Carlow firm Netwatch secures €19.5m to fund international expansion

It hopes to double its size during the next three years...

Irish security specialists Netwatch has raised €19.5m to fund expansion in Britain and the United States.

The BDO Development Capital Fund is providing €9m, the largest of its five investments so far, with Bank of Ireland providing €10.5million debt financing.

The company was founded 13 years ago by owners David Walsh and Niall Kelly. It uses cameras and video analysis to monitor premises and to deter criminals. This involves installing high-quality security cameras coupled with its intelligent software to detect suspicious events at its customer's sites.

Netwatch will use this money to grow internationally, with customer acquisition in the US and the UK being its immediate priority.

The BDO Development Capital Fund is part of the State's Development Capital Scheme - an Action Plan for Jobs initiative which has made €225m available for mid-sized Irish companies who are considered to have high growth potential.

Announcing the Fund’s investment in the Netwatch Group, investment director of the BDO Development Capital Fund, Andrew Bourg said:

"We are delighted to partner with Netwatch and look forward to supporting and assisting them to achieve Netwatch’s international growth objectives ... Netwatch now has significant and exciting growth opportunities to further scale internationally, which is what the BDO Development Capital Fund is designed to both accelerate and support."

Netwatch Group chief executive, David Walsh outlined the company's ambitions:

"In the middle of the recession, we focused on research and development and expanding the business internationally. This funding announcement is validation of that decision and also lays the groundwork for the next three years.

"The Netwatch value proposition is well received in the USA and this investment will enable us to capitalise on the great opportunity that the US presents. We are confident that we can double the size of the company over the next three years."