HBAN, a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland responsible for the all-island promotion of business angel investment, today announces that it has breached the landmark of €50 million invested by business angels. A further €89 million has been leveraged from other sources including Enterprise Ireland, Western Development Commission and local and international venture capital funds.
Irish med-tech company Connexicon Medical, funded by the HBAN Irrus Syndicate, was the company that enabled HBAN to reach this milestone, with a substantial €1.15 million angel investment and a further €500,000 leveraged. The company will add 15 jobs by 2017, with roles in customer care, chemistry and sales and marketing. Connexicon Medical was founded in 2014 and specialises in tissue adhesives and sealants.
HBAN has facilitated strong growth in angel investment across the island of Ireland in recent years, with an average of 44% growth per annum since 2008. A total of 271 deals have been successfully completed in that period with an average of €185,000 per deal came directly from business angel investment.
Angel investment has led to significant job growth across Ireland and Northern Ireland. During 2014 alone, 48 companies that received angel investment via HBAN announced they would create approximately 700 new jobs by 2017.
56% of funding rounds in the last 12 months involved more than one angel, with an average of 4.5 angels syndicating together per multi-angel deal. In 2008, most rounds involved just one or two angels – this demonstrates the clear and positive trend among investors and syndicates to increasingly pool resources, diversify investments and collaborate together. In turn, this has seen angel investment in Ireland grow and its positive impact on companies here enhance.
The CEOs of two angel success stories; Dave O’Flanagan of Boxever, and Brian Thornes of X-Bolt Orthopaedics, were shortlisted for the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) emerging entrepreneur category.
Michael Culligan, National Director, HBAN said: “We have seen angel investment playing an increasingly catalytic role in funding the growth of innovative, born global start-up companies The number of angels active in Ireland has grown significantly over the past few years."
“We are particularly pleased to see a strong trend towards angel syndicates and more and more syndicates co-investing together. Research shows that angels syndicates working in tandem achieve better outcomes, both for the companies and investors. Our key role is to help angels to match up and form syndicates and to connect them with innovative growth companies that we have worked with. There are many benefits for the business angels including reducing risk through wider portfolios of investments, pooling economic resources and skills and contacts and experience; and enabling better due diligence.”
Padraig Leamy, CEO, Connexicon Medical, said: “Ireland is a relatively small community, but when you first start a business, it’s hard to discover who you need to talk to. Suddenly, you speak to HBAN and the HBAN Irrus Syndicate, and doors start opening.
“Working with angel investors from the HBAN Irrus Investment Syndicate and with the Dublin Business Innovation Centre (DBIC) put us on a path towards a highly successful investment round. However, their input and value goes beyond investment – they are highly involved at board level providing strategic direction for all aspects of our business.”
Olive O’Driscoll, CEO, AventaMed, another company which raised €955,000 from three different angel syndicates added: “HBAN streamlined the angel investment process for us. From first introduction to close, its senior team connected us with multiple syndicates and individual business angels and helped keep channels of communication open between AventaMed and syndicate groups, from initial expression of interest to closing the deal.
“The value of angel investment to us has been huge. The angels in the syndicates we work with have built successful careers in the med-tech field and this experience and networking potential is invaluable to us as we grow our company.”
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland commented: “Business angels are a vital part of the business funding eco-system and critical to the success of our clients. Reaching the €50m milestone is significant.
“We see the value that such a strong cohort of business angels and investors brings to our clients. Their willingness to share their networks and expertise with our start-ups helps to ensure our clients can access both the capital and expertise that they need to grow to full potential. The fact that they are geographically spread means the impact of their support is felt in towns and villages across Ireland.
“We welcome the establishment and spread of syndicates outside the Dublin region and the considerable progress that has been made in growing and developing the business angel community.
“Enterprise Ireland is committed to developing and enhancing this important part of the overall funding landscape and look forward to working with our partners to ensure the continued success of the Business Angel Programme.”
Thomas Hunter Mc Gowan. CEO, InterTradeIreland said: “The €50M landmark is confirmation of HBAN’s success to date and signals its continued development as the umbrella business angel organisation with growing membership from across the island and further afield. Its success also signifies a change in companies’ thinking in relation to how they are funding their businesses. InterTradeIreland is proud of its association with the Halo business angel networks across the island, which with our ongoing support and funding has continued to grow.
“Looking forward, InterTradeIreland’s vision is one where all island sectoral syndicates can flourish and provide opportunities for both angels and companies seeking this type of funding to find the best investor/investment opportunity for them regardless of their location. InterTradeIreland is committed to ensuring that firms are aware of and have access to the financing options appropriate to them and that they are not constrained by funding limitations from undertaking investment projects. This is an important ingredient in supporting economic recovery, creating jobs and growth.”
HBAN-backed companies which have achieved significant growth and a number of landmark achievements in recent years include:
• Storyful: This highly successful social media verification agency now employs 90 people worldwide. Storyful’s first angel investor earned seven times his investment when the company sold to Newscorp in 2014.
• AventaMed: The Cork-based medical device company, which has received €955,000 in angel investment that included three different syndicates, won the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Award for the ‘Best Early Stage Company’ in 2014.
• DecaWave: Now a world leader in the sale and design of ultra-wide band silicon chips, DecaWave has raised €30 million in total, with €26 million coming directly from more than 200 angel investors in Ireland, the UK, France and US.
• MicksGarage: Leading UK & Ireland car parts provider has developed into an €11 million turnover business that ships more than 200,000 orders to 70 countries annually. The company was a Gold Award Winner at the 2015 European E-commerce awards.
• EMBO: The Galway-based medical device company has developed an innovative embolization procedure that shuts down blood flow in vessels that are diseased. HBAN facilitated an angel investment of €1.475 million with an additional €1.5 million leveraged from other sources.
• Scurri: This cloud-based platform integrates with parcel carriers and merchants. Fuelled by the rapid growth in online shopping in the UK and Ireland, The Wexford-based company now manages millions of deliveries for retailers such as Vision Direct, Zara and ASOS; and delivery partners like UPS, Royal Mail and DHL. Scurri has received €975,000 in angel funding.
• X-Bolt Orthopaedics: With the support of more than €1m in angel funding since 2013, X-Bolt has developed a strong, safe and reliable device for hip fractures that commonly occur in elderly patients. Its CEO Brian Thornes was shortlisted in the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) award.
• Boxever: After receiving €150,000 in angel investment to fuel its early growth, travel retail cloud platform Boxever has grown its team to 100 and has processed over half a billion traveller interactions using its solution. Its CEO Dave O’Flanagan was shortlisted in the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) award.
• Phorest: Has become the largest salon software system in the UK and Ireland. It has grown to 65 people and revenue of more than €6 million on the back of angel investment totalling €725,000.
• Dropcar: A revolution in car sharing, Dropcar is a fleet balancing and yield management software designed to ensure car share customers have a car available when needed. HBAN helped secure more than €200,000 in angel investment for the growing company.