A US-Chinese tech-solutions firm has officially opened its European headquarters in Cork and announced plans to create at least 50 jobs over the coming years.
The arrival on Leeside of Horizon8, which has roots in China’s Silicon Valley, was hailed as a major boost for Cork’s growing reputation as a vibrant tech hub.
The firm offers a range of business consulting services and technology products, and builds bespoke software solutions to help clients in the financial services, retail, healthcare and pharma sectors improve their businesses.
It specialises in artificial intelligence, blockchain software solutions and in data analytics, with a new platform which processes and analyses vast quantities of data in real-time for use in anti-fraud and anti-money laundering operations.
Patrick Horgan, a graduate of University College Cork (UCC) who recently relocated to Cork from London where he worked in the hedge fund industry, will head up the company’s new office.
“For Horizon8, Cork offers us access to a deep talent pool, European connectivity and most importantly a location which is surrounded by best-in-class academic institutions,” he said.
Through our collaboration with UCC, we are committed to driving R&D innovation in Ireland. We look forward to building our presence here in the coming years and creating jobs but also new, cutting-edge solutions for our customers around the world.
Horizon8, formerly called HengTian which directly translates as infinite horizons, was created in 2004 as a strategic partnership between Boston-based financial services firm, State Street, and Insigma Technology and Zhejiang University, both based in Hangzhou - the Silicon Valley of China.
The firm opened its Boston office in 2009 and Mr Horgan said its growth in Europe has been mostly “organic” in recent years, through referrals from existing clients.
The opening of the European headquarters in Cork marks the start of a concerted effort to target growth across the EU.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney described the company’s decision to locate here as “a significant vote of confidence in the Irish market”.
“All of these roles will be for high-skilled workers, including engineers, developers and business consultants,” he said.
“As a Government, we have been committed to making sure that there is a strong pipeline of job opportunities outside of Dublin and today’s announcement reaffirms this.”
Horizon8 chairman Robert Williams said the opening of the new office marks the next step in the evolution of their global business.
“Through our presence in Ireland we are ideally placed to serve a growing international client base, building on the successful work we have carried out over the past 15 years,” he said.
Eileen Sharpe, of IDA Ireland, said the addition of Horizon8 to the cluster of tech companies already established in Cork is very welcome and further strengthens the city’s reputation as a vibrant tech hub.