Making it Work

Equine data start-up to use €1m funding round to keep it on track for expansion into New Zealand

Kildare-based equine data management start-up aims to expand into New Zealand and grow revenues to €3 million before tackling Europe

Killian Gaffney, chief executive, EquiTrace, Irish National Stud, Co Kildare: ‘I already had a passion for horses before joining EquiTrace and I can see the value this will bring to the industry.’ Picture: Lorraine O'Sullivan


Founded by: Jennifer and Kevin Corley in 2019

Staff: 13

Funding: €1 million

EquiTrace, a Co Kildare-based data management start-up, is in the process of a €1 million funding round to support its growth.

The business, based at the National Stud, stores the information used in a horse’s passport along with information on medications.

“The US is a big growth market for us this year: we expect to pass the €1 million revenue mark. Next year we aim to expand into New Zealand and grow revenues to €3 million before then expanding into Europe,” Killian Gaffney, chief executive of EquiTrace, told the Business Post.

“The idea came from the founders, who were seasoned vets in practice. Paperwork was the bane of their lives and they thought there had to be an easier solution,” Gaffney said.

Gaffney joined the business in October, having previously worked with Chanelle Pharma, because he was interested in the shift of information management to digital channels.

“The exciting thing is that the shift people have gone through with digital transformation means that everyone is more aware of what technology can do. I already had a passion for horses before joining EquiTrace and I can see the value this will bring to the industry,” he said.

“It’s a big change for the sector to start recording things digitally. I’m a big fan of jumping into something that is brand new and requires a mindset change for the industry.”

The key selling point of the technology is that it improves efficiencies for people working with horses.

“We’ve seen staff challenges repeatedly in the sector and time is also an issue for everyone working in it. EquiTrace gives users solutions that reduce the amount of time they have to spend monitoring the health of horses,” Gaffney said.

The funding currently being raised will be used to aid the business expand further in the US and other international markets. The US in particular needs help in time management, according to Gaffney, with new regulations forcing those working in the sector to provide more medical data to authorities.

“There’s really strong technology adoption in the US. We are working with a lot of the large stud farms in Kentucky. That is going really well for us. We’ve also launched a new integration with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), a new government agency in the US that has been set up for racehorse trainers,” Gaffney said.

“If you’re racing now, everyone follows the same rules from May 1 and all updates on medications with horses must be provided to HISA within 24 hours. EquiTrace helps to speed up that process. Our value here is to support people in their compliance and give them time back in their day.”

The business is in Enterprise Ireland’s high potential start-up unit and Gaffney said the agency had been pivotal to its early success in the US.

“Enterprise Ireland has been very helpful in providing advisers in the US to help us develop connections and build our market strategy. The supports and grants they have provided have also been really good in helping us address the opportunity.”

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.