January 26, 2018
Dutch virtual reality streaming group targeted by angel investors in January
The volume and value of angel investment in Western Europe is off to a reasonable start in 2018. According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, 22 deals worth EUR 112 million have been signed off in January 2018 so far. In terms of volume, this is just less than half that recorded in December, while value has only decreased slightly month-on-month, with still seven more days to go until the end of January, at the time of writing. However, it looks unlikely the month will reach the heights of January 2017, when 58 deals were announced, although dealmaking still fared better than April, May and August of last year in terms of value. Western Europe’s result for January 2018 actually represents 32 per cent of global angel investment by volume and 21 per cent of global value as 69 deals worth EUR 529 million have been signed off so far. January followed a record year in terms of the aggregate value of angel investment in Western European companies, Zephyr shows, with a total EUR 1,850 million invested across 572 deals in 2017. Dealmakers may still be biding their time after what is traditionally a quiet period over Christmas and New Year and it may take some time for activity to ramp up and indicate how the year is likely to shape up for angel investors.
Of the EUR 112 million invested so far in January 2018, 63 per cent can be attributed to the top three deals announced during the month to date. The largest deal signed off involved Swedish online women’s clothing manufacturer Nakdcom One World receiving EUR 37 million in funding from Partech Partners, Northzone Ventures Sweden, eEquity and angel investors Jonas Norlander, Filip Engelbert and FJ Labs. Scale Management, Notion Capital Partners and Salesforce Ventures, among others, contributed EUR 23 million to a series B round of financing for Portugal-based online translation platform Unbabel, while +Simple Fr, a French insurer, raised EUR 10 million from investors including ID Invest Partners and the Rothschild family.
It comes as no surprise that angel investment in the software publishing sector was particularly popular in January; although a few interesting deals also took place in other industries, including the EUR 9 million injected in French bio-nano technology research group Pherecydes Pharma. In addition, while UK- and France-based businesses proved to be prolific targets, there were exceptions, as Danish customer service software developer Dixa raised EUR 1 million from Seed Capital Management and Preben Darngaard and Spanish online moving and storage group Boxmotions received EUR 1 million from Banco de Sabadell, Inveready Capital Company, the Crowd Angel and Athos Capital. In terms of global angel investment in 2018, Nakdcom One accounted for the fifth-largest of the top 20 deals, two Chinese businesses with online operations accounted for the first and second deals, while two US-based biotechnology/medical device companies accounted for the third and fourth deals.
One particular Western European angel investment deal that stood out involved the only Netherlands-based target to make it into the top 20 deals by value as AVG Technologies, Paul Hendriks and other unnamed angels injected EUR 1 million into software publisher and virtual reality streaming technology developer Tiledmedia. This transaction makes you wonder what other deals have taken place in the software publishing industry on a global scale in recent years. While there were a significant number of them, some of the top deals between 2006 and 2018 included targets such as India-based taxi booking mobile application ANI Technologies, Chinese mobile financial management platform Hangzhou Enniu Network Technology and Brazilian online courier Sontra Solucoes Em Transporte.
In conclusion, 2017 ended on a positive note and while angel investment in January has not yet been up to 2017’s standards, it is still very early days and as we have seen before, a couple of significant injections can change the course of a month or year. Time will tell if investors decide to increase investments in 2018 in a bid to meet or exceed targets set in 2017.