March 22, 2018
Belgium app integration platform among recipients of angel investment in March
2018 has so far proven to be fairly promising in terms of the aggregate value of announced angel investment deals targeting Western European companies, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. The first quarter of 2018 has already surpassed Q1 2016, Q1 2015 and Q1 2014 by value, despite the fact that there are 12 days still to go until the end of the quarter at the time of writing. There have so far been 141 deals worth a combined EUR 384 million announced in Q1 2018, which represents an impressive start, and brings the year closer to the 596 deals worth EUR 1,867 million announced in 2017. February and March, to date, have so far been fairly quiet in terms of angel investment. 44 deals worth EUR 92 million were signed off in February and so far in March 17 deals valued at EUR 43 million have been announced, which combined is still less than January’s EUR 249 million. The result could also be down year-on-year as activity does not appear likely to reach the same levels as March 2017 (67 angel investments worth EUR 170 million). Despite the decline recorded in the four week period, there have still been some significant injections announced; so far one European angel investment has broken the EUR 10 million barrier in the month under review.
Four Western European angel investment deals broke the EUR 5 million-barrier in March, the largest of which was valued at EUR 10 million and involved Principia SGR, alongside Sergio Abrignani and Massimiliano Pagani, among others, investing in Italian tumour selective treatment platform CheckMeb. Germany’s e-bike drive systems manufacturer Fazua, French multi-local advertising platform provider Armis and UK automated open source libraries cyber-security firm Snyk were also targeted in EUR 5 million-plus deals this month.
One injection which caught eye in March was also the only deal to feature a Belgium-based target as ING Belgium, ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen and Ark Angels Activator Fund teamed up with Dirk Vermunicht and Fortino Capital II Growth Arkiv to invest EUR 3 million in online professional business-to-business services provider PieSync. The company helps businesses connect cloud applications with intelligent two way contact products. This allows customer contacts to be shared between email marketing, invoicing and e-commerce apps. Chief executive Ewout Meyns said the cash is an important step forward in becoming the fastest growing two-way intelligent data synchronisation platform for organisations that want to power their business by integrating cloud apps.
Zephyr shows there have been 171 angel investment deals targeting global data processing, hosting and related service providers worth a combined EUR 802 million announced so far in 2018, with 958 such deals worth EUR 5,143 million having been signed off in 2017. Since 2006, there have been a number of significant injections into the industry, including China’s second-hand car trading platform Chehaoduo Old Motor Vehicle Brokers raising EUR 713 million in a round of funding last year. US companies were targeted in the next four largest deals, which included Zenefits Insurance Services, AvidXchange, SurveyMonkey and Pet Hub.
In conclusion, while angel investment in Western Europe has slowed from an impressive start in January, the quarter has reached reasonable levels, although it does not appear that any records will be broken at this time. However, it only takes a small number of significant investments into the region to make all the difference. That being said, angel investment globally has already surpassed Q4 2017 (EUR 1,762 million) by value as 363 deals worth EUR 1,830 million have been signed off so far in Q1 2018.