Making it Work

AI tech firm Tekenable aiming to break €30m turnover mark

The Dublin-based business provides digital transformation and IT services to organisations moving from legacy systems and it says it may hit the acquisition trail again next year

Nick Connors, co-founder of Tekenable: ‘It will probably be next year when we start looking, unless something really sweet comes up’. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Tekenable expects to go back on the acquisition trail next year. The Dublin-based business acquired Tether, a Salesforce partner, in June, and intends to close another deal in 2024.

“We want to let that acquisition bed in and settle down. It will probably be next year when we start looking, unless something really sweet comes up. We want to bed in Tether and the team there,” Nick Connors, co-founder of Tekenable, told the Business Post.

Name: Tekenable

Founded by: Nick Connors and Peter Rose in 2002

Staff: 200

Turnover: €18.4 million

“There are organisations out there where the only strategy is acquisitions. We will have a mix of organic growth and acquisitions. We are hiring 20 specialists in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics over the next year, which is part of a €1.4 million investment.”

Tekenable was founded in 2002 by Connors and Peter Rose. The business provides digital transformation and IT services. The company has 200 staff and expects a turnover of €18.4 million this year.

“We work with organisations to move from older legacy systems to the latest cloud platform solutions. We’re using AI to move the software and data of businesses into the cloud to connect them into the platforms Microsoft and Salesforce have built to provide huge functionality,” Connors said.

“The systems never become legacy as Microsoft and Salesforce are continuously updating and improving the platforms.”

The business grew from the ashes of a prior business called Digital Channel Partners that Connors and Rose worked on. The duo took a small team with them after it liquidated following the dot-com crash.

“We became a bespoke company building solutions for customers in banking and financial services. The platforms we have today didn’t exist back then. We’ve grown from there and in the 2010s, when cloud platforms started to come into use,” he said.

“As we evolved, we moved quickly into the cloud space and became experts there. Our growth catapulted then. We’ve become more focused on acquisitions in recent years which has helped us scale in recent years.”

The business has been supported by Enterprise Ireland since its early days.

“Enterprise Ireland has been instrumental in our growth all the way through. The biggest help was probably during the crash in 2008. We worked with them to look at the Middle East and see what was there. They opened up a lot of opportunities for us out there,” Connors said.

“When the crash happened, we were able to move a lot of our business there and didn’t lose any staff during it. More recently, they have worked to help open up the UK market for us.”

Connors said the business expects to build on its growth in the UK as a result of that help and its own acquisition strategy.

“By this time next year I expect us to be around the €30 million turnover mark with around 250 to 300 employees. We want to be really well established in the UK and we’re looking at doing work in the Nordics before the end of this year.”