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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 11 December, 2018
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Looks like the Web Summit was doing quite well in Dublin

Back when the event’s organisers and the government were still friends, at least.

Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave
Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

THE COMPANY BEHIND the Web Summit had a €2.5 million pool of cash left over after putting the wraps on its flagship event in 2014.

Newly filed accounts for Manders Terrace Limited, the holding company behind the Web Summit and other related firms, showed the outfit had built up both substantial funds – and also significant debts – by the end of that year.

An estimated 20,000-plus attendees flocked to the 2014 event in Dublin’s RDS, the fourth time it was held in the venue, to hear from speakers like Bono and suffer the now-infamous patchy WiFi.

The figures showed the company, set up by current CEO Paddy Cosgrave, Daire Hickey and David Kelly, had funds in the bank worth €2.5 million and almost another €1 million owing to it as of 31 December, 2014.

The cash pool was up nearly €1.4 million on the amount the firm had on hand a year earlier.

However the accounts also revealed the company had debts due within a year that were worth more than €2.4 million, compared to €660,000 in 2013.

Web Summit

In September, Cosgrave announced last year’s Web Summit, which attracted over 40,000 people, would be the last in Dublin after the event’s organisers decided to move it to Lisbon for at least three years.

Portuguese officials will pay €1.3 million per year to the company to host the event in the country’s capital.

Cosgrave later claimed the more than €800,000 in funding the Web Summit had received from Irish government agencies during the event’s tenure amounted to “nothing more than hush money”.

Web Summit 2014 - Dublin Cosgrave and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the 2014 Web Summit Source: Brian Lawless/PA Archive

According to the accounts, Cosgrave, Hickey and Kelly shared in directors’ payments worth €288,000 in 2014, a reduction on the €368,000 they received in 2013.

The company employed an average of 66 staff in 2014 and paid out €3 million in salaries, compared to only 37 staff and a wage bill of under €1.6 million in 2013.

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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