Business angels key to €12m investment in tech start-ups, 344 new jobs

12 Apr 2012

Anthony Bermingham, Bloom Equity angel syndicate, with HBAN national director Michael Culligan and John Ryan of Irrus Investments angel investor syndicate

The Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) helped 29 companies raise €12m, which will lead to the creation of 143 new jobs in 2012 and 344 jobs by the end of 2014. An incremental €1m (stg£850,000) was raised in eight deals completed by Halo Northern Ireland.

The €12m includes €6m from angel investors, with the balance being directly leveraged from organisations such as Enterprise Ireland, venture capital companies and founders.

The 29 companies which received investment were achieving average revenues of €290,000 each at investment, with a number of the companies pre-revenue. The investment will drive an average fourfold increase in turnover in three years.

“Despite the significant wealth destruction that has occurred in this country, these results demonstrate that there are still investors with cash and an appetite for the risk/reward opportunities presented by technology start-ups,” Michael Culligan, national director, HBAN said.

A joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, HBAN said the number of companies receiving investment was up 20pc on 2010 and the sum invested grew 18pc, making it a record-breaking year on both counts.

The €12m investment will drive an average fourfold increase in turnover in three years, and with export sales forecast to account for 85pc of turnover, these start-ups will contribute €33.8m to Ireland’s export income in 2014.

High quality early stage investment opportunities

HBAN is charged by its stakeholders – InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland – with all-island development of angel syndicates in Ireland. It is actively working with the Business Innovation Centres (BICs) to increase the number of angel investors and angel syndicates interested in investing in early stage technology companies.

John Ryan, of the Irrus Investments angel investor syndicate, said: “We are delighted with the quality of early stage technology company investment opportunities and we will continue to actively invest in 2012.”

Anthony Bermingham, of the Bloom Equity angel investor syndicate, added: “HBAN adds significant value in short listing high quality investor-ready opportunities. Once we make investment, our group – the majority of whom have already successfully founded, grown and exited technology companies – is very well positioned to make a very positive impact on start-ups.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years