Being an angel investor is not without its risks. However, the rise of ‘angel syndicates’ has made such investing less risky and more fulfilling.
Ten years ago the angel investment scene in Ireland was a very different landscape. Back then, a handful of investors would typically each back one company at a time.
Today, the scene is entirely different. “Today we see more and more syndicates of angel investors,” says John Phelan, national director of HBAN, the Halo Business Angel Network.
The reason is simple. “By being part of a syndicate, angel investors can spread the risk across a wide range of investments. Instead of investing €200k in one business, they may invest €20k in ten different businesses. We recently saw 34 angels investing in one business and the total sum involved was €1.6 million.”
Surely a business owner would not want to deal with 34 different angels?
“Each investment goes in under one legal identity,” explains Phelan. “The business owner only deals with one of the lead angel investors.”
What other trends are happening in the ‘angel scene’?
“We are seeing more and more international syndicates coming to Ireland to invest money,” says Phelan.
Angel investing is an important and growing part of the startup scene in Ireland.
The €13.6 million invested by HBAN angels in 2016 was a 25% increase on the amount invested in 2015.
“In the last ten years, HBAN angels invested over €80 million in Irish startups. These investments have leveraged a further €124 million from other public and private funds, bringing the total invested to €204 million,” says Phelan.
Are you interested in becoming an angel investor?
If you are interested in becoming an angel investor, HBAN, a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, is hosting its national conference on February 8, 2018, in Dublin.
The conference is open to non-HBAN members who want to see how the HBAN network works, connect with HBAN angels and listen to pitches from high-potential startups.
The event will also see the largest gathering of business angel syndicates in Ireland, with representatives from nine syndicates in attendance: MedTech Syndicate, Irrus Investments, Food Syndicate, Bloom Equity, Boole Investments, WxNW Syndicate (West by North West), SEBAN (South East Business Angel Network). Also attending is a New York syndicate HBAN has partnered with and a Singapore syndicate which HBAN helped establish.
You can register for the conference here.
“The conference is a chance for syndicate members to network and explore potential collaboration,” says Phelan.
“The gathering will also be of interest to those looking to invest and create de-risked portfolios with like-minded investors.”
Interview by Stephen Conmy.