The Halo Business Angel Network has reported its best ever year after it invested a record-breaking €33m in 78 companies on the island of Ireland last year.

HBAN is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland.

It was set up in 2007 as an umbrella group responsible for the promotion of business angel investment and the development of business angel syndicates in Ireland.

The group now has a growing number of syndicates actively investing in Irish start-ups who together made up 79% of the deal activity in 2022.

Since its inception, HBAN angel investors have invested €177m in start-ups on the island of Ireland across more than 730 companies.

HBAN said the number of deals signed increased last year with over 300 HBAN angel investors making 699 individual investments in a total of 86 deals, an increase of 21% compared to the 71 deals agreed in 2021.

Meanwhile, 30% of the deals closed last year were investments in either female-led or female-founded companies, while 23% of the deals closed had HBAN female angel investor participation.

John Phelan, all-island director of HBAN, said that 2022 was its most successful year to-date, due to the growing network that the HBAN teams around the country have created and its ability to introduce high-potential start-ups to a highly active base of angel investors.

He said that as early-stage funders, angel investors are giving the businesses of the future the best chance of success.

"Since 2007, our network of investors has been providing the capital, knowledge, mentoring and strategic introductions that start-ups need in their infancy. Not only that, but they also have a direct impact on a company's ability to leverage additional funds from other sources," he added.

Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said the organisation directly funds over 130 start-ups every year through its Pre-Seed and HPSU (High Potential Start Ups) funding programmes.

"These companies require additional capital to develop and our HBAN programme is designed to provide support to the business angel community through deal introductions and building of syndicates to become robust investment groupings," Mr Clancy said.

"Most importantly we wish to acknowledge the commitment of the Business angels who have directly impacted the growth and financial stability of our most disruptive young companies. Notably, we are very encouraged by the activity across female lead businesses and the growth in female angel participation," he added.

Margaret Hearty, chief executive of InterTradeIreland, said the 2022 results clearly demonstrate that HBAN has played a pivotal role in supporting successful business angel investment in growth focused start-ups across the island.

"HBAN is a key initiative within the InterTradeIreland Funding for Growth programme which focuses on supporting hundreds of early stage companies across the island to become more investor ready, through Equity Advisory Clinics, Seed Finance Workshops, Business Planning Workshops as well as the Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition and annual Venture Capital Conference," she added.