Now far from its origins as a side-line for rich single investors, angel investing is becoming a collaboration between different contributors and a major supporter of fast-growing young businesses
Since its re-launch last year, the UK Business Angels Association has increased its strength by opening its doors to related organisations working in its field, and has thus become more comprehensive and more influential.
Angel investing appears to be expanding – with more deals and more angels in the market – helping to fill the hole being left by the continuing decline in bank lending to SMEs, and as the economy begins to pick up. The arrival of a new breed of Super Angel combined with the continued rise of syndicates plus leverage from co-investing funds (at least one VC has a panel of co-investing angels) are ‘pushing Angels up the value spectrum’ (according to Deloitte’s recent report.)
The Association is attracting widespread support – for example now from most of the big five ‘accounting’ firms (and soon all?), and from funders big and small; and it is generating new initiatives.
By their involvement, and by virtue of their related experience, Angels are increasingly themselves generators of added value; and are becoming increasingly sophisticated investors in young businesses.
The Association has set up a “walled garden” website for its members in order to help in the completion of funding deals. It enables them to share information about part-funded deals – to help close those deals and reduce the number of deals that fail to complete.
The Association is forming The Business Angels Institute – an organisation designed to help people understand and learn about Angel investing – with several meetings already planned this month. It is working with PWC to support a programme of increasing access to identified Angel-backed businesses for corporates seeking acquisitions, and is running workshop on trade sales. And it is setting up local meetings for Angel investors to meet sources of deal-flow and key players such as the Angel Co-fund, the Business Growth Fund and HMRC.