HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network) today announces that it set up 202 start-ups with angel investors in 2016. The all-island group is responsible for the promotion of business angel investment in Ireland and last year’s match-making efforts resulted in 50 relationships blossoming.

The not-for-profit group, a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, held 51 funding events last year. That included a nationwide roadshow that aimed to raise €6 million in 48 hours through the recruitment of more angel investors.

On average 25% of companies that pitched to HBAN business angels at the funding events received investment. Some 64% of companies that pitched to one of our syndicates received investment, either from HBAN investors, or others. Relationships between start-ups and angel investors typically last between four and seven years.

Start-ups that obtained angel funding last year included medtech start-up Signum Surgical (€2.6M), which received funding from the Galway-based MedTech Syndicate; preventative health solutions provider Full Health Medical (€500K), backed by the WxNW (West by Northwest) Syndicate; TippyTalk (€400K), a communications platform for people with verbal disabilities, which received investment from HBAN Southwest; and data logistics company, Caragon (€500K), supported by the HBAN Investor Forum, Dublin.

John Phelan, National Director of HBAN, said: “We are like a sophisticated dating agency for business angel investors and start-ups. Every year, hundreds of start-ups seeking funding approach us. It is our job to assess them and identify which ones are investment-ready before introducing them to potential investors.

“That produces a great quality of deal flow, which is a fantastic time-saving asset for angels. Our angels can therefore trust that we have selected only the most promising start-ups to pitch to them – it’s just a matter of choosing which company is right for them. It’s a little bit like Tinder for investors.

“Our focus now is to get more angel investors on-board so that we can continue to support Ireland’s start-up community. Last year, we paired more start-ups with angel investors than ever before. Our success rate was also the best yet, with 25% of pitches resulting in a committed relationship, leading to a marriage and then a planned divorce – in other words, an exit. The fact that one-in-four start-ups receives funding is an attractive figure for potential angel investors. It shows the great level of confidence that our angel investors have in the companies that we introduce them to.”