HBAN today announced the first-ever investment from its newest angel syndicate, WxNW (West by Northwest). The syndicate has backed innovative Mayo-based sports technology start-up, Sportlomo. The €270,000 investment is co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and will see the creation of 25 jobs in the company.
Sportlomo develops software for the efficient administration of amateur sports. The software is used by clubs and associations in Ireland, the UK, North America and the UAE to manage the data of sports players and organisers of 52 sports organisations. The roles announced today will be in the areas of software development, support and sales as Sportlomo continues to grow its presence in Ireland, as well as the UK, US, mainland Europe and UAE.
The announcement marks a targeted push by HBAN, a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, to invest in early-stage businesses located in the West and Northwest of Ireland. This year, WxNW will aim to double its number of angels from 12 to 24, while injecting €2 million into start-ups in the region; boosting local economies and supporting local jobs.
Sportlomo was founded by Seamus Kyne and Vivienne Lee. Its software focuses on ‘grassroots’ sports and promises to reduce time spent on administration, using a cloud-based solution that allows administrators to track game schedules, collect results and manage fixtures. As well as administration, the software also enables advertising and sponsorship opportunities for brands looking to specifically target a sporting audience. Brands can access over 200 sports websites through Sportlomo – including governing body, league and club sites.
Speaking about today’s announcement, founder Seamus Kyne said: “Our software streamlines administration for all of the top amateur sports in Ireland. We have demonstrated the efficiency of our software at home in Ireland and now we are ready to take the company to the next level. This angel investment has not only given us the funding to grow and employ 25 new staff members, but WxNW has also provides us with the experience, network and expertise to grow our business and reach new customers all around the world.”
WxNW syndicate founder John Mullen said: “We believe that Sportlomo has developed a truly innovative sports administration solution, with huge potential for implementation in a range of sports around the globe.
“WxNW is committed to attracting angel investors who are dedicated to giving start-ups based around the western seaboard the opportunity to grow. As a platform, WxNW enables investors to meet with high-potential start-ups, diversify risk and increase the chances of gaining significant returns on their investment. This is a great time for business angels looking to invest in the West of Ireland, as we are seeing some very innovative export companies emerging.”
HBAN has promoted angel investment across Ireland since 2008. A recent study conducted by HBAN showed that there was an annual increase of 44% in angel investment between 2008 and 2014.
Orlagh Nolan, HBAN, said: “Angel investment is continuing to play a crucial role in securing the development of high-potential start-ups in Ireland. The number of home-grown angel investors has surged in the last number of years and research has shown that syndication achieves better results for both companies and investors. By pooling resources and reducing risk we can continue to connect angels with innovative growth companies throughout the country.”