Investments in start-ups by Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) investors has surpassed €100m and has leveraged an additional €170m in funding from other sources.

It is understood that HBAN’s business angels see approximately 150 company pitches each year, with one in three receiving investment. Its research shows the average business angel has invested in 4.7 companies.

HBAN is the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment and a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland.

“The increases in funding by angel investors into companies throughout the island is a positive signal regarding the growth trajectory of start-ups in the coming”

HBAN has been helping start-ups access funding for growth since 2007. Since then, angel investment has continued to accelerate as the number of active angels, and companies pitching for investment, grows. Today’s announcement marks a doubling of the €50m milestone reached four years ago.

Quality of start-ups is increasing

The group says that the increasing figures reflect the quality of companies pitching to HBAN angel investors. Each company is assessed and mentored by HBAN consultants to ensure they are investor-ready before pitching. Approximately 150 companies pitch to investors each year, with one-in-three receiving funding as a result. This represents approximately 50 deals per year.

“Our research shows that the business angel community is very active, too,” said John Phelan, all-island director of HBAN.

“It is a buoyant, exciting community and can be a very rewarding experience. With syndicates located and engaged across the island, and internationally in New York and London, our HBAN angels are supporting local economies and entrepreneurship. As co-funders of the HBAN programme, Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland are instrumental in enabling this and ensuring more start-ups in Ireland receive crucial funding.

“This milestone also demonstrates the quality of companies pitching to our angel investors. We know what our angels look for in an investee company and it’s our job to ensure we find those companies and give them the advice that will help them secure critical investment. By securing angel investment, those businesses are then more likely to leverage additional funding from other sources and that is very powerful. You can see that in the €100m invested through HBAN Angels a further €170M was invested by others, for a total of €270m,” Phelan said.

Building a strong funding ecosystem at each stage of the funding journey for start-ups is of critical importance to the success of Enterprise Ireland client companies, the agency’s executive director of Global Business Development Kevin Sherry said.

“The availability of Angel funding at the early stages of a company’s development provides both essential capital and hugely valuable industry experience to support companies through this early phase of growth. Enterprise Ireland is very encouraged by the strong take up of the funding over the last decade amongst the Angel community and can already see the positive impact firsthand through the accelerated growth and development of Irish businesses.”

The milestone was welcomed by the Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD.

“The role of the Halo Business Angel Network in providing essential finance and support to early stage companies that are setting out on their paths to growth cannot be overestimated. HBAN is a vital ingredient in Ireland’s start-up ecosystem, both as a vital source of finance but also as a fount of knowledge, skills, expertise and mentoring support for companies in their critical early stages.

“The increases in funding by angel investors into companies throughout the island is a positive signal regarding the growth trajectory of start-ups in the coming years,” Minister Humphreys added.

Main image: Pictured announcing HBAN’s €100M angel investment milestone are (L-R): John Phelan, all-island director, HBAN; Margaret Hearty, director of programmes & business services, InterTradeIreland; William McCulla, director of corporate finance and property solutions, Invest NI; and Kevin Sherry, executive director, Enterprise Ireland

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Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 21 November, 2019

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