As the M.D.’s first employer was S3 (Silicon & Software Systems), we were delighted yesterday to read that they have received €10m in funding. Since their founding around 1986 by Maurice Whelan with backing from Philips they have grown from strength to strength. Like us all they suffered badly post-crash but have recovered incredibly well. The new funding should really enable them to build on that.

Mossie really is one of the unsung visionaries of the Irish tech sector. A quiet thoughtful man who shuns the limelight, he was creating high-value employment in Ireland when the IDA still thought that bringing in luxury towel manufacturers was the direction to take.

Two slightly negative points about the announcement: Firstly, we received a stock e-mail from a PR person addressed to “Dear ,”. We had sudden flashbacks to the first attempts at mass mailing from the early 1990’s. It is simply unacceptable at the end of 2005 even for a local school newsletter to be badly mail-merged like that. We were also asked to include the news in “our publication”. What publication? If you have received €10m in funding, maybe it might be worth spending more than 5 minutes planning and executing the press releases? A quick search on Technorati brings up zero stories on “S3” or “Silicon and Software Systems”. That will change with this posting obviously.

Secondly, we really do live in the wrong country for tech funding. Whilst the S3 funding is great news, it is a sad reflection of the state of VC in Ireland. Here we have a company nearly 10 years old, with a rich history and deep pool of IP with several hundred employees and they get €10m. Meanwhile, in the same week, 3 nobodies in the US who come up the the gee-whiz “IM on a web-page” idea, get $3m!!! A strong case for “Web 2.0 hubble bubble, no toil, we smell trouble”.

Maybe now’s the time to drop the same name as the video card guys? It was a perception problem in 1992 and it still is.

In any case, well done Maurice, John and all the gang in Leopardstown.

[tags] S3, Silicon and Software Systems, IDA, Ireland, business, ACT, VC, Technorati, PR, cluetrain, Meebo, Sequoia Capital[/tags]