Scots ecosystem 'buoyant'
Record-breaking year for Archangels investment syndicate
David Ovens, Chief Operating Officer, Archangels; Sarah Lynagh, CEO, Fios Genomics; Ben Panter, CEO, Blackford Analysis; Niki McKenzie, Investment Director, Archangels; Gregor Hofer, CEO, Speech Graphics; Sarah Hardy, Chief Investment Officer, Archangels
Archangels, the Edinburgh-based business angel investment syndicate, led a record-breaking £22.4 million of investment in Scottish tech and life sciences businesses in 2018.
The syndicate, believed to be the world’s oldest, invested £10.9m of its own members’ cash in 10 investment rounds across the year, with co-investment of £9.4m from investment partners.
These were headed by Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm, Scottish Investment Bank, which, at £6m, was the largest co-investor. Other partners included NVM Private Equity, Maven Capital Partners, Par Equity and US-based Julz Co.
There were first-time investments in two Scottish businesses: Bio-Images Drug Delivery – to enable it to scale its drug delivery system (£2m). Speech Graphics – enabling the provider of facial animation to target the customer service sector’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant market (£2m).
Two exits returned significant funds to Archangels members: Oregon Timber Frame completed a buy-out of its non-management shareholders, including Archangels’ 15% stake in the business, bringing to a close a 20 year investment relationship. ZoneFox, the security software firm,was sold in October to Fortinet.
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: “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.”