Angels expand

Gabriel Investments seeks to spread its wings

Gabriel Investments director Gill MacAulay and chairman Lynne Ross

Gabriel Investments is moving from university ownership as it prepares to expand its network further across Scotland.

The business angel syndicate will be owned and led by its members, having previously been supported by the University of Strathclyde’s incubator unit since it was set up in 2012.

About 60% of the businesses in which its angels have invested have had a link to the university.

While the syndicate will retain a “strong relationship” with the university, the move will open up opportunities across other organisations in Scotland.

It is also seeking to widen its investment base beyond the university network. Private family company Shancastle Investments, chaired by Guy Stenhouse, has become Gabriel’s first institutional member.

Mr Stenhouse will join Gabriel’s board of directors, alongside Nick Kuenssberg, Richard Cooper and Les Gaw. The board is chaired by Lynne Ross, with founding director Gill MacAulay continuing on the board.

Gabriel specialises in funding very early-stage, high-risk business ventures with commercial potential. To date is has invested more than £1m, leveraging a further £20m from other funders.

The syndicate completed six deals last year ranging in value from £50,000 to £200,000, compared to its usual average of four deals per year.

Matched funding for some deals comes from the Scottish Co-Investment Fund run by Scottish Enterprise. Following consultations, Scottish Enterprise has agreed to more than double the amount of available matched funding.

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