‘I want to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.’

Niall Crosby

We chat with Niall Crosby, CEO and Founder of AG Grid, and Chairperson of Halo Business Angel Network’s (HBAN) London syndicate on what attracted him to angel investing.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m a technology entrepreneur, best known for founding AG Grid. AG Grid is the worlds leading JavaScript data-grid, a software library used by 80% of the Fortune 500. Having had success in business, I am in the fortunate position where I have money to invest, which has lead me down the road of angel investing.

What attracted you to angel investing?

I like and respect entrepreneurs. Kudos to the person who breaks from their day job to try set something up. I see angel investing as a way of “giving back” and supporting the next round of entrepreneurs.

However it is also about the money, like all investors I want a return! I find angel investing an interesting and enjoyable way of adding a higher risk category to the rest of my investment portfolio.

And last, but definitely not least, I enjoy the tax benefits of EIS. In my mind this offsets some of the risks with angel investing.

What sectors are most investable in current environment?

Personally, I prefer companies with a technology play given my background, however my advice for others would be consider all opportunities on their individual merit, and give particular focus to industries you know something about. The world is opening up again post Covid-19, and the sectors that were hammered during Covid (travel, entertainment, etc) will re-emerge with their markets changing, and with change comes opportunity. Opportunities in these industries will probably come discounted (as investors avoid) but could now have real value.

How involved do you need get with the businesses?

Getting involved with the businesses is optional. The ideal investor for a company would be someone who can advise or otherwise help, which is called smart money. However that is not a requirement. Many (I suspect most) investors are silent investors within the companies.

What is your advice to anyone considering angel investment?

Come to an HBAN London meeting and see what it’s about! Attending a meeting is free and there is no obligation. An HBAN London event usually has three or four companies presenting to a group of people, so it’s easy to come along and not actively participate, but just watch and see what happens. My first investment was for a small amount, to help me understand how the game works, and then over the following years I followed up with x10 size investments once I understood things more.

Watch our webinar to find out more about angel investing and the opportunities for new business ventures and entrepreneurs in 2021

Halo Business Angel Network is responsible for the development of business angel activity and angel syndicates on the island of Ireland. HBAN provides qualified deal flow to investors who want to be part of the journey in creating great Irish companies, scaling globally and making returns to their shareholders. To find out more about HBAN and register to attend one of their meetings, visit their website.

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