RendezVous353.com, the social network for Irish expats, saw its UK launch last week with a typically Irish party in London.
And at a time when Ireland has little to celebrate and many of the country’s working population are said to be heading elsewhere, a dedicated community online for the 80 million-strong “global Irish Diaspora” is perhaps fitting. That tiresome expression “never let a recession go to waste” also comes to mind.
RendezVous353, which takes its name from the international dialing code for the Republic of Ireland, is described as a business and social network with the aim to “connect, inform and entertain and to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, job opportunities and networking among all people with an Irish connection”, which as I probably don’t need to point out is a bit of a mouth full. The site is founded by Terry McLoughlin, originally from County Mayo and a Chartered Surveyor and member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and Limerick-based Richard O’Donnell, a dot com “multimillionaire” via the sale of Software Architects International in 2000 which saw him bag $60m.
At the UK launch, the company also announced a “strategic partnership” with Ireland.com, which is owned by the Irish Times Newspaper group. Under the deal, a link to RendezVous353.com will be featured on the online guide to Ireland prompting users to browse and join the expat social network and should go live in the coming weeks. In addition, it was revealed that The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind has been chosen as RendezVous353’s official charity partner.
As for targeting Blighty, apparently Irish diaspora make up 10% of the UK population, with many located in London. To that end, RendezVous353’s London Group has gained more than 1,000 members in the past month, bringing total membership to more than 12,000, says the company.