Teenage Kicks – The Collisons catapulted into millionaire status

Update: Front Page Irish Times coverage. BBC coverage.

Congratulations to Patrick and John Collison on the acquisition of their company Auctomatic that they co-founded and run along with Harjeet and Kulveer. See kids, you can live the dream and build a technology company. Right now these teen brothers are probably the exception but I can’t see anything stopping anyone else here from doing the same. This post will be updated later today.

Update: Press release –
Multi-million success for Irish teenage tech entrepreneurs

Patrick (19) & John Collison (17) from Castletroy, Limerick have now
made a lotto-like fortune as a result of Auctomatic, the company they
co-founded, being acquired in a multi-million dollar deal by large
multinational Canadian company Live Current Media. Auctomatic will
join Live Current’s existing portfolio of services and technologies
while development work on it will continue at a greater pace.

The Auctomatic story starts in Limerick where BT Young Scientist
winner Patrick deferred college at MIT to work with his brother John
who was in transisiton year in school. Soon their online commerce
startup merged with the UK startup of cousins Harj and Kul Taggar, and
the new merged company was then funded by high profile American
investment company Y Combinator, as well as early Google employees
Chris Sacca and Paul Buchheit.

Live Current Media is a public International technology & media
company headed by CEO Geoff Hampson, who previously built successful
companies such as Peer 1 Networks. Live Current Media acquired
Auctomatic for both the revolutionary online commerce technology
platform they created, as well as the founders’ widely-acknowledged
insight into the ecosystem of commerce online.

Speaking about the acquisition, Patrick Collison said: “We’re
delighted. It’s a welcome reward for the huge amount of work that’s
gone in, and is a testament to the vision that our investors had.
We’re very excited about the opportunities that Live Current Media
gives us to expand on our products and beliefs, and to take the
Auctomatic philosophy even further. This is a win for us, Live Current
Media and the Auctomatic user community. We couldn’t be happier.”

Patrick will now go to Vancouver to work as Director of Engineering
for Live Current Media. John intends to work with Live Current during
the summer, but is currently concentrating on his fifth year studies
studies at Castletroy College.

The trend of teenagers founding tech companies and becoming
millionaires is nothing new in Silicon Valley, but the Auctomatic
story shows that now both UK and Irish-based teenagers can do the

“I’m personally delighted with all of this, but I’m even more excited
about the fact that the door is open to so many other talented people
in Ireland to do the same thing. The rules for young people,
especially, are being rewritten, and you can now prosper regardless of
age or formal qualifications. I can’t wait to see how other Irish take
advantage of this.”

John added “I’m thrilled. I might buy a car. Then again, I might have
enough money for that, but not the insurance at my age. We went out on
a bit of a limb, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the same path
for anyone else. More than anything, I feel this serves as proof that
anyone, at any age, can be successful if they put effort into
something they’re good at.”

Despite having launched as recently as October, there was strong
interest in Auctomatic from well-known Silicon Valley technology
companies. Ultimately, though, the match between the founders’ vision
and Live Current’s plans was too good an opportunity for either
company to pass on.

26 Responses to “Teenage Kicks – The Collisons catapulted into millionaire status”

  1. jazz biscuit says:

    That’s really fantastic stuff. They’re heroes; congrats lads.

  2. Sinéad C says:

    Nice to see some young irish getting a piece of the silicon valley pie.

  3. McAWilliams says:

    Fair play to both of them. they deserve all they get, congrats to them both.

  4. Darragh says:

    Congratulations to them both. Wow. Brilliant.

    Well done too to all the folk who helped them with advice, encouragement and feedback on the way.

  5. […] Techcrunch is reporting that Auctomatic, the Limerick-based auction and inventory management company has just been acquired by Canadian firm Live Current Media. The press release is here. […]

  6. The lads gave us a talk in Limerick during the summer. It was fab…

    Fair play to them both


  7. James says:

    Nice – congrats & well done.

  8. […] see that the Auctomatic boys got bought by Communicate.Com. TechCrunch says they got $5m but Damien […]

  9. Anthony McG says:

    Wow. Never met the lads but that’s great news.

  10. […] Who needs school anyway? Just read about these boys on Damien Mulley’s blog […]

  11. Trinity says:

    Congrats and well done to them. Well deserved.

  12. D says:

    Congrats to them.

    If you were to move to San Fran/LA and start a tech biz, is there any way to do it without having to win a greencard/have family over there?

  13. red mum says:

    Isn’t that great, what amazing kids.

    *Sorry just started daydreaming about the Young Wan coming up with some cool idea that will make her loads of money giving me a lifestyle that I wished to become accustomed to. Cos its clear that the millions are not going to come from me 🙁

  14. aphrodite says:

    Fantastic. It’s so great to hear a story like that

  15. mj says:

    Typically, the BBC doesn’t mention the Irish lads.

  16. Damien says:

    Patrick is mentioned!

  17. D says:

    I didn’t know that Evan Williams of Twitter/Blogger was one of their advisors..

  18. RTE were the only ones to point out that Enterprise Ireland rejected them for funding first.


    Well done the lads.

  19. Damien says:

    But RTE were wrong. They didn’t go with EI because of the terms. They weren’t rejected as such. Just given a crap offer than couldn’t be accepted.

  20. Anthony McG says:

    Very jealous after reading that BBC piece. “Go buy your Porsches” 🙂

  21. […] What I heard was, the messages on Jaiku about what these teenagers were doing. Yesterday, and via Mulley on Twitter I heard that the brothers were now millionaires (on paper […]

  22. dc crowley says:

    I am really happy for these guys. But what they have done, hitting the west coast for funding… going after the dream and not giving up. Awesome and inspirational. The Irish VC community and Enterprise Ireland need a proverbial kick in the head

  23. […] Mulley addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fbocktherobber.com%2F2008%2F03%2Flimerick-teenagers-earn-millions-in-software-deal’; addthis_title = ‘Limerick+Teenagers+Earn+Millions+in+Software+Deal’; addthis_pub = ”; Stumble it! You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. […]

  24. And a big cheer to Enterprise Ireland for completely failing to see the potential of the proposal.

  25. Michael Kiely says:

    Hopefully this success story will filter back to encourage secondary school students interested in technology, science and business to follow their chosen path. I’d love to video them (was on hols for the Limerick OpenCoffee session they spoke at) speaking about the past few years and distribute it to every school in the country – actually, that gives me an idea..

  26. By the way, their school, Castletroy College last week won both the Junior and Senior Munster schools rugby cups the same weekend. Nice going all round.