Angels in the City initiative fuels growth of London’s digital tech SMEs with £2.5m invested into 9 start up/ early stage SMEs during 2013

Angels in the City initiative fuels growth of London’s digital tech SMEs with £2.5m invested into 9 start up/ early stage SMEs during 2013

Angels in the City announces over £750k of new business angel investment into nine SMEs from investors who participated in its Angels in the City company presentation events in 2013 including a further £1.75m of additional co investment. In addition to this investment of £2.5m a further circa £4m was also invested into some ten companies that participated in the Angels in the City programme via a range of institutional early stage funds and other private angel investors. The nine companies that received direct investment from Angels in the City investors include, Joinsam, a company that provides an innovative platform for children to learn and save money in a secure environment, Sales Gossip, a digital fashion shopping assistant and Plato Media ( trading as Hopster) being a provider of learning and interactive TV and learning apps for children aged 2 to 6. Indeed, Plato Media’s £600k round was corner stoned by a significant investment by Angels in the City investors which helped to draw in additional co investment from the £100m Angel Cofund. Angels in the City being an initiative helping to fuel the growth of London’s digital tech startups, many of whom are based in around the tech city cluster. Its strategic partners being The City of London Corporation and Lloyds Banking Group with the delivery partner being London Business Angels.

The Angels in the City initiative aims to increase the awareness of individuals to become early stage angel investors bringing their financial capacity and business experience to invest in innovative, high growth potential in the City of London fringes, many of whom are Seed EIS eligible. Since launching in late 2011, ten Angels in the City investor workshops have taken place with a number of additional bespoke investor workshops being held for the employees and High Net worth clients of City based firms. Six bespoke company presentation events have also been held over the past two years with over 60 companies presenting their propositions to over 200 individuals for a range of city-based and investor backgrounds. A further series of investor workshops and company presentation events will be taking place throughout 2014.

Anthony Clarke, London Business Angels CEO, comments, “One of the biggest constraints to the growth of very early stage innovative SMEs in the City of London fringes is access to risk capital and the Angels in the City initiative is now playing a valuable role in addressing this issue. I am very encouraged that the programme in 2013 has directly helped to introduce over £750k of new angel investment into nine innovative SMEs which has contributed to a further £1.75m of co-investment. The Angels in the City brand now appears to be well recognised in London so we now look forward to building on the achievements of the programme during 2014.”

Mark Boleat, Chairman of Policy and Resources, City of London Corporation, comments, “”As a founding sponsor of Angels in the City, we at the City of London Corporation are pleased to see the initiative gathering real momentum. By helping individuals in the City to become ready to invest in early-stage businesses, Angels in the City is playing an important part in growing the investment flowing into some of London’s most exciting start-ups. Angels in the City is a key part of our work to support enterprise in the City’s neighbouring boroughs.”

Ian Patterson, London Area Director for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said ‘with rising confidence amongst our SME clients in London, innovative businesses now see opportunities to step up their growth rate. Our lending is growing but many of these businesses need equity too and an investor with experience and contacts as well as money can transform the prospects of an ambitious company. Angels in the City comes at a critical time and Lloyds Bank see this as a key enabler of our strategy to help Britain prosper.’

By UKBAA 17 Jan 2014