Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) announced record business angel investment supporting significant job growth across the island of Ireland during 2014. An estimated 700 jobs will be created by 2017 by HBAN-supported companies, following a number of successful funding rounds during 2014 totalling €30 million.
Figures have risen steadily since 2011, during which it supported 344 new jobs and €12 million in business angel investment across 29 companies. Of the €30 million raised during 2014, €9.5 million came directly from angel investment, with the rest leveraged from public and private funds including Enterprise Ireland, venture capital companies and founders.
HBAN, which is a joint venture between Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, embodied its 2014 success further last October during a week-long series of informal talks at HBAN offices in Cork, Galway and Waterford, where the opportunities of business angel investment were explored. The series, titled an “Introduction to Business Angel Investing,” saw HBAN recruit additional angel investors for the year ahead.
Technology based start-ups across both Ireland and Northern Ireland made up a large segment of the companies supported. This included Galway-based medical devices company, Embo Medical, which raised €3million with over €1.5 million stemming from business angel funding alone during 2014, and will grow its team from three to sixteen by 2017.
Northern-Ireland based Treze, a software company dedicated to protecting children from cyber bullying through technology, raised nearly €150,000 entirely from business angels and will create 20 jobs over the next three years.
Dublin-based Lumafit, which provides an interactive fitness coach that can fill the role of a personal trainer, raised a round of €575,00, of which €175,000 came from angel investors, and will add 15 jobs over the next three years.
Darran Hughes (pictured), Founder and CEO at Lumafit, said: “HBAN introduced us to business angel investors with the entrepreneurial experience, networks and industry knowledge we needed to fulfil our ambitious growth targets. The relationship extends far beyond fundraising, as the angel investors have become an invaluable extension of our team, acting as a soundboard and helping us develop marketing plans and our business strategy.”
John Phelan, National Manager, HBAN, added: “HBAN is well positioned to help business angels to find the right type of early stage company and maximise their chances of a successful investment. We offer a lot of supports to them in terms of advice, networks and syndicates. The success of this is reflected in our strong annual results and our recruitment of new angels following the series of talks last October.
“We recognise the growing importance of business angels as catalysts in start-up companies, particularly in the technology and knowledge economy and sectors associated with it, like MedTech, FinTech and AgriTech.”