Northern Ireland’s answer to Dragons’ Den has passed the £4m milestone for investments in companies here since 2009.
Based at the Northern Ireland Science Park, Halo, a ‘business angel’ network including Invest Northern Ireland and IntertradeIreland has recently supported TreatTicket.com, a UK-wide group buying website headquartered in Newtownabbey, and IT service management software company, Anaeko.
Launched in May 2011 and now live in seven cities across the UK, TreatTicket has obtained almost £1m in private equity funding though Halo to help fund its ambitious growth plans.
The company which offers discounted daily treats to over 140,000 subscribers is already operational in Belfast, Newry, Londonderry, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Anaeko specialises in monitoring, managing and automating large IT environments.
The company delivers tailored software products and solutions to large service providers and plans to use the investment to help fund its continuing research and development efforts and the expansion of its customer base in the UK and Ireland.
Alan Watts, Halo director, said that this year has seen continued growth within the Halo angel network, both in terms of investors joining the network and companies interested in receiving angel funding.
“Having reached an investment of £4m of private money into local companies is an illustration of how far Halo has come in such a short space of time,” he said.
“Given the ongoing challenges in the more traditional investment channels we expect angel investing to continue to grow in popularity in the months ahead.
“We would, however, take this opportunity to remind companies that Halo funding is not just open to technology companies or start-ups, but rather any business which believes it could benefit from what we call ‘Smart Money’ — which not only addresses specific financial needs, but which typically brings with it important skills and experience from seasoned business people which can help businesses succeed.”