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Marketing software firm HubSpot, which currently employs 320 people in Ireland, is introducing a new product line developed by its Dublin employees. It comes as the firm plans to increase its staff numbers here.
CustomerHub is due to be rolled out on the company’s platform in early 2018. The move sees HubSpot, which currently provides a range of customer relationship management, sales and marketing tools, expanding into the customer service space, which it estimates is worth €3.2 billion in Europe.
The product team in “DubSpot” now comprises more than 70 employees, including engineers, product managers and designers. The unit builds some of HubSpot’s core software that over 31,000 customers use, including its email tool and mobile applications.
HubSpot opened an office in Dublin five years ago, and like many US-headquartered tech firms who set up shop in Ireland, originally intended to use the Irish operation as a base to support sales, marketing and customer service functions. However, Christopher O’Donnell, the firm’s vice-president of product, said it came to realise it had made a “huge mistake” in not looking to do software development locally.
“How’d we go from no plans of building software in Dublin to growing a core product team there? I think it’s more than just ‘talent’, it’s the hard and soft skills that tech talent has brought to the table from day one,” said Mr O’Donnell in a recent blogpost.
“When I think about why we started a team in Dublin, and why we’re bullish on growing it over the next few years, it’s because of the people. The talent is bar none, and I think we’ll see more and more orgs moving core product to Ireland as a result. It’s a good time to be a tech company in Dublin, but I think it’s an even better time to be a product person,” said Mr O’Donnell.
HubSpot, which officially moved to bigger offices at the former Commerzbank House office block in the IFSC last year, is looking to increase headcount here to 500 people. The local unit recorded a €3.15 million loss at its Irish unit last year as turnover jumped to €42.7 million. The loss was mainly due to a rise in recruitment-linked expenditure.
A new survey from the company shows it is not just the company that thinks Dublin is a great place to be in terms of tech. Its study reveals that 77 per cent of Dubliners surveyed on behalf of HubSpot believe the city will become the European centre of innovation in the future.
“What is interesting is seeing the start-ups that are spinning off out of multinationals in Dublin. There is a great entrepreneurial spirit here, and I think there is also a lot of good intent towards entrepreneurs,” said Christian Kinnear, EMEA managing director for HubSpot.
The Dubliner said the co-working environment was improving, but that further supports could be provided to boost this.
“The funding side is another area in which we’re behind at the moment. Early and late-stage funding is still very low in Dublin, and as our chief executive Brian Halligan has said on visits to here, he can’t believe why there isn’t a rush to fund companies in Ireland.”