Circle set to double Dublin workforce

The social payments app is enjoying huge monthly growth in Europe

Blockchain payments company Circle has announced its plans to strengthen its Irish presence, doubling staff numbers in its Dublin office.

The additions will take its workforce in the capital – which it considers to be its global headquarters – to 30 people over the next two years.

The expansion comes as the app sees a 300% month-on-month leap in new customer acquisition in Europe.

Circle's news comes as new tech roles keep coming in the country.

Irish fintech firm Fenergo announced this morning that it was creating 200 jobs in Dublin over the next 12 to 18 months. Based in the docklands area, it will bring the company's total employment to 500.

In Cork, Wavepower Technologies announced the creation of 10 new jobs. The UK energy tech firm will establish research and development operations at The Entrepreneur Ship in Ringaskiddy. It will be the world’s first business incubator dedicated to marine and energy companies.

Expanding Circle

Founded in 2015 by Americans Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, Circle also has offices in Boston, San Francisco, Beijing and London.

Neville, who acts president of product and operations, joined European MD Marieke Flament in Dogpatch Labs on Custom House Quays last night to talk about the future of the business.

He said:

“As we grow and expand Circle’s presence across Europe, our Irish operations will become a strategic anchor which will continue to expand. We plan to double the size of the Dublin office and add engineering roles as well as operational roles such as customer support, risk, and compliance.”

“Circle launched its US dollar product in November 2015, and followed with sterling and euro currencies in 2016 – in the UK in April and in Spain and Ireland in October.

"Circle has millions of customers globally, and after less than a year since our European launch, we are very happy to see hundreds of thousands of European customers embrace new social payment behaviours and Circle’s vision of making money work the way the internet does."

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor “warmly welcomed” the investment and additional employment, calling it a “vote of confidence in Ireland’s high tech capabilities”.

Minister for Financial Services, eGov and Procurement, Eoghan Murphy noted:

"Circle's strong growth and decision to expand its Irish presence is proof positive of Ireland's rise to prominence as a global location of choice in the payments sphere."

The Dublin-based digital disruptor has seen 300% growth over the past year with their international expansion into Ireland, Spain, the UK, US and China. This was facilitated by the $136m (€126m) investment from Facebook investor Jim Breyer and Goldman Sachs, amongst others.

It is on track to realise a target of $1bn transferred via the app over 12 months.

Speaking to Newstalk earlier this year, Neville described Circle as being “like WhatsApp, but for money”.

He said of the service:

"Usually, traditional banking takes time and comes with fees.

"We're coming towards a time where there will be no fees for sending money or for holding it. There is no fee for us to send an email to each other, so it should be the same for the transfer money.

"We're using a whole host of technology in the background to make it as close to free to us so we can make it free for the consumer. 

"We use blockchain technology based on Bitcoin to send money around the world, instantly. We also use applied AI technology and machine learning to lower the cost of managing risk and protecting against fraud. The costs are very low, meaning we can pass on no costs to the consumer."