Tinder for investors: HBAN matched 50 start-ups with backers in 2016

14 Feb 2017

John Phelan, national director of HBAN. Image: John Ohle

Matchmaking efforts by HBAN saw 50 relationships blossom between investors and start-ups in 2016.

HBAN, a not-for-profit partnership between Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, said that in 2016, 250 investors listened to pitches from 202 start-ups that it identified as investor-ready.

Out of these, 50 of the 202 start-ups won investment.

‘25pc of pitches resulting in a committed relationship, leading to a marriage and then a planned divorce – in other words, an exit’

HBAN held 51 funding events last year, including a roadshow that aimed to raise €6m in 48 hours.

Companies that pitched to syndicates of HBAN investors enjoyed a higher success rate of 64pc.

High hit rate

“Every year, hundreds of start-ups seeking funding approach us,” explained HBAN national director John Phelan.

“It is our job to assess them and identify which ones are investment-ready before introducing them to potential investors.

“That produces a great quality of deal flow, which is a fantastic time-saving asset for angels. Our angels can therefore trust that we have selected only the most promising start-ups to pitch to them – it’s just a matter of choosing which company is right for them.”

Start-ups that obtained angel funding last year included:

  • medtech start-up Signum Surgical (€2.6m), which received funding from the Galway-based MedTech Syndicate
  • preventative health solutions provider Full Health Medical (€500,000), backed by the WxNW (West by North-west) Syndicate
  • TippyTalk (€400,000), a communications platform for people with verbal disabilities, which received investment from HBAN South-west
  • Caragon (€500,000), a data logistics company supported by the HBAN Investor Forum, Dublin

“Our focus now is to get more angel investors on board so that we can continue to support Ireland’s start-up community,” said Phelan.

“Last year, we paired more start-ups with angel investors than ever before. Our success rate was also the best yet, with 25pc of pitches resulting in a committed relationship, leading to a marriage and then a planned divorce – in other words, an exit.

“The fact that one-in-four start-ups receives funding is an attractive figure for potential angel investors. It shows the great level of confidence that our angel investors have in the companies that we introduce them to.”

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