A Cork-based lost and found company, Yougetitback.com, is to open an office in San Francisco in the New Year as part of a significant expansion.
Launched in July 2006, Yougetitback.com provides a signature tagging system for personal items such as iPods, mobile phones and digital cameras as well as spectacles and house keys.
If an item is lost and subsequently found, the item can be traced back to its owner through the Yougetitback security tagging system. The company's website currently claims 100,000 users.
Yougetitback presently employs eight people in Cork but says it plans to increase this number to 20 by the end of 2007 as well as employing five people in the new San Francisco office. The majority of the jobs will be in the technical and sales areas.
The company is currently developing technology that will allow mobile phones and laptops to be tracked if they go missing. Tracking will begin as soon as the owner switches that function on in his or her account and will notify the company and the police as to its whereabouts.
Commenting on the expansion, managing director Frank Hannigan told ENN it was an exciting time for the company.
"It's a very exciting time for us. We have significant sales booked in for next year and it was imperative that we have an office on the ground in the US," he said. "By 2012 we will be protecting €100m in assets and making sales of not less than €50m," he predicted.
Hannigan pointed to worldwide research which suggests that most people will try to reunite lost goods with their owners if it is made easy enough for them to do so.
"People are not inclined to label items such as house and car keys in the likelihood of them being misused, which makes it hard for these to be traced. I think people are much more security conscious now and prefer to have somebody in the middle between them and the person who has found their assets," he added.
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