Edinburgh-based Archangels is celebrating a year in which it made £8.2 million of direct investments in tech and life sciences start-ups.
The business angel syndicate led on a total of £14.8 million in 10 rounds of investments, with the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) as its largest single co-investor at £3.9 million. Other co-investors included NVM, Par Equity and Tricap.
Archangels’ investment was down on last year’s £10.9 million but chief operating officer David Ovens said: “There’s no doubt that 2019 was a turbulent year politically and economically. However, Archangels stuck to our founding principles of taking a long-term, patient approach to building businesses in Scotland; providing growth capital but also access to our networks, experiences and wider support which are fundamentally important to scaling companies.”
Most funding rounds by the syndicate – believed to be the oldest of its kind in the world – were follow-up investments, including Administrate at £3.4 million, Calcivis at £1.3 million and MGB Biopharma at £1.1 million. Its one new investment in 209 was £2 million in Edinburgh-based digital marketing agency QueryClick, supported by SIB. Archangels has 17 companies in its portfolio.
The syndicate exited two investments – selling its 23% shareholding in Bellshill document outsourcing specialist, Critiqom, as part of the trade sale of the business to Opus Trust Communications this month. It also cashed out of Borders timber frame house manufacturer Oregon Timber, following its takeover by Barratt Homes.
Edinburgh business Speech Graphics , in which Archangels invested in 2018, was voted start-up of the year at the Scottish Tech Awards, where Archangels itself was shortlisted for Investor of the Year. Bellshill-based MGB Biopharma reached a significant milestone with the initiation of a Phase IIa trial of its bactericidal antibiotic aimed at treating clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea. Edinburgh-based Blackford Analysis , the medical imaging platform, received the 2019 Visionary Innovation Leadership Award from analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. It won the award for best practices in medical imaging artificial intelligence marketplace solutions.
Scottish Chambers of Commerce president Tim Allan joined the board of Archangels, succeeding Alastair Salvesen CBE who retired after 10 years.