Salon CRM start-up scoops European angel investment award

Pictured: John Phelan, HBAN; Pat Garvey and Ronan Perceval, Phorest
Pictured: John Phelan, HBAN; Pat Garvey and Ronan Perceval, Phorest

HBAN-backed Phorest now employs 200 in Ireland, US and Germany

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20 June 2019 | 0

Phorest, a HBAN-backed developer of customer relationship management software for salons, was named most successful business financed by early stage investors at this year’s European Business Angels Network congress in Helsinki.

Alongside an equity investment from Enterprise Ireland, Phorest raised €700,000 from 12 HBAN angel investors in two funding rounds in 2011 and 2013. This paved the way for further success and in June last year, Phorest completed a third round of investment, receiving €20 million from US investment firm Susquehanna Growth Equity. As a result, eight of the original HBAN investors were bought out, each receiving an average return amounting to 10 times their initial investment.

The company’s software is now used in more than 5,600 salons in six countries. It employs 200 people in Dublin, Cologne and Philadelphia.

Ronan Perceval, CEO and co-founder, Phorest, said: “Our initial funding allowed us to develop the technology that is now the fabric of our business today. But not only that, taking on external funding also changed us as an organisation; we had people who were invested in our success and that drove us to implement the organisational structures we needed to succeed and scale. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our angel investors, in particular Pat Garvey, who has played such an important role in our growth that he is now our chairman.”

John Phelan, all-island director, HBAN, said: “It is fantastic to see Phorest and its investors get recognition with this award. The company’s success reflects the enormous impact angel investment can have on a business in those vital first years. The directors not only used the investment to improve Phorest’s services, but they also took advantage of the wealth of expertise and knowledge that was at their fingertips to become a better, internationally scalable business.”

The award is the sixth won by HBAN at the EBAN congress in seven years. In 2013, the network was named EBAN Federation of the Year, followed by DecaWave’s accolade of most successful business financed by early-stage investors in 2014. HBAN partner, Cork BIC, was the best performing EBAN new member in 2015 and in 2017, HBAN scooped the best business angel week award. Last year, HBAN was named the most globally networked organisation at the awards ceremony.

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