Business angel network reaches €50m funding milestone

Halo Business Angel Network (HBan) has helped to complete 271 deals since formation

From left:  Julie Sinnamon, chief executive Enterprise Ireland,  Olive O’Driscoll, chief executive AventaMed,   and Michael Culligan, national director HBAN

From left: Julie Sinnamon, chief executive Enterprise Ireland, Olive O’Driscoll, chief executive AventaMed, and Michael Culligan, national director HBAN

 

Angel investment has grown by an average of 44 per cent a year since 2008, with companies receiving such support last year expected to create some 700 jobs by 2017, according to a joint InterTrade Ireland/Enterprise Ireland initiative. The Halo Business Angel Network (HBan), which serves as a go-between to bring start-ups and investors together, says it has helped to complete 271 deals across the island of Ireland, raising €50 million in angel investment in the process.

The €50 million milestone was reached with a new €1.15 million investment in Connexicon Medical, a company that specialises in tissue adhesives and sealants. The Tallaght-based company, which was founded last year, intends to create 15 jobs by 2017.

Among the well-known companies that have benefited from HBan support in recent years are Storyful, Boxever, Micks Garage, Decawave and AventaMed.

Business angel investors are high net worth individuals who provide smaller amounts of finance (typically from €50,000 to €250,000) at an earlier stage than many venture capital funds are able to invest. They are increasingly investing alongside both seed venture capital funds and government agency funding on the island.

Hban said it was witnessing a steady rise in business angel syndicates coming into play. These consist of two or more individuals who would regularly invest together, usually in specific industries such as food or medtech.

The organisation’s national director Michael Culligan said angel investment was playing a key role in helping innovative “born global” companies get up and running.

“There is absolutely no question whatsoever that the role of angel investment in the funding of start-up companies is becoming increasingly important,” Mr Culligan added. “Notwithstanding the significant progress made to date we’re only at the beginning. There’s an awful lot more growth ahead of us. The challenge now is to attract more angels and to help to continue to foster continued co-investments from syndicates.”