Record number of new investors attend Dorset Business Angels pitch event, with investor interest shown to all 5 pitches

Dorset Business Angels welcomed a wealth of new investor talent to their quarterly pitch event which took place at the Bournemouth Carlton Hotel, with all 5 pitching businesses being successful in grabbing investor interest. The pitching line-up offered a diverse mix of sectors and entrepreneurial talent.

The ‘Dragons type Den’ initiative sees each presenting business with a strict ten minutes to make a compelling case for investment, followed by ten minutes of investors posing questions to the presenting entrepreneurs.

‘Building investments in the palm of your hand’

There was keen interest from investors in a presentation from an app platform which has the proud claim that it allows users to build their own trading strategies ‘in the palm of their hand’, discover investments and access professional trading tools without any coding.

Offering for the first time in history, millions of people access to commission-free trading. The opportunity was identified that 34% of investors want a hyper-personalised service, with 59% interested in sustainable investing and 56% willing to pay for guidance.

Many people employ the services of an investment manager in one of the large financial services companies to look after their investment portfolio. Some, however, who would like to exercise more control over their portfolio, face many problems trying to combine the professional advice offered by their IFA and the accessibility provided by DIY trading apps. This company, founded in 2020, has devised a new wealth-tech app, primarily aimed at these investors, to give them the ability to trade, commission-free on an ‘execution only’ basis.
An impressive team of talent behind the app was introduced, with expertise in investment banking, mathematics PhD, a financial quantitative researcher and software engineer, MSc Fintech with Data Science graduate and more.

Seeking to raise £0.5m, with funds to be used to allow the business to keep on developing new features to keep audiences engaged and accelerate growth to capture an audience of 200,000 and launch into new markets. There were many expressions of interest made.

‘Sports recovery and nutritional drink mix brand’

Investors warmed to the bubbly and infectious personality of Simon, the CEO and founder of an ‘in revenue’ sports recovery and nutritional drink mix brand. As a former professional athlete, the pitch was dynamic, fast-paced and quickly grabbed attention.

Founded in 2017, with an online launch in 2019, the business has built a range of nutrition products harnessing the power of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. The business currently offers a range of ten amino acid-based formulations, designed for targeted outcomes – function, taste, clean label & ESG. The business has established some significant traction, with sales in excess of 10,000 units, and achieving an impressive 12 per cent month-over-month average growth rate.

The opportunity was identified as;

  • A rapidly expanding global fitness & wellness market, valued at $1.5 trillion with 5-10% annual growth.
  • Nutrition playing a huge role in the fitness space with protein supplements currently being the dominant product in the nutrition category.
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of protein & the latest nutrition technology allows us to work with amino acids in free form.
  • No one is currently owning this section of the category with consumers being underserved by the current range of products and unaware of the potential benefits.

Seeking £270K for a 7.5% share of the business, funds would be used to enable the ambitious growth plan to utilize a direct-to-customer business model with paid ads, help to create a membership scheme and community and invest in impactful media to educate, entertain and inspire the customer base. Again, several expressions of interest were made.

‘A network of public electric aircraft charges’

A company installing and managing a network of public electric aircraft chargers at remote UK airfields took to the floor. Electric-powered aircraft are already flying. Although not yet certified for general commercial use, short-range commuting journeys will soon become a reality. As electric aircraft increase in size and numbers, systems will be required to address the widespread commercialisation of electric aviation, within the commercial parameters of pre-existing general aviation business models.

The business is planning to install and manage aircraft chargers at remote airfield sites, under a monthly subscription business model, while offering electric aircraft for hire, training, and hour-building activities to pre-existing flying groups in localised regions. Agreements have been reached with 6 airports, including Bournemouth, with the first round of installations to start in May 2023. A second round of installations will begin at a further 6 airports in October 2023. In total, 24 chargers have been ordered to be installed over a 2-year period.

Investors were advised that business potential was limited by the current shortage of charges. Different services are planned to be introduced and the ambitious founders advised that their exit strategy was to position the business for a future corporate sale in approximately 5 years-time.

Seeking to raise at least £250k from Angel Investment, alongside the £1.25m venture capital funding achieved since November 2022. Expressions of interest were made.

‘Adventure starts here – video, digital and print content creation’

A video, digital and print content creation and distribution for the adventure market, with the strapline, ‘Adventure starts here’ grabbed attention with a compelling adventure sports video and shared with the audience how more people than ever now engage in some sort of outdoor activity, with many engaging in more than one activity, they can only, however, access single-activity media content.

This company explained how it has developed a platform that addresses these issues for all brands, with their suite of services covering content production which gives guidance, ideas, inspiration, entertainment and builds a community.

The market opportunity was identified as a £9.5 billion global annual marketing spend on adventure tourism, outdoor clothing and the experience economy.

£625,000 in revenue and with over 100 partnerships with major global brands such as Patagonia, The North Face, Land Rover, Osprey and more. The company’s ambition is to grow to 200,000 subscribers and £2.5 million revenue in 2023/2024 and 2 million subscribers and £16.5 million revenue in 2025/2027.

Seeking £500k of equity investment for 15% of the company at £2.7 million pre-money valuation. The investment will be used to fund business development, audience growth and expand the influencer network growth.

‘Digital health platform’

A Health tech SaaS (software as a service) enabled platform was introduced. The presenter, with 20 years-experience in digital health advised the investor audience that ‘Dietitians, nutritionists, counsellors, therapists, coaches and more work alone and siloed. Their biggest worries are getting new clients and being compliant.’ She informed that the platform being presented offers a ‘business in a box’ service for health & well-being practitioners, making them compliant in their client management, efficient to free up time, (up to one hour a day), and collaborative (able to work as a team) for an increased earning potential and improved outcomes.

Boasting an impressive Board of Directors, including the former Chair of BUPA and an advisory board including, amongst others, former-world champion athlete Paula Radcliffe MBE.
Seeking £253K with funds to be used to increase marketing, develop the platform, invest in the team and grow the business. Investors were left with lots of questions still to be answered but a small level of interest was shown.

The Angels always welcomed BCP Head of Economic Development, Adrian Trevett on the evening who gave a brief but informative presentation on the key functions of the Economic Development team, their existing priorities and the support available to businesses.

Dorset Business Angels Chairman, Don McQueen commented, “It was great to welcome this expanding group of such experienced and high calibre investors. There was lots of interesting and insightful questioning and discussions, with investors drawing on their individual sector experience to probe further.

“We always encourage new guests to our pitch evenings. It’s worth coming along to find out what Angel investing is all about – we promise that you won’t be expected to get your chequebook out on the night!”

DBA was formed in 2013 and provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI). Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.

Angel investment might come from a single investor, or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company as a syndicate.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To book on to the pitch event in April visit our events page.