HBAN is an all-island umbrella group responsible for the development of business angel syndicates. HBAN actively works to increase the number of angel investors involved in investing in early stage companies and supports the formation of new and existing angel networks, both regionally and internationally, and within industry sectors.
Despite the economic tsunami, the growth in Irish business angel investment in recent times has been significant. In 2015 HBAN business angels, across the island invested €10.8m into 50 companies. This direct angel investment leveraged a further €15.8M of additional public & private funds into these companies from organisations such as Enterprise Ireland, venture capital companies and founders. These numbers have risen steadily from 2011 when HBAN helped 29 companies raise €12m of which €6m came from angel investors.
Business angel investors are high net worth individuals who provide smaller amounts of finance (typically in the range €50,000/£40,000 to €250,000/£200,000) 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.
The growing role of business angels as catalysts in many start-up companies is now well recognised in Europe including the island of Ireland. It is worth noting that much of the business angel community is ’ad-hoc‘ involving family, friends and private individuals investing directly in start-ups but not as part of any formal network.
However we have some way to go in comparison with the US, where business angel investment is equivalent in scale to all Venture Capital investment in the economy. The formalisation of business angels into Business Angel Networks (‘BANs’) and the creation of business angel syndicates are reflecting best practice internationally.
HBAN, which is a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, also acts as a voice to Government, stakeholders, business and the media to promote the interests and needs of the angel investment community. HBAN is managed by Dublin BIC in partnership with the regional Irish BICs in Cork, Galway & Waterford. HBAN works in partnership with Halo NI & InvestNI in Northern Ireland.
HBAN WxNW Founder John Mullen interviewed on Shannonside FM