AMCS plans to expand into US market
Limerick company Advanced Manufacturing Control Systems (AMCS) has secured €5.25 million in equity funding to enable expansion in the US market.
The funding round, closed last week, was led by British based clean tech fund, WHEB Ventures, and included Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund, managed by NCB Ventures in Dublin.
It follows a major deal, secured by AMCS in December, to provide its RFID (radio frequency identification) solution to Greyhound Recycling & Recovery, which collects green bins from 400,000 households in Dublin.
ACMS has also secured a five-year overseas contract, valued at €1.5 million, with Kristians and Local Authority in Norway.
This latest funding round is the company’s second in four years. In 2005, it secured investment totalling €1 million from investors, including WHEB and Enterprise Ireland.
AMCS chief executive Jimmy Martin said the company, which provides technology solutions to the waste and recycling industry, would use the new funding to establish a base in the US, where it plans to create between eight and 12 jobs to drive sales throughout all 50 states.
In all, he said the company would create 47 new jobs in project management, software development and hardware design before the end of 2010.The bulk will come on stream over the next 10 months.
‘‘The investment gives us the capital base to execute our business plan and will enable us to enter new overseas markets. ‘‘In 2008, 28 per cent of our turnover came from export markets across Europe and the US. Aided by this investment, we expect that figure to increase to 68 per cent this year,” said Martin.
The company plans to establish an office in the Boston area to target customers in the US. ‘‘Culturally, the US market is fairly keen to take on new, greener technologies. We were approached by a customer there last year and have had guys on the ground doing installations since last August,” said Martin.
‘‘Within the next 12 months, I’d say we’d see 50 per cent of our turnover coming from the US. People-wise, we would probably have eight to 10 people on the ground. In Ireland, we’d have another four or five people directly supporting the US as well.”
The company will also use the funding to expand an existing software research and development facility at its Limerick headquarters, and put in place call centre support for customers in the US, Britain and Sweden.
It began selling to the British market in 2006 and has an office outside London, where it employs seven sales and support staff. The company has another office in Gottenberg in Sweden. Opened last year, it employs three staff to support sales in the Scandinavian region.
Martin said the company had already begun to expand its R&D facility in Limerick with the creation of seven jobs since the start of the year. He said the facility, which employs 10 staff in electronic and software development roles, would employ more than 20 staff within the next 12 months.
‘‘We’ve had a level of R&D since the start. We would have outsourced some of that to date, but we’re now bringing a lot of it in-house to develop new technologies. We want to broaden our product base, and tailor products for export markets, particularly the US.”
Martin established AMCS in 2003 with business partner Austin Ryan, to supply waste management and recycling technology such as identification, weighing and vehicle location components to the public and private sector.
AMCS has developed a complete end-to-end software and hardware turnkey system for the delivery of weighing and identification solutions to the waste and recycling industry. The system facilitates variable weight-related charging and incentives.
The company employs 53 staff with offices in Crecora, Limerick and the National Technological Park. It has more than 50 corporate and local authority customers. In Ireland, customers include private waste firms Greenstar, Veolia and Oxigen.
The AMCS investment is the first by the €75 million Ulster Bank Diageo Venture fund. Established last October, the fund is managed by NCB Ventures.
‘‘The Fund invests €1 million to €5million in companies across the island of Ireland, in a range of sectors and at all stages of development,” said Michael Murphy, managing partner, NCBVentures.
‘‘We take a long-term in vestment approach and believe now is a good time to take equity stakes in growing businesses. ‘‘AMCS is exactly the type of company the fund was established to support.
‘‘The management team, led by Jimmy Martin and Austin Ryan, has proven entrepreneurial flair and is looking to expand, create jobs and internationalise their business.”
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