HBAN London syndicate to invest €3m in Irish start-ups

31 May 2018

Image: slawomir.gawryluk/Shutterstock

London angels to invest in six Irish tech companies over the next 12 months.

The Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) has revealed the creation of a new London syndicate that plans to invest €3m in Irish tech, medtech and healthcare start-ups.

The new network follows the establishment of the New York-based Digital Irish Angels, HBAN’s first international syndicate, earlier this year.

‘There is a real appetite among the London-based Irish community to invest in high-potential Irish start-ups, particularly in the technology and medtech sectors’

Future Human

HBAN will supply high-potential, investor-ready, early-stage and scaling companies to the network.

Over the next 12 months, the syndicate aims to invest in up to six Irish companies that have ambitions to expand into export markets, including the UK.

It’s them London angels, innit!

Harry McDermott from London HBAN syndicate

Harry McDermott, London HBAN Syndicate. Image: HBAN

More than 10 investors have already signed up to the UK-based syndicate, which is being led by experienced entrepreneur and angel investor Harry McDermott.

The members come from a wide variety of backgrounds including finance, technology, telecoms, medtech and fintech, and have significant experience investing in start-up companies.

“There is a real appetite among the London-based Irish community to invest in high-potential Irish start-ups, particularly in the technology and medtech sectors,” McDermott explained.

“We’ve seen the success of other HBAN companies so it comes as no surprise that our members are eager to invest in similarly unique opportunities. The key factors for our members to invest are the global potential of the company, having a lead investor in the deal and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).

“The SEIS acts as an incentive to invest for UK-based angels. The scheme offers great tax-efficient benefits to investors who invest in small and early-stage start-up companies in the UK. We are particularly looking for Irish companies who have a presence in the UK market or are planning to enter it in the future.

SEIS is the investment vehicle of choice used by UK start-ups, particularly at seed stage, and is vastly superior to Ireland’s antiquated and limited Employment Incentive and Investment Scheme (EIIS).

Tech investors in the UK also enjoy a superior capital gains tax arrangement to its out-of-touch Irish counterpart.

The creation of overseas investment syndicates is a welcome development because Ireland is approaching a potentially destructive seed funding crunch as existing seed funds dry up and there are no replacements in sight.

“The international syndicates are a testament to the quality of Irish start-ups with an international market focus,” said HBAN national director John Phelan.

“The launch of a second overseas syndicate is a significant step towards HBAN establishing a global business angel network that has an affinity to Ireland, and we wish to further develop connections with the international investment community.

“New York and London are key locations, and advanced discussions are already in place to launch new syndicate partnerships in other locations,” Phelan said.

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