HBAN to create a new €10m fund led by women angel investors

5 Nov 2018

Image: © photobuay/Stock.adobe.com

There is a need to boost the number of women participating in angel investing. The missing ingredient is available knowledge of what is involved.

The Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) is to recruit 50 new women business angel investors over the next three years. It is envisaged that the new female investors will bring a combined €10m of new business angel funds.

‘Companies with more gender-diverse management teams perform better financially’

The broader venture capital world is characterised by a dearth of women executives which in turn is reflective of the amount of investment that goes into women-led start-ups.

To encourage women to become more active as angel investors on the island of Ireland, HBAN will host a female investor masterclass on Wednesday 21 November at 5.30pm, at Google Dublin. The event is the first in a series of masterclasses for existing – and those interested in becoming – HBAN business angels.

Knowledge is empowering

Man in black suit leans on balcony with buildings in background.

John Phelan, national director, HBAN. Image: Mark Stedman/Stedman Photography

“Angel investing is about much more than just the financial investment,” said John Phelan, national director of HBAN, “it’s about the knowledge and expertise that the angel brings to the business.

“Many of our angels sit on their investee company boards and there is extensive research to show that companies with more gender-diverse management teams perform better financially. At the moment, many local start-ups are missing out on the valuable experience that female investors bring.”

The women investor masterclass will provide an introduction to angel investing, including details on making investments, due diligence and syndicate structures as well as an introduction to the HBAN network.

Phelan explained: “Through conversations with our female angels, female entrepreneurs and other women working within the early-stage start-up ecosystem, we’ve identified that a lack of information on the angel investing process, women not being seen as the typical investor and a predominantly male environment are some of the barriers for women becoming involved in angel investing.

Laura Lynch, strategic tax adviser to several HBAN investment syndicates, will address key considerations on the most tax-efficient ways to make, manage and exit investment, and give an overview of the syndicate investment process. The event will also include a panel discussion with experienced investors including Punam Rane, a HBAN Bloom Equity Syndicate member, and Rowan Devereux.

“When I joined the Bloom Equity Syndicate in 2014, I didn’t know a lot about angel investing, but I did know that there were good returns yielded by investment in start-ups based on the island of Ireland,” said Rane.

“Initially, I attended the syndicate meetings and observed the pitching process, listening to the types of questions the more seasoned investors were asking the start-ups. I gradually began to invest in companies along with other members of the syndicate, which has provided invaluable learnings into the process of investing in start-ups. I recently acted as the lead angel in an investment.

“I would urge other women who are interested in investing in high-potential start-ups to come along to a syndicate meeting to find out more. There isn’t an onus to invest immediately; it’s important to take time to observe the quality of companies that pitch, and become familiar with the process.”

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