Scottish business angels buck UK trend with recovery to 2019 levels of investment
Scottish business angels are now investing almost as much as they were at the end of 2019, bucking the UK-wide trend, according to new figures from LINC Scotland.
Angels invested £9.7 million in the first quarter of 2021, the second highest on record after a peak of £10.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 and a significant recovery from the decline over 2020.
Over the past two years the angel syndicates have been increasingly successful in attracting co-investors into their deals, including venture capital (VC) and corporate venturing firms.
The amounts invested by these firms vary widely, but in 2020 alone other private firms co-invested with angels in 66 out of 97 deals, contributing 1.2 times the investment raised by angels.
Much of the investment by business angels is also matched by co-investment from funds managed by Scottish Enterprise, which added 77% of the angel totals to deals in 2020, and 59% in the first quarter of 2021; these figures fluctuate according to the number and size of deals by angels or syndicates who do not have co-investment agreements with Scottish Enterprise.
The angel market is structured differently in Scotland from elsewhere in the UK, as much of the investment activity is done by angel syndicates rather than individual angels.
LINC Scotland has 21 syndicates as members, estimated to have around 2,000 individuals actively investing in promising young companies with high growth potential, and able to make larger investments than individual angels acting alone, and to support portfolio companies with sizeable follow-on rounds.