The deal means Johnson is now the largest single investor in Beer, with a stake of 27.4 per cent. It will ‘give him a direct route to… the 100-strong portfolio of small businesses that Beer & Partners works with annually’, according to the firm.
Johnson maintains that angel investment is now ‘the only realistic option for early-stage companies’.
He adds, ‘Currently banks are barely open for business, or tend to offer loans on unattractive terms, so the need for equity capital [for early-stage businesses] is greater than ever. What’s more, since current low interest rates give savers such poor returns, more and more angel investors are emerging that have a strong appetite for direct investment in small companies.’
Beer & Partners was founded in 1991 and boasts some 1,600 ‘active investors’ who club together to provide equity injections into companies of between £150,000 and £2 million.