Each year approximately 40 companies receive funding through Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) – the all-Ireland business angel network managed by Dublin BIC.
In April, Soopa Pets, maker of nutritionally beneficial dog treats, secured an investment of €400,000 from nine angel investors following a pitch to the HBAN Food Syndicate. We caught up with Soopa Pets founder and CEO, Barbara Hanley, to hear about becoming investor ready.
Like many entrepreneurs, Barbara is deeply passionate about her product – undoubtedly a factor in her success. Soopa Pets was created to offer 100% natural and nutritionally beneficial dog treats, addressing the issue that many animals suffer with aliments caused by heavily processed foods.
Becoming Investor Ready
Availing of the supports available to start-ups was a key factor in getting Soopa Pets up and running. For example, Barbara used Enterprise Ireland offices in the UK which allowed Soopa Pets host meetings with large retail chains; “I looked credible and established which means a huge amount for a start-up.”
Becoming investor ready can take time according to Barbara; ‘’Gaining investment is a daunting process. I looked for investment two years ago when the product was not quite ready. Looking back that could have been a bad move. The company is better prepared for investment now.”
Barbara began to work with Dublin BIC in 2015; “I underestimated the importance of having a really robust business plan. Before working with Dublin BIC I hadn’t really examined where I wanted to be and how I was going to get there. Six months of intense work I came out laser clear and ready to approach investors.”
Securing the Investment
After a great deal of preparation, Soopa Pets was given the opportunity to present to the HBAN Food Syndicate and was delighted to walk away with an investment of €400,000 including co-investment from Enterprise Ireland. The investment is earmarked for product development, new packaging and hiring staff in Ireland, the UK and in Vietnam.
Onwards and Upwards!
One of the great benefits of angel investment is that, more often than not, it is accompanied by the angel expertise and advice. The HBAN Food Syndicate angels, as food retail experts, have been in a position to offer strategic support to Soopa Pets in the areas of production, marketing and distribution. ‘’We have had considerable growth since investment and I am very grateful to our investors – they understand that Soopa Pets is a very heart centred company and they appreciate the passion behind it’’ concludes Barbara.
For product details and top tips for a Soopa healthy pet visit www.soopapets.com