During its first 12 months of existence, the Angel CoFund has backed 18 entrepreneurial companies with help from business angel syndicates.
In December 2011 the £50 million Angel CoFund was launched, with help from the Regional Growth Fund, to make initial equity investments of between £100,000 and £1 million in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The fund works by pairing government capital with that of angel investors to provide capital investment and industry expertise.
The five partners selected to form the angel investment syndicate were AIM-listed Braveheart Investment Group, Hotspur Capital Partners, Octopus Investments, Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity Network (OION) and Venrex Investment Management.
Investments made by the Angel CoFund have an upper limit of 49 per cent of any round, with deal decisions made by the independent Investment Committee of the fund.
‘The past year has been a hugely successful one for the Angel CoFund,’ says fund non-executive chairman George Whitehead.
He adds, ‘Our funding has helped leverage a total of £24 million into exciting businesses in a strong cross-section of different nationwide markets, from medical research, through to food and drink.’
The Angel CoFund’s first commitments came six months after establishment when it backed five companies with £7.2 million of capital.
Those businesses receiving a portion of the £50 million fund included industrial inspection company Phase Vision, London-based women’s online magazine and e-store style.passport.com and healthy beverage business Future Drinks.
Also receiving angel backing was PlayJam, a London-headquartered online games aggregator and Luton-based Engal, which uses technology developed at Cambridge University to build commercial facilities for recovering aluminium from waste laminated packaging.
Michael Fallon, minister of state for business and enterprise, says, ‘Through the Angel CoFund the government is stimulating business angel investment to provide vitally important financial support to entrepreneurial businesses.
‘This is a positive start, and I hope to see the Angel CoFund creating long-term jobs in growing markets through further investments in the future.’
Of the 18 companies backed, 17 have been disclosed and can be seen below.