The Halo Business Angel Network has helped Dublin start-up FoodMarble raise a total of €1.2m in a funding round.

The new funds will strengthen the company's research and development capabilities and support its plans for expansion into the US and Canada. 

FoodMarble is a personal digestive breath analyser, which helps people who suffer with digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) identify specific foods that could be triggering symptoms.

This gives them a clearer picture of what foods they should avoid.

Linked to a smartphone app, the digestive breath analyser detects and tracks in real time what foods impact a user's levels of bacterial fermentation. 

More than 15,000 devices have been sold worldwide so far. In 2019 - FoodMarble's first year in business - its sales topped €1m.

The company said it was seeing recent increased demand from hospitals. 

It said that since Covid-19 has shut down some testing facilities, clinicians in the US, UK and Ireland have been contacting FoodMarble to obtain devices for patients, shortening waiting list backlogs in a cost-effective way, and reducing the risk of patients requiring additional treatment.

By the end of 2021, FoodMarble expects revenues to have quadrupled to €4m, fuelled by expansion into the US and Canada. Its device is set to launch in Best Buy's Canadian stores this month.

Aonghus Shortt, co-founder and CEO of FoodMarble, said that along with its expansion in the US, it is continually innovating to ensure that it retains its position as the market leader for personal breath testing devices.

"With the support and advice of our business angels, we are well on target to achieve sales of €4M by the end of 2021," he added.

HBAN's Niamh Sterling said that FoodMarble's impressive sales in its first year of trading instantly impressed its investors. By uncovering a worldwide market gap, the potential for growth is huge.

"Business angel investment is extremely valuable to start-ups like FoodMarble, who have their eye on international expansion. Their multinational industry experience allows them to share insights and connections that can be transformational for a new business," Ms Sterling said.

"This has already opened doors for FoodMarble in the US market and is supporting their continued innovation," she added.

HBAN is an all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment and is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland.