Rugby star hopes to convert contacts into cash with new venture

Ross Byrne’s Starfolio is a talent marketplace that matches brands and consumers with influencers and sports stars

Ireland and Leinster rugby star Ross Byrne is set to tackle the business world with his new venture, a talent marketplace that matches brands and consumers with influencers and sports stars including some of his team mates.

Starfolio, founded by the outhalf – who kicked the winning penalty for Ireland against Australia in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday – is aimed at helping “to facilitate the easy transaction of bookings for brands and talent”, Mr Byrne said in a statement on Monday.

Mr Byrne owns 60 per cent of the company along with his business partners, investors Mark Lyttleton and Michael Rogers of LyttleInc Ventures, who each hold a 20 per cent stake.

The company boasts that “hundreds of stars, personalities and brands” have signed up to the platform. Personalities listed on its website include Mr Byrne’s Leinster and Ireland team mates Robbie Henshaw and Dan Leavy, former Ireland captain and football manager Mick McCarthy, and TV chef Jeeny Maltese among others.


On the brands side, Starfolio said it had agreed partnerships with three companies from LyttleINC’s own portfolio.

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Mr Byrne said: “From my experience as a professional rugby player and thanks to my contacts across various sports, I could see that many highly talented people were not maximising their earnings potential primarily because brand and marketing people didn’t know how to contact them or were afraid they might not have the right-sized budgets.

“Our team and investors believe there is a gap in the marketplace for our platform to make it easy for businesses and the corporate world to see who is available for specific events and campaigns.

“In a nutshell, our platform makes it easy for stars to market themselves. It outlines which services and sponsorships are available and those looking for a personality for a specific function or gig have just one click to see who is offering what in the marketplace. We are here to facilitate the easy transaction of bookings for brands and talent.”

Mr Rogers, who will also serve as chief executive of Starfolio, said the company would shortly be starting a funding round to facilitate its expansion.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times