How many companies have raised angel investment in 2022 so far? Who are the most prolific angel investors in the South West? Where should you start if you are hoping to raise angel investment?

We considered these questions and many more related to early-stage angel investment at the recent Quarterly Investment Briefing at Engine Shed. As always, this blog shares a few of the insights and resources we heard about, including a few brief thoughts from our three great lightning speakers.

We kicked off the session celebrating the 61 companies in the South West that have raised angel investment (which I defined as £5,000 – £500,000) since we last met at the start of December. We also took time to crowdsource any updates to the angel investment scene in the South West since I collated the map below at this time in 2021. Sadly, we only discovered two notable updates:

Do you know of any other angel investment headlines in the South West? Please drop me a line if you do and I’ll happily update this list and map.

Beyond mapping out angel support locally, we also heard from three lightning speakers who shared their perspectives on angel investing from facilitator to actor and recipient to provider. Martin Bysh opened with the investment story (so far) of Huboo Fulfilment and a lightning pace summary of his own 20 years of experience in this area. Ali Kazmi followed suit sharing some hard facts about how unethical equity investment currently is, and how his platform (Ethical Equity) is designed to help increase investment to and from under-represented groups. Finally, Sam Simpson, COO at Founder Catalyst shared some reflections on the angel investment market and an update on Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC) Seed – which now has 36 members and provides seed funding to companies locally. 

If you’d like to check out the slides from the event, which include a summary of the 21 companies that are currently raising investment in the South West, please check them out here.

Where could you start if you’re seeking angel investment?

Here are 5 tips that I’ve gathered through my experiences running the Quarterly Investment Briefing events for TechSPARK, let me know what else you think I should add – my email address is below.

1. Get your pitch ready – what’s the narrative of your pitch? What’s the problem you are solving and the defensible aspect of your proposition? What’s the total addressable market and who is the team. This is the simplest template that I’ve found as a starter for ten.

2. Get investor ready – are you ready to defend and develop your proposition in conversation with people who have been there and done it before? Think carefully about your strategy and build a bank of research and thinking that backs up your proposition so that conversation flows and investors hear all the answers they need. 

3. Make sure your paperwork is in place – it’s worth taking the time to set yourself up for success in your transaction(s). Equity investment has a language of its own and so you’ll need to get comfortable with term sheets, SEIS and EIS and much more. Founder Catalyst and Seed Legals are two of the best known sources of support and practical resources to equip you with what you need.

4. Seek support – there are a number of organisations designed to support founders that are seeking investment. Here are a few of my favourites:

5. Build your network – They say that raising investment can take up to 70% of a founder’s time, and up to 12 months to close (depending on the situation). The best way to start is long before you are raising investment, by building a network of people that are interested in and want to support your business (in kind, in energy or in investment). Specifically, to find angel investors you could seek out those who have exited businesses in relevant sectors, search through official investor lists, approach syndicates or angel groups, use the UKBAA Directory, or connect via an accelerator or incubator. The more you can bring these people on the journey with you, the more you can demonstrate how investible you are!

This article is written as part of the Investment Activator Programme (IAP) in the West of England. This programme is run by TechSPARK and is kindly sponsored by TLT LLP, delaware, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rocketmakers. Find out more about the IAP here.

If you are an investor and you would like to receive the regular newsletter and event invitations related to investment, please find more information and sign up here

And finally, if you are raising investment for your business and you would like to submit your one page proposition for the next QIB event, please find more information at the bottom of this page.

the investment activator programme is supported by: Engine Shed, delaware, rocketmakers, sanderson, TLT, WECA and UWE Bristol