Tax break investors have pumped €1 million into Niall McGarry’s Maximum Media.
The online publishing company, which owns Joe.ie and Her.ie, has raised the money through the Davy Employment and Investment Incentive Tax Relief Fund.
Through EII, investors get a tax break and companies are given a low interest rate.
“It’s a great way to raise capital without giving away any equity,” McGarry said.
Maximum Media’s interest rate on the money is 2.5 per cent APR.
“It’s brilliant money. It’s really beneficial. It’s the first time I can say I have benefited from something the government has done,” he said.
The fund is managed by BES Management a joint venture company owned by Davy and BDO.
The money will be used to help the company pivot from mainly written content to more video and audio content. This time next year, some 50 per cent of its output will be video, McGarry said.
Maintaining control of the company is important to McGarry, who said Maximum Media must be able to make decisions quickly. He is the main shareholder in Maximum Media. Former rugby player Jerry Flannery owns 18 per cent, with small stakes owned by employees and McGarry’s family members.
“We could raise €15 million or €20 million in the morning, but I’m not looking to give away equity. This was just a bit of extra cash to solidify some of our plans in Ireland,” he said.
It is currently hiring new presenting, producing and comedic talent in Britain and Ireland. It has 85 staff in Ireland at the moment. A further 40 staff in Britain work for Joe.co.uk which launched last year. In the next 12 months, the British office will be up to 80 or 90 people, he said, adding that it is hiring on a weekly basis.
As part of its move into video, Joe.co.uk will launch its first TV show on Friday, September 16. Football Friday Live will be exclusively available on Facebook Live in Ireland and Britain. The show will include football journalist Tony Barrett, former England player Ledley King, journalist Dion Fanning and comedian Jim Daly. McGarry said he was confident the show would have between one and two million viewers.
Originally posted by the Sunday Business Post.