Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Angels are hoping to say ‘Halo’ to new investment

A Northern Ireland business angel network is answering investment prayers, having just reached its £2m milestone.

Halo is a joint initiative of Invest Northern Ireland and Intertrade Ireland, based at the Northern Ireland Science Park. The network has made £2m of investments since May 2009 and was recently named UK Business Angel Network of the Year.

The network now has over 140 members, including investors from across the UK and Ireland. Under Halo’s tax efficient enterprise investment scheme (EIS), Vertical Wind Energy, which manufactures low-maintenance wind turbines, received a significant amount of their £800,000 funding round.

The network plans to launch its second Halo EIS Fund worth £0.5m in 2011 and is inviting existing and potential business angels to invest.

The fund will allow angels to spread their investment across a number of Northern Ireland companies.

Alan Watts, Halo Director said: “This year has seen tremendous growth within the Halo angel network in Northern Ireland and as traditional investing models remain challenging we only expect angel investing to grow in popularity in the years ahead. People who used to simply put their money into property are now looking for other types of investment.”

Liam Nellis, Intertrade Ireland chief executive said: “The £2m landmark just confirms Halo’s success after being voted the British Business Angel Association Angel ‘Network of the Year’. This puts Halo at the forefront of the Angel Investment Industry in the UK and Ireland. Investors from other regions bring not just new money to the region, but also much experience and learning for our local Angels.”

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