case in point with companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Squarespace, Accenture, and dozens of startups in the area.

With this, as well as a rise in Deep Tech investment and research that is going on, Ireland is set to take its place at the table and become an important player in the future of this newest, most exciting industry.

We’ll now briefly look at three startups leading from the front, representing a nation of just five million to onwards and upwards.

1. Nuritas

Founded by Nora Khaldi in 2014, Nuritas is a Dublin-based company that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and genomics to discover and unlock natural Bioactive Peptides with extraordinary health benefits.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. The function that a peptide carries out is dependent on the types of amino acids involved in the chain and their sequence, as well as the specific shape of the peptide. Peptides often act as hormones and thus constitute biological messengers carrying information from one tissue through the blood to another.

Nuritas’ unique discovery platform N𝛑𝛟™ (Nuritas Peptide Finder) leverages AI with wet lab has been developed and trained on years of proprietary experimental data as well as curated structured and unstructured data allowing it to predict novel peptides with targeted efficacy.

“My passion for pure mathematics, biology and science led me to create Nuritas. I’m now surrounded by a world class team on an amazing journey discovering peptides with incredible health benefits.”

 — Dr Nora Khaldi , Founder and CEO, Nuritas

The company’s products include:

• PeptiStrong — improves the body’s ability to make and keep muscle in fundamental ways, it can address needs across the health continuum

• PeptiForce — clinically tested and contains four targeted peptides that improve the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, it can address needs across the health continuum

• PeptiYouth — clinically tested to improve cellular regeneration with a unique double action which increases cellular matrix reconstruction and reduces inflammation

Nora Khaldi is the sole founder and CEO of Nuritas. She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics from Trinity College, Dublin. Her research, to date, has focused primarily on protein evolution and comparative genomics.

Among her achievements, Khaldi was the first-ever scientist to show gene transfer between multi-cellular species, which had occurred naturally millions of years ago. This groundbreaking finding put into question many of the phylogenetic methods currently in use today while she was also the first to show that fungal species could exchange chemicals to outcompete other species.

Throughout her career, Khaldi’s ambition has been to disrupt the status quo in areas that have been void of technology by introducing new ways of thinking, big data, and new algorithms.

She has led experience leading international research teams globally, in both academic and industrial settings, and she has a proven record in new molecule discovery and commercialization.

Some of Khaldi’s publications have been placed in a library of the top 2% of published articles in the fields of biology and medicine.

Nuritas has raised an incredible $61.5 million in funding over seven rounds.

2. AYLIEN

Another based in the nation’s capital, AYLIEN is an AI, NLP and Machine Learning (ML) startup founded in 2012 by Parsa Ghaffari. It provides Text Analysis and News API’s that allow users to make sense of human-generated content at scale, providing a range of content analysis solutions to businesses, developers, data scientists, marketers, and academics, and can boast Wells Fargo, IHS Markit and Moody’s Analytics amongst its major clients.

Along with being Aylien’s founder, Parsa Ghaffari is also the CEO of AYLIEN. On the Steering Committee of Scale Ireland, an independent non-profit providing the bridge between the startup ecosystem and the Irish government, Ghaffari is also a Mentor for NDRC, the national startup accelerator programme for globally ambitious tech entrepreneurs in Ireland.

Since it was founded, AYLIEN has raised a total of $9.3 million in funding over eight rounds.

3. Aid:Tech

AID:Tech was founded by Joseph Thompson and Niall Dennehy in 2016 and enables fast and instant disbursements via Digital ID. The startup’s platform brings transparency and traceability to the distributions of resources by governments, NGOs, corporates and charities. With headquarters in Dublin, Aid:Tech is incorporated in Singapore, UK and USA, too.

The company’s products include the Blockchain for the Decentralised Economy, Enterprise Insurance API, TraceDonate, and its core offering —  the Transparency Engine — a platform that enables users to directly receive, send and manage digital entitlements like welfare and donations.

Joseph Thompson is the CEO and first Co-Founder of Aid:Tech. Thompson combines a background in management consultancy with considerable expertise in strategic IT management in the banking and telecommunications sectors. He holds a BSC in Software Systems and four MSCS, including an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Aid:Tech’s COO and other Co-Founder is Niall Dennehy. He has a background in software design and development. Dennehy has led numerous award-winning apps and platforms, including an application for K-12 students in the US, used by over a million students.

Before founding his own companies, Niall worked in over 40 countries and oversaw the growth of three products for a leading Irish bank. Dennehy obtained a BS in Information Technology from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

In regard to its funding credentials, AID:Tech has raised a total of $4.7 million over ten rounds. The startup’s latest funding, a $3.5-million Series A round led by Affinidi, was raised in June 2021.

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