Irish sovereign fund invests in online sales platform

first_imgIreland’s sovereign development fund has joined a $50m (€46.9m) equity raise by sales platform InsideSales.com, which will see the creation of 120 jobs in the country.In addition to funding from the €8.1bn Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the website also attracted support from Microsoft and existing venture capital investors as part of the latest round of fundraising, which brings its total capital to $250m.In a statement, InsideSales said its long-term goal was to create a centre of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in Ireland, with plans to hire 120 staff across product development, engineering and sales once a suitable location for the office is decided on.Eugene O’Callaghan, the ISIF’s director, said the fund was pleased to welcome InsideSales to Ireland’s “flourishing” technology community. O’Callaghan added: “This investment is well aligned with the ISIF’s mandate, with the key benefits to the Irish economy being the targeted creation of more than 120 high-quality jobs over the next three years.”InsideSales.com’s chief executive Dave Elkington underlined the firm’s commitment to opening an office in Ireland, stressing that the AI technology at the heart of the sales platform would be unique among Ireland’s technology companies.“We’re not only looking to hire some of Ireland’s best and brightest technology graduates,” said Elkington, “but also to help build a new, highly skilled industry in the region.”The creation of jobs is but one of the metrics employed by the ISIF to measure how successfully its investments are at stimulating Irish economic growth.In an upcoming issue of IPE, O’Callaghan said the fund had recently begun expanding its impact metrics beyond measuring job creation to be “a bit more verbal, a bit more qualitative, a bit more case-study driven”.Its most recent economic impact report, covering the six months to June 2016, estimated that nearly 19,000 jobs had been created through the ISIF’s activities but also that the jobs created paid employees €657m in wages last year.For more on the ISIF’s investment strategy, see our interview with Eugene O’Callaghan in the February issue of IPElast_img read more

Want to become youngest World Chess Champion, also beat Anand: Gukesh

first_imgChennai: The World’s second youngest chess Grand Master (GM) D. Gukesh said on Friday that he aspires to fefeat five-time World champion GM Viswanathan Anand – and also to become the youngest World chess champion.However, the 12-year-old is not throwing any open challenge to World No.8 Anand. When queried whom he will like to play and defeat, the soft spoken Gukesh picked his idol, Anand.”I would like to play Anand and it would be nice if I am able to defeat him,” Gukesh said.Anand and late World Champion Bobby Fischer are his favourite players.”His playing style is not like that of Fischer. But one can see traces of Fischer in his games,” Gukesh’s coach GM Vishnu Prasanna said.Queried about his target, Gukesh said he would like to become the youngest World Chess Champion.Prasanna does not agree with a view that Gukesh should take a break so that he can get over the feeling of becoming the world’s second youngest chess GM.Gukesh will be playing in the Gibraltar Masters soon. A gap of one month from playing serious tournaments perhaps is what is possible,” Prasanna said.The record for the world’s youngest chess GM is held by Sergey Karjakin of the Ukraine, who won the coveted title at 12 years and seven months.Gukesh, who is studying in seventh standard at Velammal Vidyalaya School, will also soon play in the Aeroflot Open Chess tournament in Moscow.To a question whether Gukesh would be a marked player in the tournaments, Prasanna said once he reaches the Elo rating of 2,650 points then stronger opponents would take him very seriously.”Gukesh should be unpredictable with his opening moves and also should not lose his passion for the game so as to break the 2,650 point hurdle and go forward,” Prasanna added.The new star in the Indian chess horizon is sponsored by city-based Rs 100 crore ver Microsense Pvt Ltd, a major in the providing wi-fi connectivity in Indian hotels.The company has sponsored GMs like Arvind Chidambaram, B. Adhiban and P.Harikrishna apart from Gukesh. Microsense has also sponsored World Under-12 Girls Champion Divya Deshmukh, Leon Mendonca and Pranesh.”Commercially Microsense does not gain any mileage sponsoring chess players. I am a chess player. And for the love of the game and also help out promising talent we are sponsoring young chess players. Now that Gukesh has become a GM we now have to chalk out plan for supporting him over a longer period of time,” S. Kailasanathan, the company’s Managing Director, told IANS.In 1972, Kailasanathan was the Tamil Nadu champion and has also played for West Bengal and Delhi during his younger days.”Our focus is only on young talent who lack money to progress further and not on players who have already made a mark. Such players may be employed and would also get some appearance fee for playing in tournaments and also win prizes,” Kailasanathan added.He said the company spends about Rs.30 lakh per year on sponsoring chess players and this may go up in the coming years. “We are not interested in sponsoring any chess tournament,” he added. IANSAlso Read: Sports Newslast_img read more