Archangels hails record breaking year

Archangels hails record breaking year

The Archangels executive team with the heads of some of the businesses that benefited from investment and advice during 2018. (Left to right) – David Ovens, Archangels chief operating officer; Sarah Lynagh, CEO, Fios Genomics; Ben Panter, CEO, Blackford Analysis; Niki McKenzie, Archangels investment director; Gregor Hofer, CEO, Speech Graphics; Sarah Hardy, Archangels chief investment officer

Archangels, the Edinburgh-based business angel investment syndicate, believed to be the oldest in the world, led a record breaking 22.4 million of investment in Scottish tech and life sciences businesses in 2018.

The highly active syndicate invested 10.9 million of its own members’ cash in 10 investment rounds across the year, with co-investment of 9.4 million from investment partners including Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm, Scottish Investment Bank, which, at 6.0 million, was the largest co-investor.

Other co-investment partners included NVM Private Equity, Maven Capital Partners, Par Equity and US-based Julz Co.

Archangels’ 2018 investment activity included leading first-time investments in two Scottish businesses:

  • Bio-Images Drug Delivery Ltd – announced in March, to enable it to scale its business, focusing on its unique OralogiKTM precision timed drug delivery system (2 million investment).
  • Speech Graphics – in October, enabling the Edinburgh and California based technology business, which provides market-leading, real-time audio based, emotional facial animation, to target the customer service sector’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant market (2 million investment). 

2018 also saw two exits which returned significant funds to Archangels members:

  • Oregon Timber Frame Limited - one of the UK’s largest independent timber frame house manufacturers who, in April 2018, completed a buy-out of its non-management shareholders, including Archangels’ 15 per cent stake in the business, bringing to a close a 20 year investment relationship.
  • ZoneFox Limited – sold in October 2018 to Fortinet, which secures the largest enterprise, service provider and government organisations around the world.

During the year, Archangels was also recognised as Lead Investment Syndicate of the Year by the UK Business Angels Association and Investor of the Year at the inaugural Scottish Tech Startup Awards.

Reflecting the intrinsically high-risk nature of early stage investing, there were two failures among the Archangels portfolio during 2018.

David Ovens, chief operating officer at Archangels, said: “Archangels led another record-breaking amount of investment in Scottish early stage companies in 2018.

In spite of the uncertainties around Brexit and the global economy, the tech and life sciences ecosystem in Scotland is buoyant. There remains a steady stream of innovative and ground-breaking ideas, satisfying the strong appetite of our members for investment opportunities that underpin Scotland’s position as an entrepreneurial hotspot.”

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