Making it Work

Galway-based start-up Welliba on track to more than double sales to €2m in 2024

Headquartered in Loughrea, Welliba co-founder David Barrett said he expects the business will be generating over €6m in annual revenues by 2025

Welliba’s David Barrett: ‘the idea for the business had come from the founders’ own experience in building digital platforms’. Picture: Andrew Downes

Welliba, a Galway-based start-up that specialises in HR software applications, expects to mroe than double its revenues this year to around €2 million after securing partnerships with a host of international clients.

Headquartered in Loughrea, Co Galway, Welliba was founded in 2022 by David Barrett, Achim Preuss, Andreas Lohff and Joe Barrett. The business currently has 56 staff and recorded revenues of €750,000 last year.

Welliba has developed a software platform that measures employee engagement and identifies what factors drive performance. The data generated by the company’s software platform is then used to suggest actions for employers, which could help improve employee engagement and raise performance.

“It’s a system that understands what boosts or blocks people’s experience and performance at work,” David Barrett told the Business Post.

“It does this by taking in information around individuals' personalities, health, work activities, the culture of the company and other sets of information like rostering and scheduling. This then develops a model that predicts the likes of employer net promoter score, absenteeism, employee growth and learning.”

Fact File

Founded: 2022, by David Barrett, Achim Preuss, Andreas Lohff and Joe Barrett

Staff: 56

Revenue: €750,000 in 2023

Barrett said the idea for the business came from the founders own experience in building digital platforms focused on psychometrics. They previously developed a system called Cut-e, that had over 40 million users and was acquired by Aon in 2017.

“We had seen how powerful these concepts were around identifying good hires, better ways to train and ways to make the system fairer for employees. Beyond this, we recognised there was an even bigger agenda around how to optimise this for workforces that are already installed,” Barrett said.

“The advent of machine learning and generative AI [artificial intelligence] created an opportunity for mass personalisation like never before,” he added.

The business now has 40 clients operating in more than 75 countries, having grown rapidly since starting out two years ago. Some of Welliba’s clients include Accenture, Louis Vuitton and Cushman & Wakefield.

“We’re providing services for companies of all shapes and sizes to boost performance. Any company that is interested in better understanding its workforce and improving performance can benefit from what we do,” Barrett said.

Welliba has been supported by Enterprise Ireland since its early days, with Barrett praising the agency for its help in driving the early international expansion of the business.

“Enterprise Ireland has been superbly helpful to us. I’ve worked with them across other companies for over 25 years but, with Welliba, they have been super collaborators for setting up in new markets,” Barrett said.

“They have also been extremely helpful in investing to help us bring on key workers and expanding some of our core functions.”

After making such a strong start to the business, Barrett expects the double-digit growth to continue over the coming years. He said Welliba is on track to grow its user base substantially over the coming months as it continues to scale internationally.

“We have over 300,000 users on the platform currently. We hope to have over 1 million as we move into 2025 and we expect to be doing up to €6 million in revenue per annum by the end of 2025,” Barrett said.

“We’re seeking to increase our footprint in North America, Southeast Asia and Australia. We also want to increase our presence in the Nordics,” he added.

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