Winners announced for UKBAA Angel Investment Awards 2017

Thursday evening (6th July) saw over 300 leading entrepreneurs and early-stage business investors gather at The Dorchester Hotel in London for UK Business Angels Association’s annual UK Angel Investment Awards 2017.

Emma Sinclair MBE, the successful entrepreneur, UNICEF ambassador and youngest person in the UK to have made a company public (aged 29), presented the 14 awards, which celebrate the UK’s high-growth entrepreneurs and the investors that have backed them on their growth journey.

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UK Business Angels Association, said:

“The shortlisted companies from across the UK competing for the 14 awards have raised a combined total of more than £210m in equity funding over the past 18 months from early-stage investors, ranging from business angels to crowdfunding platforms and VCs, and this has had a significant impact on their growth and success.

“The winners reflect the huge range of innovative technologies, products and services being developed here in the UK; and demonstrate a strong capacity for scale and market disruption. UKBAA is delighted to recognise and highlight the success stories of these fantastic entrepreneurs and the contribution made by their investors who bring such vital finance and support.”ù

The 2017 winners and ‘ones to watch’ are:


Winner: Undo

The judges said: ‘Undo’s disruptive technology addresses a core challenge for software companies: how to improve the quality of their products and fix customer issues quickly. Utilising investment from leading angels, Undo has focused on scaling its product development, leading to significant early adoption from major industry players.’

One to watch: Vantage Power

The judges said: ‘Vantage Power’s disruptive technology combines hardware, software and big data to create a solution to the huge global challenge of ensuring an effective urban public transport system; and the company has mobilised a range of investment to scale the business.’

This award was kindly sponsored by Innovate UK


Winner: Digital Fineprint

The judges said: ‘Digital Fineprint brings much-needed innovation to an underserved demographic within the insurance sector, having built close partnerships with major organisations and rapidly developed a steady pipeline of customers. The company has successfully attracted investors, who, as well as their financial backing, brought industry expertise and introductions to new customers.’

This award was kindly sponsored by Dorsey & Witney


Winner: Sphere Fluidics

The judges said: ‘Sphere Fluidics has made impressive progress in bringing revolutionary new single cell analysis tools to address a key challenge for the biopharma market: the fast and effective screening of single cells for research and development applications. The company has attracted significant investment to build its new platform and access new international markets.’

Ones to watch: BrainWaveBank and Exonate

The judges said: ‘BrainWaveBank has made an exciting start in developing an innovative solution for low-cost brain activity monitoring, and has been supported by key industry players.’

The judges said: ‘Exonate is showing promise in developing revolutionary approaches to treatments for eye conditions, and has been backed by investors with deep industry knowledge.’

This award was kindly sponsored by Martlet


Winner: Converge

The judges said: ‘Converge has achieved strong traction in bringing an innovative, integrated IOT solution for largescale monitoring for the construction industry √¢‚Ǩ” and successfully using the investment to achieve significant further scale.’

This award was kindly sponsored by Cisco


Winner: Fair Finance

The judges said: ‘Fair Finance has shown strong innovation in bringing new models and approaches to enable financially excluded people to access finance at fair and affordable rates, having successfully used investment to scale the business and achieve national reach.’

One to watch: Provenance

The judges said: ‘Provenance is showing real promise in increasing supply chain transparency for the food sector, using new technologies such as blockchain and open data. It has attracted investors who have brought both finance and new customer access.’

This award was proudly supported by UKBAA


Winner: Moteefe

The judges said: ‘Moteefe has effectively used both angel and VC finance to scale, enabling its customers to access exciting new technology to design and sell their own t-shirts, sweaters and tops; and bringing new data-driven tools to exploit the explosive social media market.’

This award was kindly sponsored by NVM Private Equity


Winner: Powervault

The judges said: ‘Powervault has effectively used both crowdfunding and angel investment to develop and scale its solar electricity storage product, which addresses the core challenges of cost effectiveness, security of supply and environmental sustainability. Investment has enabled significant growth and major customer contracts.’

