Pictured left to right: William McCulla, Director Invest NI, Alan Watts, director Halo NI, & Ian Scott, founder of Taggled
Halo, the Northern Ireland business angel network and partner to HBAN, the all-island umbrella group responsible for stimulating angel investment and joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, today announces that it has helped HBAN breached the landmark of £35 million invested by business angels. A further £65 million has been leveraged from other sources including Invest Northern Ireland-supported capital funds.
NI Science Park-based TAGGLED raised a further £250k from Halo angels, the Halo Fund and the NI Co-fund. This helped the all island HBAN and Halo NI to reach this milestone. Founded by Ian Scott in 2013, TAGGLED is a full service interactive and shoppable video advertising platform. TAGGLED counts some of the world largest brands as customers and has established lucrative commercial partnerships with global companies Sanoma Media and Pop Sugar. Thanks to additional investment, TAGGLED has doubled its team in the past six months and hope to create a further 10 jobs by 2017.
HBAN has facilitated strong growth in angel investment across the island of Ireland in recent years, with an average of 44% growth per annum since 2008. A total of 271 deals have been successfully completed in that period. An average of £133,500 per deal came directly from business angel investment.
Angel investment has led to significant job growth across Northern Ireland and Ireland. During 2014 alone, 48 companies that received angel investment via HBAN announced they would create approximately 700 new jobs by 2017.
56% of funding rounds in the last 12 months involved more than one angel, with an average of 4.5 angels syndicating together per multi-angel deal. In 2008, most rounds involved just one or two angels – this demonstrates the clear and positive trend among investors and syndicates to increasingly pool resources, diversify investments and collaborate together. In turn, this has seen angel investment across the island grow and its positive impact on companies here enhance.
The CEOs of two angel success stories; Dave O’Flanagan of Boxever, and Brian Thornes of X-Bolt Orthopaedics, have been shortlisted for the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) emerging entrepreneur category.
Alan Watts, Director of Halo NI, said: “We have seen angel investment playing an increasingly catalytic role in funding the growth of innovative, born global start-up companies. The number of angels active across the island of Ireland has grown significantly over the past few years.”
Michael Culligan, National Director, HBAN, added: “We are particularly pleased to see a strong trend towards angel syndicates and more and more syndicates co-investing together. Research shows that angel syndicates working in tandem achieve better outcomes, both for the companies and investors. Our key role is to help angels to match up and form syndicates and to connect them with innovative growth companies that we have worked with. There are many benefits for the business angels including reducing risk through wider portfolios of investments, pooling economic resources and skills and contacts and experience; and enabling better due diligence.”
Ian Scott, Founder of TAGGLED, explains what the additional investment will help TAGGLED achieve: “Team TAGGLED is delighted to be in the position to continue to expand our company and remain at the forefront of interactive video advertising. To have received £250,000 in investment this year, and £700,000 in total, allows us to significantly expand the team and scale TAGGLED's shoppable video advertising platform.
“TAGGLED are in the wonderful position of massive business growth and that is largely down to the angel investment we have received. The support, advice and networking opportunities the individual business angels have provided me with has proved invaluable.
“In the past six months alone TAGGLED have doubled the team and added a significant number of big name brands to its customer roster - including The Body Shop, Weight Watchers, Ted Baker and P&G. With our latest angel investment we look forward to not only meeting - but exceeding - the desires of our market.”
Margaret Hearty, InterTradeIreland’s Director of Business Programmes and Services, said: “The £35M landmark is confirmation of HBAN’s success to date and signals its continued development as a relevant active business angel network with growing membership from across the island and further afield. Its success also signifies a change in companies’ thinking in relation to how they are funding their businesses. InterTradeIreland is proud of its association with the Halo business angel networks across the island, which with our ongoing support and funding has continued to grow.
“Looking forward, InterTradeIreland’s vision is one where all island sectoral syndicates can flourish and provide opportunities for both angels and companies seeking this type of funding to find the best investor/investment opportunity for them regardless of their location. InterTradeIreland is committed to ensuring that firms are aware of and have access to the financing options appropriate to them and that they are not constrained by funding limitations from undertaking investment projects. This is an important ingredient in supporting economic recovery, creating jobs and growth.”
Welcoming the news, Invest NI’s Director of Corporate Finance, William McCulla said: “£35m is a significant milestone for the Halo Business Angel Network to reach and we fully recognise the important role that the network plays in the development of businesses that can make a lasting contribution to the economy. There is a wealth of talent and potential in Northern Ireland who need the right investment, advice and support. The Business Angel Network has helped support innovative early stage companies capable of growth on a global scale and the access to an investor’s knowledge, contacts and vital funding has been critically important to these businesses. In supporting the Business Angel Network through Halo, Invest NI is helping these businesses to fulfil their growth potential.”