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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Tech guru Paddy's firms bought businesses from him for €300k

Co-founder Paddy Cosgrave
Co-founder Paddy Cosgrave

Two of technology guru Paddy Cosgrave's firms 'bought businesses from him for a combined €300,000' before one of the first major Web Summit events, company records show.

The six-figure transactions took place on the day the two firms were incorporated in the run up to the 2010 Dublin Web Summit.

Around 400 people attended the event on October 28 and 29 that year, which boasted YouTube founder Chad Hurley among its speakers.

It's understood that the two transactions - coming to a combined €300,000 - took place as part of the process of setting up the Web Summit-linked businesses and that Mr Cosgrave did not profit from them.

A Web Summit spokesman said "no cash left the company".

This week's Summit, the last in Dublin for at least three years, saw more than 30,000 come through the doors of the RDS ahead of its controversial departure to Lisbon in 2016.

The company said it will still employ 130 staff here, but made the decision to leave amid a row with the Government over traffic arrangements, the cost of hotels and issues with wifi.

Papers filed with the Companies Registration Office show how two Web Summit-linked companies, Dublin Web Summit and Founders Events Ltd, were incorporated on October 6, 2010.

Details of the transactions where the firms bought the businesses from Mr Cosgrave on October 6, 2010 were contained in the notes for the companies' respective accounts.

They were listed under the heading 'Transactions with directors'.

Mr Cosgrave remains a director of both companies.

Funding

A Web Summit spokesman said "no cash left the company" but declined to comment further.

He said that the company has "never had any outside investment nor any State funding".

He said that State agencies have spent €871,000 with Web Summit over the four years before the 2015 event "in return for sponsorships and exhibition stands".

On the last day of the summit, Portugal's deputy prime minister Paulo Portas promised delegates "sun, sea, light and hospitality" at next year's event.

And members of his delegation were taking notes on how to replicate the event.

"Notes are being taken on how we can replicate the event in Lisbon," said Miguel Frasquilho, chairman and CEO of AICEP, the equivalent of our IDA.

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