Investment Story

For over 30 years, Granahan McCourt's team have been globally recognized as some of the most prominent investors and entrepreneurs in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries.

When the telecoms industry was tying itself in knots trying to push data down copper wires that Alexander Graham Bell would have recognized more than 100 years ago, Granahan McCourt's founder, David McCourt, was already ahead of the game in Boston, using cable to connect the city’s banks.

He credits this foresight with an almost religious zeal to place himself and his partners at the nexus of regulatory, consumer and technological change.

Entrepreneurial Roots


It was while working with Tipp O'Neill, whom McCourt describes as "the last of the great American Democrats", that he read an article in Time Magazine about how cable TV would never come to the suburbs of America because it was too expensive. McCourt believed this was a solvable problem.

At the time, McCourt's family were all building contractors and his father shared stories about how at the airport they were cutting small slits into the runways to put taxi lights in. Putting the two together, McCourt thought "why can't you do that to put cable systems in?"

McCourt proceeded to invent a way of making a conduit with the cable already inside, forming a ground-breaking way to lay cable quicker and with far less disruption. It would later become industry standard globally.

With this, McCourt's first company, McCourt Cable Systems, was born. At 24, with his second company, he built Corporation Communications Network, which initially used cable to directly connect Bank of Boston’s buildings together before building network all across the United States.

Fast becoming the global experts in designing, building and operating its own purpose-built fibre networks, Granahan McCourt has been taking over its rivals who in many cases are stuck trying to jam data through copper cables.

David McCourt came to the attention of Walter Scott, an American billionaire leading the $20bn Peter Kiewit construction empire, which also owned fibre assets. Joining forces with Scott, a new company, MFS/ McCourt, was forged. Within several years, McCourt and Scott built and sold 14 companies, including MFS for over $14bn. They repeated the feat in Europe and in Mexico, selling a phone company to Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim.

Today, Granahan McCourt is operating the biggest Public Private Partnership in European telecoms through its controlling interest in National Broadband Ireland, delivering the Irish Government's National Broadband Plan. Recognized as one of the most complex and ambitious projects of its kind globally, the National Broadband Plan will utilize nearly €3 billion in State Aid to build a new futureproofed high-speed broadband network for over 1.1 million people in rural Ireland. The project will employ over 1800 skilled workers at the peak of the network deployment.

"What fascinates me is taking on the big guys when there is huge technological, regulatory and consumer behavioural change all colliding."

David McCourt, Chairman and CEO, Granahan McCourt Capital

As well as succeeding in telecoms, Granahan McCourt has a proven track record in media as network owners and content producers. Having built the first independent TV station in the Caribbean, Granahan McCourt went on to launch and scale digital TV platforms across the Middle East and North Africa. In production, McCourt has created documentaries with A-list stars including Meg Ryan, Angelina Jolie and Michael Douglas, tackling hard-hitting documentaries in troubled locations such as Northern Ireland, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. McCourt has won Emmy’s for the children's TV series Reading Rainbow - widely known as the most critically acclaimed literacy-based show throughout the United States - and produced other award-winning shows including Miracle's Boys which launched Nickelodeon’s teenage network.

Granahan McCourt also owns several hi-tech businesses focussed on cutting edge advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This includes a recent a joint venture in the insurtech space. With world-leading tech expertise at the forefront of all of Granahan McCourt's ventures, the company is disrupting some of the largest industries with pioneering technological advances.

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