Belgium heating, ventilation, and air conditioning installer targeted by angels in July

2018 has started promisingly in terms of Western European angel investment activity as both volume and value have exceeded the second half of last year and the opening six months of 2017, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. In particular, the second quarter of 2018 notched up significant angel investment levels across Western Europe as 180 deals worth EUR 737 million were announced over the three months under review. Not only did this represent the highest recorded quarterly value on record, but also the largest volume since Q1 2017 (183 deals). In total, there have been 358 deals worth an aggregate EUR 1,224 million in H1 2018, representing a 14 per cent increase from 313 deals in H2 2017 and a 18 per cent jump from 303 deals in H1 2017. The overall boost in the opening six months of 2018 was also highlighted by value, which increased 2 per cent from EUR 1,195 million in H2 2017 and 75 per cent from EUR 699 million in H1 2017. The first half of this year was one of the best on record in terms of value, behind H2 2015, when EUR 1,230 million was invested.

January, May and June of this year have significantly boosted value in terms of angel investment in the region, with July being one of the quieter months, with just 29 deals worth EUR 94 million. However, there are still twelve days until the month-end at the time of writing and as we have seen many times before, it only takes one or two sizeable investments to boost overall value for the timeframe. That being said, some interesting deals have already been announced in July, including the month’s largest angel investment, worth EUR 16 million,and involving a funding round for Belgium biologics biomanufacturing platform Univercells by Global Health Investment, Korea Investment Partners and Innovation Fund, among others. UK-based debugging software developer Undo raised EUR 12 million from investors that included Sir Peter Michael, Cambridge Angels and Parkwalk Advisors, while Dutch cultured meat producer Mosa Meat received EUR 8 million from Merck Ventures, Bell Food Group and Glass Wall Syndicate.

Interestingly, a target based in Belgium featured again in the top 20 angel investment deals by value as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning installer Hydronic System Optimisation raised EUR 2 million in funding from Qbic Venture Partners and Karl Willemen. For Western Europe, angel investors, more often than not, favour companies in the UK, Germany and France operating in the data processing sector; however, in July, a number of additional countries made it into the top 20 deals, including the two from Belgium, two from Switzerland, two from Italy and one each from Spain and the Netherlands. Between 2006 and 2018 to date, Zephyr shows there have been 80 deals worth an aggregate EUR 108 million involving Belgium companies being targeted by angel investors. The largest of these took place in June of this year as iTeos Therapeutics raised EUR 65 million from Business Angels, Societe Regionale d’Investissement de Wallonie and MPM Capital, among others. Many of these firms operate in the health and biotechnology sector, including molecular diagnostics equipment maker Biocartis, liver disease cell-based therapy research and development firm Promethera Biosciences and July’s top Western European target Univercells.

On a global scale, the Univercells transaction was the fifth-largest angel investment in July, behind two US deals and two Chinese targets, the largest of which involved US-headquartered artificial intelligence-based robot designer Pony.ai raising EUR 87 million from Sequoia Capital Operations, Doll Capital Management and ClearVue Partners Management.

In conclusion, H1 2018 made a significant impression in terms of angel investment in Western Europe, with Q2 exceeding any other three-month period in terms of value. If the second half of 2018 continues on a similar trajectory,2018 is on track to become one of the most valuable years on record.

© Zephyr