Irrus Business Angel Syndicate seeks to grow membership and increase equity investments to €10M

By hban.org
Friday, 9th August 2013
Filed under: Year2013

Business angel syndicate seeking to increase equity investments to €10M over the next 2 yearsAidan O Driscoll  Irrus Investments.JPG Thumbnail0

  • Irrus business angel syndicate wants to increase syndicate membership from 30 to 50
  • More than 100 high growth companies reviewed for investment each year
  • Average investment of €1 million secured by early stage businesses

Business angel syndicate Irrus Investments is aiming to increase the amount of equity available to Irish business to €10m over the next two years, which it envisages it will achieve by growing the group’s membership by 60pc.

It is seeking new members to join the syndicate who have a real interest in investing in high growth potential technology companies in the life sciences and other technology sectors.

Irrus Investments is a group of like-minded business professionals, operating in a syndicate, who wish to invest in early stage, innovative companies with strong international scalability potential. It currently has 30 members and is the largest business angel syndicate in Ireland. It is looking to increase its membership to 50, in order to increase the level of equity and expertise within the group and therefore also increase the number of companies it invests in each year.

Irrus Investments reviews up to 100 early stage companies that are seeking investment every year. The majority of these businesses are Irish owned but the syndicate has also invested in international companies. From these 100 companies, typically 20 are invited to pitch to the group at one of its six annual syndicate meetings.

In a typical year, it moves to diligence with approximately 40% of those who present to it, with three to four companies receiving investment. The number of companies that receive investment can increase or decrease each year depending on the quality of the business, its management team and export opportunities.

The minimum investment in any company is €500,000 and the average is approximately €1 million. In most cases, Irrus provides 40-50% of the total investment and co-invests with Enterprise Ireland, other angel investors and seed funds. Up to 10 business angels from the Irrus group will usually invest in each deal.

Irrus investors, who have relevant industry or professional experience, are encouraged to get involved in both the due diligence prior to investment and at board level post investment, to help accelerate the growth of the companies. In some cases syndicate members even get involved in the day to day management of the operation. This is one of the main differences with business angel investing, as they will share their expertise, knowledge and key industry contacts with the company receiving investment.

Members of the Irrus group have experience in many different areas of business including sales and marketing, international business, sales channel management, finance, operations and general management. Many members are entrepreneurs who have built their own companies from scratch and successfully exited.

Some of the businesses that have received investment in the past include Teamer, Betapond, NexVet, Sigmoid Pharma and Wattics.

Aidan O’Driscoll, a founding member of the Irrus Investment Syndicate commented, “There are so many benefits investing as part of a syndicate. Our members are presented with only the best, fully screened investment opportunities and have the choice to invest smaller amounts of money in a portfolio of businesses, spreading the risk and the potential rewards.

“While many of our members have successfully grown and exited high performing businesses anyone with business know-how and expertise, that wants to invest in growing businesses, can join our syndicate. They will gain access to a network of successful, experienced investors who will support them in the decision making process and there is never any obligation to invest. Each member decides whether to invest or not and how much. Further information is available from www.irrusinvestments.com or directly from HBAN.”

Michael Culligan, who is the national director of HBAN, the organisation tasked with developing business angel syndicates in Ireland commented, “Business angel syndicates play an increasingly important role in the equity raising process for early stage Irish businesses and Irrus Investments has been the exemplar in this regard, with over €4M of direct angel finance invested.

“HBAN is now calling for new business angels in order to increase the membership in all of our current angel syndicates here in Ireland.”