Ireland’s HBAN hits €100m investment milestone

21 Nov 2019

From left: Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland; William McCulla, Invest NI; Margaret Hearty, InterTradeIreland; and John Phelan, HBAN. Image: HBAN

HBAN said increasing investment reflects the quality of companies pitching to angel investors in Ireland in recent years.

Today (21 November), the Irish Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) announced that it has passed the €100m milestone for angel investment across the island of Ireland.

The organisation, which is responsible for the promotion of business angel investment and is a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, has been helping start-ups access funding for growth since 2007.

In a statement, HBAN said that the increasing investment figures reflect the quality of companies pitching to HBAN angel investors. Around 150 companies pitch to investors each year, with one-third receiving funding as a result. This represents approximately 50 deals per year.

‘Energetic start-up culture’

Research carried out by HBAN in the angel investor community found that the average business angel has invested in multiple companies. On the island of Ireland, the average angel has invested in 4.7 companies. The survey also found that two-thirds usually invest as part of a syndicate.

All-island director of HBAN, John Phelan, said: “We’re delighted to have reached the €100m milestone just four years after reaching €50m angel investment across the island of Ireland. It reflects the energetic start-up culture across our cities and regions.

“Our research shows that the business angel community is very active, too. It is a buoyant, exciting community and can be a very rewarding experience.

“With syndicates located and engaged across the island, and internationally in New York and London, our HBAN angels are supporting local economies and entrepreneurship. As co-founders of the HBAN programme, Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland are instrumental in enabling this and ensuring more start-ups in Ireland receive crucial funding.”

HBAN’s survey also revealed that by securing angel investment, businesses are more likely to leverage additional funding from other sources. “You can see that in the €100m invested through HBAN angels, a further €170m was invested by others, for a total of €270m,” Phelan added.

Meanwhile, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys, said: “HBAN is a vital ingredient in Ireland’s start-up ecosystem, both as a vital source of finance but also as a fount of knowledge, skills, expertise and mentoring support for companies in their critical early stages.”

Some of the HBAN-backed companies that have recently benefited from angel investment include on-demand grocery e-commerce platform Buymie, Galway’s Signum Surgical and AI start-up Deciphex.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic