26 May NI angel investor network hits £5m worth of investment in first 18 months
22 businesses in Northern Ireland have secured a combined £5m worth of funding from HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network) members, during its first 18 months of operating in NI.
HBAN is a joint initiative of Invest NI, InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, dedicated to the all-island promotion of business angel investment.
It allows companies from across various sectors to pitch to angel investors for funding.
Currently, there are almost 80 angel investors registered as members of the network in Northern Ireland, which is managed by Clarendon Fund Managers.
Since the launch of the network in October 2018, there have been 28 deals involving 22 Northern Ireland-based companies, with individual investments typically ranging from £25,000 to £100,000 and the largest single investment round topping £300,000.
The HBAN portfolio features a diverse range of businesses, with companies that have secured significant investment recently including pharmacist booking platform Locate a Locum, beauty brand WE ARE PARADOXX and gin makers Boatyard Distillery.
Jim Curran, partner at Clarendon Fund Managers, believes angel investors will have a huge role to play in supporting fast growing companies as the Northern Ireland economy recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that “experienced entrepreneurs who become business angels will be vitally important if NI is to meet the demand for start-up funding.”
He said: “… we’d love to see more of those people who have enjoyed success and perhaps grown and sold other businesses to join the network.
“By providing a platform for high potential start-ups to pitch to investors we are creating opportunities for more of these businesses to fulfil their potential.”
HBAN will be hosting its next virtual pitch event on 27 May and is open to welcoming new members ahead of the event.
The network includes Colin Reid, who served as CEO of Consilium – later rebranded TotalMobile – and led it to a successful exit before becoming an angel investor and business mentor.
Colin said: “Joining HBAN has put some really interesting investments on my radar and got me involved with several exciting companies I wouldn’t otherwise have heard about. These are companies I think could do something great and who will benefit from my own experience.
“I would highly recommend HBAN to any entrepreneurially minded investors who want exposure to the best of Northern Ireland’s high potential startups and scaleups. I enjoy collaborating in small groups with other like-minded investors to review deals and mentor the next generation of innovative founders.”