The business angel network Halo, a joint initiative of Invest Northern Ireland and IntertradeIreland, has reached the £2m milestone for investments it has made since May 2009.
This has been reached following an investment in UK company Vertical Wind Energy and coincides with the network growing to more than 140 angel members within the past year.
Vertical Wind Energy manufactures a new type of wind turbine which requires much less maintenance as it generates electricity. The Halo EIS Fund was a significant investor in its £800,000 funding round. This fund was raised by Halo angels under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which provides for tax-efficient angel investment into companies.
Second Halo EIS Fund to launch
The network has also announced plans to launch its second Halo EIS Fund worth £0.5m in 2011 and is now inviting existing and potential business angels to invest in the fund. The Halo Fund, only the second of its type in the UK, will allow angels to spread their investment across a number of Northern Ireland companies while also adding to the "firepower" when Halo angels invest directly in these firms.
Building on the success of the first such EIS fund, this will also make it easier for new investors to try out angel investing while providing much-needed capital for local entrepreneurs in a bid to help grow Northern Ireland’s business community.
Angel ‘Network of the Year’
“The £2m landmark just confirms Halo’s success after being voted the British Business Angel Association Angel ‘Network of the Year’. This puts Halo at the forefront of the angel investment industry in the UK and Ireland and can only strengthen Halo’s presence and reach here, to attract not only local investors, but those from all around the UK and Ireland,” said Liam Nellis, InterTradeIreland chief executive.
“Angel investors from other regions bring not just new money to the region, but also much experience and learning for our local angels.”