Irish NFC specialist Zapa Technology, which ran into financial difficulties last month, is back in business with new investment led by technology entrepreneur Brendan McDonagh (pictured), who has become the company's new CEO. Delta Partners and private individuals including Tom Morrisroe have also participated in the funding.
The investors have established an initial fund of €1.1 million to support the recruitment of 15 new employees as well as investment in research and development, sales and marketing, and customer services.
"We are at the cusp of the emergence of a new global market which will see a step change in the customer experience of payment, loyalty and couponing and also see mobile operators become major players in the payments industry, as they create an alternative to card based payment," says McDonagh. "We will build on Zapa's track record to date and will focus on developing new disruptive technologies and services directed at the new market created by the convergence of mobile communications and financial services."
"Our experience serving the needs of mobile operators over many years gives us a deep understanding of their needs and a particular ability to partner with them in innovating new value," he adds.
"We also look forward to continuing to invest in the partnerships with our existing gift and loyalty scheme customers and helping them to benefit from some exciting technology developments that we will bring to market in the coming years. These will include making payments in stores with the mobile phone as the wallet, or from vending machines; paying for tickets on transport; accessing events and venues and even enabling people to download information from and interact with media sites and smart posters."
Zapa's existing customers include Insomnia Coffee Company, which signed up for a sticker-based loyalty programme in 2009, and local loyalty schemes operated in the towns of Tuam, Bray, Dundalk and Kinsale.