Some 700 jobs were announced in Ireland in 2014 thanks to the efforts of angel investors who put €30m into backing promising young technology companies, according to the Halo Business Angel Network.
HBAN said that the 700 new jobs will be created by 2017 by companies backed by business angels in its network.
Business angels are private individuals who invest their own money in companies they believe have the potential to deliver returns.
HBAN, which is a joint venture between Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, recruits angel investors for investment in start-ups.
Key investments in 2014 included Galway-based medical devices company Embo Medical, which raised more than €1.5m from business angel funding, creating 13 job; Northern-Ireland based Treze, which raised €150,000 from angels, creating 20 jobs, and Dublin-based Lumafit, which raised €175,000 from angels, creating 15 jobs.
The angels are coming
HBAN recruited a number of angel investors for the year ahead following a week-long series of informal talks at HBAN offices in Cork, Galway and Waterford in October, where the opportunities of business angel investment were explored.
Figures have risen steadily since 2011, during which it supported 344 new jobs and €12 million in business angel investment across 29 companies.
Of the €30m raised during 2014, €9.5m came directly from angel investment, with the rest leveraged from public and private funds, including Enterprise Ireland, venture capital companies and founders.
“HBAN is well positioned to help business angels to find the right type of early-stage company and maximise their chances of a successful investment. We offer a lot of supports to them in terms of advice, networks and syndicates. The success of this is reflected in our strong annual results and our recruitment of new angels following the series of talks last October.
“We recognise the growing importance of business angels as catalysts in start-up companies, particularly in the technology and knowledge economy and sectors associated with it, like MedTech, FinTech and AgriTech.”
Darren Hughes, the CEO of Lumafit, which has created a device that can fill the role of a personal trainer, said that the role of angel investors in the Irish start-up economy is vital.
“HBAN introduced us to business angel investors with the entrepreneurial experience, networks and industry knowledge we needed to fulfil our ambitious growth targets. The relationship extends far beyond fundraising, as the angel investors have become an invaluable extension of our team, acting as a soundboard and helping us develop marketing plans and our business strategy.”
Business angel image via Shutterstock