Angel Investment Network
Angel investors are individuals who have a relatively high net worth, and who are willing to provide capital for an early stage startup, (or entrepreneurs), so that they can progress their proposed business plan.
Typically, an angel investor will provide capital in exchange for part ownership (equity) of the company in question. Reflecting the early stage of angel investor involvement, they are sometimes found among an entrepreneur's family and friends.
Angel investors can provide one off capital injections to help the business get off the ground, or sometimes they will agree to fund an ongoing supply of capital in order to support the company through to later fundraising rounds.
Angel investors are often bridging the gap of funding that occurs between the initial funding from the founders themselves, and the funding which may be acquired later on from venture capitalists during Series A or B funding rounds.
The Angel Investment Network extends to 80 different countries and has 1,721,955 registered members (291,962 investors and 1,429,989 entrepreneurs). This makes the Angel Investment Network the largest angel investment community in the world. To date they have raised over £200 million for startups in the UK and across the globe.
Making up for lost time
The Angel Investment Network has reported a 27% growth in annual revenues year on year. This is the fastest growth experienced by the platform in five years and shows how startups that had stalled during the pandemic are now making up for lost time. Investor registrations are also up, with a 15% increase, reflecting the flurry of new investor connections being made with entrepreneurs looking to invest.
Europe in particular has performed impressively:
· UK revenues up 55%
· Germany revenues up 37%
· Scandinavia revenues up 34%
While business in the USA has also shown resilience with a 24% rise in year on year revenue growth.
Success and diversification
Complementing the Angel Investment Network, the founders of the platform launched SeedTribe in January 2018, which is a platform focused on supporting and growing the impact investment space for both entrepreneurs and investors. In April 2018 they also launched BrickTribe which is another platform that specifically connects property developers with potential investors.
The proposition of the Angel Investor Network has been further developed by the private equity and venture capital offer, AIV Capital. AIV Capital aims to invest between $10m and $75m into established businesses, ranging from Series B to pre-IPO.
According to Mike Lebus, one of the Angel Investor Network founders:
“2021 has been our most successful year ever as the global startup ecosystem emerges strongly from a really challenging time. Both startups and investors are keen to make up for lost time on the back of stalled investment journeys and we have seen an impressive rise in connections as startups find the right investors to propel their businesses forward. It is so encouraging to see the growth of passionate angel investors willing to support early-stage businesses and strengthen the ecosystem.”
In general, the market for early stage investment is very healthy, with the UK being Europe’s leading startup nation in 2021. Even with the limitations imposed by Covid-19 there were some notable success stories, such as the online events startup Hopin which reached a $2.1bn valuation in just 8 months from launch!
Clearly the Angel Investment Network is well positioned to take advantage and connect investors looking to fund opportunities and entrepreneurs looking to gather interest. With their range of platforms situated to support different aspects of the UK investment market they look well placed to build on their 2021 gains and have a strong 2022.
The challenges of the last two years have been numerous for early stage investors and founders alike. There has been severe disruption to markets, while finding premises and being able to make professional connections have both faced problems. This has made getting a startup off the ground very difficult, particularly as it’s not been possible for entrepreneurs to generate early interest in the traditional way.
As 2021 has shown though, there has been strong angel investor activity. The appetite to fund startups remains strong in the UK and across other western markets. In fact, there may have been some benefits to the disruption caused by the pandemic, making angel investors more rigorous in their due diligence and demanding of startups being ‘crisis proof’. This has increased competition between startups which can only be good for the quality of those companies who are successful in attracting funding.
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