In Hand Guides navigates its way to Kernel Capital deal

A Cork-based business which provides hand-held audio players to the tourism market has netted €400,000 of development capital.

Kernel Capital has closed a deal through the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund.

The firm has backed hand-held audio player business In Hand Guides (IHG) by way of a €400,000 (£320,000) deal, with €250,000 coming from the Bank of Ireland Seed Fund and the rest from Enterprise Ireland.

IHG provides branded ‘robust’ hand-held audio players, which it says supplies up to four hours of multilingual content to customers in the tourism, health & lifestyle and public advocacy sectors.

Its technology is based on research and development undertaken in the Nimbus Centre at Cork Institute of Technology over the past three years.

It has provided audio products to attractions such as the Botanic Gardens Dublin, Christchurch Cathedral Dublin and Kilkenny Castle.

On the back of its funding round, the company says it now plans to expand into the UK tourism and heritage market and has recently provided its product to Blackpool Tower.

Trevor Winckworth, CEO of IHG, says the funding from Kernel is an ‘important vote of confidence’ as well a source of revenue to fund growth and employment.

‘Along with the excellent support we receive from Enterprise Ireland we are now turning our attention to a major export drive backed by constant research at Nimbus to develop our simple low cost but clever offering which has huge potential internationally,’ Winckworth adds.

Orla Rimmington, operations director at Kernel Capital, comments, ‘In Hand Guides provides a unique opportunity for its clients to increase both customer satisfaction and revenue.

‘This investment will position the company to increase its R&D spend and broaden its product portfolio.’

The Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, which is part managed by Kernel Capital, is a €32 million fund that invests in start-up and early stage companies, with a focus on export orientated ‘high potential’ start-ups which operate in the technology, food and financial services sectors.

Kernel’s last transaction through the Bank of Ireland Fund came back in September when CCTV software firm Kinesense secured €620,000 of growth capital.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Early Stage Funding