Angel investments exceed pre-pandemic levels says HBAN

Angels invested £7 million into Irish start-ups in the first half of this year, according to HBAN
Angels invested £7 million into Irish start-ups in the first half of this year, according to HBAN

ANGEL investment into Irish start-ups is now higher than at pre-pandemic levels and thriving, according to figures from a business angels network.

It says angels invested £7 million in fledgling businesses on the island of Ireland in the first half of this year, which was up 13 per cent when compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019.

And the HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, says that since its inception some £338 million has been pumped into start-ups through its network.

HBAN, which is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest NI, said the number of start-ups which received funding between January and June in Ireland increased from 29 to 37.

Additional funds leveraged as a result of HBAN investments reached £32 million – an increase of 128 per cent on 2019.

And at £274,600, the average investment made by angel groups in each funding round is also significantly higher than the £212,000 average in 2019.

Individual angels invested an average of £37,000 each, with many participating at the £21,000 range, which is more accessible for those considering their first angel investments.

John Phelan, all-island director at HBAN, said: “We're delighted to report that angel investment is growing on the island of Ireland, despite the challenges that the Covid pandemic continues to bring to businesses and investors.

“We have seen previously that times of crisis inspire a spirit of entrepreneurism, and the first half of this year is testament to the quality of start-ups that are pitching to our angel investors.

“To maximise potential returns for our angels, each company is assessed and mentored by our team to ensure that they are investor-ready before pitching.

“Aside from the funding, the increase in angel activity is a good sign for start-ups in Ireland, as angel investors also offer industry-specific guidance and contacts that are so vital for businesses in their early years.

“Angel investment is also important in helping start-ups to leverage funding from additional sources that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.”