I was at an event last week where Ian Stevens (founder of MPathy Medical) and Gavin Gemmell (chairman of Archangels Informal Investment) were talking about the recent sale of MPathy to Coloplast late last year.
The most striking thing for me about this was that Archangels had put £9m (that’s nearly $15m) over a period of 7 years. When we hear speakers from the US talk about angel investment, it’s seldom on that sort of scale! Is Scotland home to the heavyweights of the angel investing world?
I know some of the factors that might contribute to this:
- The Scottish Co-Investment Fund helps increase the power of angels by investing public money alongside that raised privately
- There are very few VCs doing deals in Scotland (or the UK, or even Europe?) so angels must provide follow-up funding or see their investees fail
- The Enterprise Investment Scheme, under which most Scottish angel investments are made, requires the investors take ordinary shares. This means that a subsequent VC investment will heavily dilute the angels shares, hence they motivated to support a company to a trade sale?
I wonder if you can add more to my list? Please comment if you can!
Another Archangels investee (Lab901) was sold to Agilient last week, and hopefully we will see some of the money from these exits being recycled into new investees as the year goes on. The sale of ProStrakan last month further suggests that the appetite for acquisitions in the medical/biotech/pharma markets is on the up. Other markets such as electronics are starting to show signs of recovery too, and once again Scottish companies are in on the action – Gigle Networks (based in Edinburgh and Barcelona) was sold to Broadcom at the end of last year.
I wonder how many more we will be able to list by the end of 2011?