Angel backed companies break €50m investment milestone

 –     Oriel Sea Salt Company raises €100,000 in angel backing

–     18 firms employing 200 raise €2.5m angel  funding in first three quarters of 2013

–     60% of angel funding coming from individuals as angel “hard cash up front plays key role in further investment”

 

The Halo Business Angel Partnership (HBAP) announced today that supported start-ups have broken a €55 million total investment milestone in 128 deals since the organisation was founded six years ago. The latest firm to benefit from angel funding is Clogherhead based Oriel Sea Salt Company Ltd. €100,000 was invested by a private investor introduced by HBAP as part of a €1,000,000 round of funding.

“In total €23m has been invested by angel investors brought to the table by the national HBAP organisation over the last six years. The balance of €32.5m was committed by seed funds, Enterprise Ireland and other private investors,” commented John Phelan who heads up HBAP at the Dublin Business Innovation Centre (DBIC). “The fact that angel investors have invested hard cash up front has played a key role in attracting further investment.”

He added that in the first three quarters of this year, 18 companies, which currently employ 200 people, had raised €10m investment, of which the catalyst was €2.5m angel funding.

Although the bulk of the angel investment has been primarily in software technology based companies, a recent angel backed firm is Clogherhead based Oriel Sea Salt Company Ltd. €100,000 investment was made by a private investor introduced by HBAP as part of a €1,000,000 round of funding. Other angel backed companies this year include Mick’s Garage, Betapond and Decawave.

 

Oriel Sea Salt Company Ltd Director John Delany commented: “Generating traditional bank finance for start-ups is challenging at the moment. Our initial angel investment was huge in terms of boosting the interest and served as a catalyst in bringing in our other investors.”

 

He pointed out that Oriel harvests a natural resource, the sea, to produce a special sea salt. “This is presently having a major impact on the hospitality and artisan food producer sectors due to its intense taste and fine grain which allows producers to reduce salt content naturally in line with EU regulations on salt levels.”

 

Oriel has recently delivered stock orders to La Rousse Foods, leading distributors to the food service sector. In the coming months Oriel will launch its sea salt into the retail sector.

 

Oriel also harvests a blend of precious concentrated sea minerals, rich in elemental magnesium and 165 other trace elements of the sea. In the coming weeks these will be launched online as a premium range of Sea Mineral Health Supplements. “These are unique due to their concentration and the fact that they are in a liquid form so are taken as simply drops in water or juice. Other target markets for the minerals are the skincare and cosmetics industry as active ingredients,” added Delany.

John Phelan, national manager of HBAP in Dublin BIC added: “Over the last six years more than €23m of pure private money, that is personal cheques written by private individuals, has been invested in start-ups via the Halo Business Angel Partnership. 60% of all Angel funding in Ireland is coming through individuals with the syndicate groups now making up a healthy 40%.”

He added: “Ireland is recognised as one of the best countries in Europe in terms of angel funding. This year the Halo Business Angel Partnership was short listed by EBAN (European Business Angel Network) in the category of ‘Business Angel Network of the Year’.”

HBAP is managed by the Dublin Business Innovation Centre on behalf of the Association of EC Business Innovation Centres (BICs) in Ireland including Cork BIC, West BIC, SEBIC and Dublin BIC in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland.

See Silicon Republic article: http://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/item/34613-irish-business-angel-backed/