John Phelan, director of HBAN. Picture: John Ohle

Angel buyers pumped €14m into 59 Irish early-stage start-ups throughout a tumultuous yr for companies.

Angel buyers in Eire invested €14m in early-stage start-ups in 2020, a decline on the earlier yr, in response to the Halo Enterprise Angel Community (HBAN).

New figures from HBAN, a community of angel buyers coordinated by Enterprise Eire, InterTradeIreland and Make investments Northern Eire, present that its members invested €14m in 59 corporations in 2020 amid the pandemic. In 2019, the determine was €16.8m in 66 start-ups.

‘Historical past reveals us that among the most profitable and progressive companies are based throughout tough buying and selling occasions’

– JOHN PHELAN

In 2020, the typical deal dimension for buyers was €250,000 and customary areas for funding have been medtech, ICT and manufacturing.

A number of the start-ups that HBAN’s buyers backed final yr embody digestive well being tech start-up FoodMarble and Kilkenny fintech outfit Loanitt.

John Phelan, all-island director of HBAN, mentioned angel investing remained comparatively constant in Eire and Northern Eire throughout the tough yr. Whereas the world grappled with the uncertainties of 2020, HBAN added 100 new angel buyers to its community and launched the Kerry Angel Community.

“The figures for 2020 illustrate {that a} excessive degree of angel investing was sustained throughout the island throughout 2020, no matter exterior variables introduced on by the pandemic,” Phelan mentioned.

“As Irish start-ups proceed to take care of the fact of Stage 5 restrictions, there may be an instantaneous alternative for present and potential angel buyers to drive a brand new wave of innovation ahead. Historical past reveals us that among the most profitable and progressive companies are based throughout recessions and tough buying and selling occasions,” he mentioned.

The group, which will probably be holding its annual convention on-line subsequent month, is issuing a name for extra buyers to affix its community and put money into early-stage start-ups by its numerous syndicates.

“What now we have seen within the UK is that angel investing has endured no matter the pandemic-induced challenges. In actual fact, over half of angels surveyed have continued investing because the onset of the pandemic, and 46laptop plan so as to add corporations to their portfolio by the top of the monetary yr,” Phelan added.

HBAN has repeatedly advocated for reforms to the Authorities’s Employment and Funding Incentive scheme, which gives tax aid to some buyers, with a view to stimulate extra buyers to take a punt on early-stage corporations.

A TechIreland report final yr highlighted that Irish tech start-ups continued to lift funding throughout the pandemic. However it mentioned there was proof that early-stage corporations have been discovering it “notably tough” to safe backing.