This award was kindly sponsored by the Isle of Man Government


Winner: Irra Ariella Chi, CEO of Vchain

The judges said: ‘Irra Ariella Khi has shown exceptional leadership in building VChain√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s patented passenger identity security software, attracting a talented team and an impressive array of angel, VC and corporate investment, to successfully compete for customers and partnerships with major global airlines.’

One to watch: Pivigo

The judges said: ‘Kim Nilsson has shown great promise in leading the development of Pivigo’s innovative platform to connect skilled data scientists with businesses, including attracting more women into the data market. Kim has also brought on board investment, including several women investors.’

This award was kindly sponsored by Grant Thornton


Winner: Ebury

The judges said: ‘Ebury’s disruptive structured finance solutions enable small companies to successfully trade across borders. The company has demonstrated its capacity to scale and attracted significant levels of angel and VC finance to support its successful expansion across Europe and further plans to access the US market.’

This award was kindly sponsored by Lloyds Bank


Winner: AllBright

The judges said: ‘AllBright is addressing a clear gap across the UK market, enabling more women founders to gain the skills and confidence to access equity investment, whilst supporting more women to invest through a range of funding options. The dynamic co-founders and team have achieved strong traction and brand awareness and clearly made an impact on the angel ecosystem in their first year of operation.’

One to watch: NorthInvest

The judges said: ‘NorthInvest has shown clear potential to address the challenges tech entrepreneurs face in accessing angel investment across the Northern Powerhouse regions, drawing on the time and expertise of a group of tech entrepreneurs and key players in the region to build a new platform to showcase deal flow and increase connectivity.

This award was kindly sponsored by Accelerated Digital Ventures


Winner: Bulb Energy

The judges said: ‘Bulb Energy’s team has shown clear leadership in disrupting the traditional energy supply model, achieving significant productivity growth and high sales while building an ethos of transparency, fairness to customers and a commitment to addressing climate change. They have attracted a significant level of investment in support of this ethos.’

This award was kindly sponsored by Barclays


Winner: 24 Haymarket

The judges said: ’24 Haymarket has demonstrated significant activity over the past year, investing £17m in 27 business with an additional 13 follow-on rounds. They showed a professional approach to their investment rounds, taking a lead role in most cases and utilising the extensive industry expertise from their investor community in both due diligence and the ongoing support of their portfolio businesses.’

This award was kindly sponsored by the Angel CoFund


Winner: Bybox

The judges said: ‘Following a strategic acquisition of the business in 2003, the team has achieved considerable growth in both revenues and profitability and is currently generating revenues of over £100m. Taking an active role in the business as board representatives and group chairman, investors achieved an excellent 14x return following an MBO.’

This award was kindly sponsored by Cocoon Networks


Winner: Meganne Houghton-Berry

The judges said: ‘Meganne has demonstrated her clear commitment to angel investing for several years across a wide range of sectors, investing through various syndicates in the UK and US. Meganne has shown extensive support for women entrepreneurs, acting as a mentor andadviser, drawing on her own digital marketing expertise and wider contacts, as well as fundraising, to support the growth of the businesses she has backed. She will be an excellent ambassador for angel investing and especially to support UKBAA’s mission to encourage more women to invest in the year ahead.’

This award was kindly sponsored by BGF

Notes to Editors:

  1. For photos, winners’ contact details & more info, contact jenny.redman@ukbaa.org.uk | 07769 152 796
  2. More about each award including brief criteria is here: http://awards.ukbaaevents.org.uk/the-awards/
  3. Information about the judges is here: http://awards.ukbaaevents.org.uk/judges/
  4. About UKBAA: The UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) is the national trade association representing angel and early-stage investment. UKBAA acts as the voice of the angel investment community and strives to build and connect the early-stage investment ecosystem, in support of the UK’s high-potential entrepreneurs.

By UKBAA 06 Jul 2017