Irish business angels have invested a median of €200k each

Irish business angels have invested a median of €200,000 each in start-ups on the island of Ireland.

According to new data from HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network) based on a survey of 114 business angel investors across the island of Ireland about their portfolios, expectations and plans for the future, the average angel has invested in 6.3 companies. The majority (66%) of angels prefer to invest as part of a syndicate, rather than alone.

“Angel investing is high risk, but it can be extremely rewarding and that is why we see business angels investing in multiple start-ups”

HBAN, a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, found that the majority (66%) of angels prefer to invest as part of a syndicate, rather than alone.

Its data shows that the industries that attracted the largest number of angel investors in the last 12 months were ICT, fintech, medtech and life sciences.

Risk appetite

Man in dark jacket standing by canal in Dublin.

John Phelan, all-island director, HBAN

The survey showed that in the next 12 months, angels will continue their interest in these sectors, while also considering sectors including engineering, manufacturing and electronics (40%); food, beverages and agriculture (31%); and business services (29%).  Survey respondents said that they expect to hold shares in investee companies for an average of 5.5 years.

Of those surveyed, 32% of investors report to have achieved at least one exit. 22%, meanwhile, are currently planning their first angel investment.

“Angel investing is high risk, but it can be extremely rewarding and that is why we see business angels investing in multiple start-ups,” said John Phelan, all-island director of HBAN. “Internationally, best practice would suggest a minimum of 10 investments in a personal portfolio and our survey shows that while many have already exceeded that, others are well on their way.

“We are delighted to have such a high proportion of first-time angel investors registered with us, which is reflective of the continued growth of the network and the greater interest we are seeing in angel investing.

“One of the primary reasons for this is that angels tend to invest in syndicates, sharing deep domain knowledge across multiple sectors. Those with an interest in investing, and who have industry knowledge that they can impart with start-ups, are realising that they don’t need to be high-net-worth individuals to become angel investors and have a positive impact on the start-up community.

“The survey results also show a strong appetite among investors to back companies operating in high performing sectors. Our MedTech syndicate, based in Galway, has been particularly active recently and we expect this level of activity to increase in the next 12 months,” said Phelan.

  • HBAN will encourage more people to get involved in angel investing at its all-island conference on Wednesday 2 February. With a focus on impact investing and demystifying the angel investment process, the event will be streamed live. Speakers will discuss how impact investing is transforming investor portfolios and the start-up ecosystem, while a series of workshops and talks will help attendees to understand the many rewards of being an angel investor. More information can be found at www.hban.org/conference.
John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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