HBAN to boost angel investment in Irish start-ups to €25m by 2020

16 Nov 2017

From left: Julian Seymour, syndicate manager, HBAN; Sarah Cagney, communications and relationship manager, HBAN; and John Phelan, national director, HBAN. Image: Mark Stedman

HBAN celebrates its 10th birthday this year and it has big plans for the future of the Irish start-up scene.

HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network) has today (16 November) announced its plans to increase the amount invested in Irish start-ups to €25m per year by 2020. The announcement comes as Business Angel Week is in full swing.

The all-island group, which is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, is responsible for the promotion of business angel investment in Ireland, and is aiming to increase such spending in Ireland by 17pc per year for the next four years.

The key investment focuses will be the ICT, medtech and health sectors, which attracted more than €8.7m in angel funding out of a total of €13.6m in 2016.

The ICT sector in particular attracted 52pc of total angel investments, with just under €4.5m invested by HBAN angels. Meanwhile, the medtech space is increasingly attractive to investors, with the average deal valued at €585,000 – more than three times the size of the average ICT investment.

HBAN is actively recruiting business angels, and wants to double the number of active Irish angels in the next four years. Six syndicates now operate out of Ireland, as well as four recently established international investment groups.

The syndicates give angels the option to invest in start-ups with other angels, or with groups from other syndicates in co-syndication deals.

An impressive portfolio

To date, HBAN angels have invested more than €80m in Irish start-ups, with these investments leveraging a further €124m from other public and private funds, bringing the total to an impressive €204m.

Included among the 395 investments completed since HBAN’s inception are AventaMed, Full Health Medical, Glofox and Corlytics.

John Phelan, national director of HBAN, said: “Comparing the last two years, investment in Irish start-ups through HBAN is up 25pc year on year. We’re delighted with the steady growth and want to continue this to reach €25m HBAN angel investment per year by 2020.

“To help us achieve this target, we’re very focused on recruiting new angels and developing our regional syndicates. In particular, the HBAN offices in Galway, Cork and Waterford are very active in attracting new investors by inviting them to monthly forums and pitching events.

“In terms of return on investment, HBAN is providing excellent value. Over 20 times the cost of the programme is invested by angels in Irish companies through the network, and, when other public and private funds are included, that jumps to 50 times the cost of the programme.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects