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Angel Funding Remains Healthy

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DateMonday, February 08, 2021

Angel Funding Remains Healthy

HBAN Say Start-Up Angel Investment Healthy Whilst IVCA Early Stage Investments Down Over €90m Due to Pandemic Woes


John Phelan Director of Halo Business Angel Network - €14m invested in Ireland's Start-ups during 2020

According to the Irish Venture Capital Association, funding figures in early stage businesses fell from €285m to €194m last year, a drop of 32% due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic.


So with this in mind, it's encouraging to hear the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, say that despite the pandemic-induced restrictions over the course of 2020, business angels have invested over €14m in 59 start-ups across the country with an average deal size of €250k.

These funds leveraged a further €40.5m from Enterprise Ireland and other investors. Categories of start-ups that were most commonly invested in included MedTech, ICT & Manufacturing.


During 2020 HBAN, a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, attracted over 100 new angel investors to its group. Business angels are typically former entrepreneurs and other high net worth individuals who have experience and networks available to assist start-ups to grow and accelerate their business development. HBAN business angels have now invested more than €118M in start-ups across the island of Ireland since 2007.


HBAN is also putting a call out for existing and new business angels to join to boost investments in 2021. Its upcoming annual conference, which takes place online Thursday 11th February 2021 between 1:30-5:30pm, is geared towards encouraging wider involvement in business angel investing across the island of Ireland, showcasing the range of investment opportunities and associated benefits to current and prospective investors.


The conference will hone in on the overarching theme of ‘Start – Grow – Exit – Repeat’.

It will feature contributions from Charles Fred, Co-founder of TrueSpace; Bill Liao, general partner in SOSV and co-founder of the CoderDojo movement; Colin Mason, Professor of Entrepreneurship at University of Glasgow; Alan Coleman, CEO of Sweepr.


Round table leaders include Ronan Quinlan, Joint CEO of Taoglas, Richard Watson of DBIC Ventures, Faye Walsh-Drouillard, founder of Wake Up Capital and Brian MacNamee, Associate Professor in the UCD School of Computer Science. These round table discussions will allow attendees to discuss and gain insights in to the hot topics for 2021, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, impact investing, remote working, artificial and virtual reality and transportation.


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Commenting on the level of business angel investing in 2020, John Phelan (pictured), all-island director of HBAN, said; “The figures for 2020 illustrate that a high level of angel investing was sustained across the island during 2020, irrespective of external variables brought on by the pandemic.

As Irish start-ups continue to contend with the reality of level 5 restrictions, there is an immediate opportunity for current and prospective angel investors to drive a new wave of innovation forward. History shows us that some of the most successful and innovative businesses are founded during recessions and difficult trading times.


Phelan continued; “We have a vibrant community of savvy, motivated and enterprising start-up visionaries that are pressing ahead to deliver new, enterprise-ready tech solutions geared for a post-COVID world.

As such, this ongoing proliferation of high-potential start-ups paves the way for angels to expand their portfolio. Our conference will highlight the fantastic investment opportunities and enable angels to see attractive pre-qualified live investment pitches.”



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