HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, and a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, has announced that its new London Syndicate plans to invest €3 million in Irish start-ups over the next three years.
Earlier this year, HBAN partnered with the New York-based Digital Irish Angels (DIA) Syndicate, making the London Syndicate the second of HBAN’s international business angel groups. The syndicate has been established to support the creation of a sustainable and driven international network with an affinity to Ireland. HBAN will supply high-potential, investor-ready early-stage and scaling companies to the network.
Over the next 12 months, the syndicate aims to invest in up to six Irish companies that have ambitions to expand into export markets, including the UK. The investors will not only provide these businesses with financial support, but also access to contacts which will enable them to grow. At the inaugural meeting, the syndicate heard pitches from three high potential companies, with one receiving funding within two weeks and another actively closing their funding round.
More than 10 investors have already signed up to the UK-based syndicate, which is being led by experienced entrepreneur and angel investor Harry McDermott. The members come from a wide variety of backgrounds including finance, technology, telecoms, medtech and fintech, and have significant experience investing in start-up companies.
Harry McDermott, Chairman, HBAN’s London Syndicate, said: “There is a real appetite among the London-based Irish community to invest in high potential Irish start-ups, particularly in the technology and medtech sectors. We’ve seen the success of other HBAN companies so it comes as no surprise that our members are eager to invest in similarly unique opportunities. The key factors for our members to invest are the global potential of the company, having a lead investor in the deal and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).
“The SEIS acts as an incentive to invest for UK-based angels. The scheme offers great tax efficient benefits to investors who invest in small and early stage start-up companies in the UK. We are particularly looking for Irish companies who have a presence in the UK market or are planning to enter it in the future.”
“A key advantage for the investors joining the London Syndicate is that it is a HBAN-managed syndicate. This means that the companies that pitch to our members have been sourced, vetted, prepared and confirmed as investor-ready, high-potential start-ups by HBAN. We are currently looking for new members to join the HBAN London Syndicate and would welcome any potential investors to attend the next pitching session, due to take place on Wednesday, 13th June in RocketSpace, Islington, London.”
John Phelan, National Director, HBAN, said: “The international syndicates are a testament to the quality of Irish start-ups with an international market focus. The launch of a second overseas syndicate is a significant step towards HBAN establishing a global business angel network that has an affinity to Ireland, and we wish to further develop connections with the international investment community. New York and London are key locations and advanced discussions are already in place to launch new syndicate partnerships in other locations.
“Strengthening our links with the UK, HBAN has partnered with the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) to access Northern Irish angels based in London. We will continue to present Northern Irish companies to not just the new London Syndicate, but to the other eight HBAN syndicates.
“We’re delighted with the steady and continued growth of angel investment in Irish companies. The information and communications technology (ICT), medtech, life-sciences and healthcare sectors continued to be very attractive for HBAN investors last year, with almost €10 million invested by our members across a total of 27 deals in these sectors in 2017.
“Nearly a third (29%) of all deals done last year were in the booming area of healthcare, medtech and life-sciences, with an average deal value of €510,000, more than double that of the average ICT deal at €227,000. The overall average deal value across all sectors last year was a record high of €285,000, showing the calibre of businesses and the potential for investors.
“We’ve noticed many positive trends in the medtech sector. For example, more than half of the companies that received investment from HBAN’s MedTech Syndicate were led by female entrepreneurs, more than in any other syndicate. Among the successful medtech companies to receive funding last year are AventaMed, OncoMark, ProVerum Medical, Sigmoid Pharma, Incereb and Kite Medical.
“Innovative, ambitious and exciting early-stage companies continue to approach HBAN and we’re committed to growing our roster of suitable angel investors both in Ireland and internationally.”