Northern Ireland gets 'super angel' investor fund

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One of Northern Ireland's most successful entrepreneurs has set up a company which aims to invest millions of pounds in building up 10 businesses over the next 15 years.

Danny Moore has set up Lough Shore Investments, a company he describes as being similar to what is known as a 'Super Angel' fund.

Super angels typically invest in business start-ups at an earlier stage and for less money than more traditional venture capital or private equity firms.

Mr Moore ran the technology company Wombat, which was sold to the NYSE in 2008 for $200m (£125m), a deal in which Mr Moore made a handsome profit.

He continued to work for the NYSE until last year when he left to start Lough Shore Investments.

Mr Moore said the new venture would focus on partnering with founders and management teams and may get involved in running businesses, at least at a board level.

"The business will be broadly but not exclusively focussed on working with Northern Ireland management teams to bring local businesses through to IPO (initial public offering) or sale to a public company," he said.

'Balanced portfolio' "We also have a very strong network in both New York and Silicon Valley. I've already made a significant personal investment in one Silicon Valley technology company and am looking at several others which would be made via the fund.

Despite its pedigree, Lough Shore Investments will not focus exclusively on technology companies.

"It will be a balanced portfolio with under 20% technology. By far the biggest project at the moment is in the renewables space, small scale wind generation in Northern Ireland. "

"Our goal is to raise £100m of funding, primarily from the US, in round one, closing 31 March 2012."

Mr Moore said his new company's experience with the New York Stock Exchange would benefit Northern Ireland.

"We have very strong links to the New York finance industry and know how to speak their language. Integral to this is working with companies here to really get them focussed on raising money through the global financial markets, both London and New York."