Sadly, ebeon stopped trading on January 19, 2001, leaving its 170 employees in Dublin, London, California and New York out of work, and without pay for the month of January. So far, this is Ireland's higest profile "ebusiness" failure. The sad thing is that the failure seems entirely due to poor management and cashflow problems, rather than any fundamental weakness in the company.
ebeon started out as Trinity Commerce, and were one of Ireland's fastest-growing indigenous new economy firms. After securing investment from eircom, they followed the lead of their new 51% owner and changed their name to something fashionably meaningless, with a lower case initial (eircom having changed their name from Telecom Eireann). Rapid expansion followed, with offices being established throughout in the UK and USA.
Apparently the company was burning through a ferocious amount of cash during this period, drawing attention to itself with flamboyant incentives to staff who attracted new employees. A IEP3,500 bonus was payable for each new hire referred, with a further IEP 3,000 being paid for 10th referral. Any employee who succeeded in referring 30 new staff members was to receive a BMW car.
eircom ploughed more money into the business in the form of convertible loans, but capital from other sources to fuel such rapid expansion was not available, following the crisis of confidence in ebusiness ventures in 2000. In late 2000, eircom offered to invest a further IEP 2 million, provided matching funds were provided by the other shareholders. These shareholders could not come up with the money, and eircom decided not to throw good money after bad and the company folded.
The company's web site, http://www.ebeon.com/, is now inaccessible.