May 23, 2019
Italian Electronic Shopping Site Targeted by Angels in May
There were 49 angel investment deals worth an aggregate EUR 190 million targeting companies based in Western Europe in April 2019, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. Both volume and value improved month-on-month by 14 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively, from 43 deals worth EUR 183 million in March, despite declining 20 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, from 61 deals worth EUR 225 million in April 2018. Despite the year-on-year decline, dealmaking is off to an impressive start in Q2 2019, as value was the second-highest recorded for any April on record.
There are still ten more days until the end of May at the time of writing, and so far this month there have been 18 announced angel investments worth a combined EUR 55 million. May is some way behind April 2019 and May 2018 (EUR 303 million) in terms of value; however, there is still time to improve as a small number of high valued deals could be all that is needed to turn around value. The largest deal signed off in the month to date represents 31 per cent of total value and involves UK-based esport entertainment service provider Fnatic raising EUR 17 million in its first round of funding led by LVL1 Group, Beringea, Shikumen Capital Management, Unbound Advisors and angel investor Joi Ito. This was worth double the second-largest deal in May as Finland-headquartered online cloud database platform Aiven raised EUR 8 million in its first round of funding from Earlybird Venture Capital, Lifeline Ventures Fund Management and angel investor Risto Siilasmaa. In total, 17 of the 18 deals announced in the month to date had a known value, six of which featured companies based in the UK, while three targeted France and the Netherlands and Finland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Germany each featured once.
One deal that particularly stood out involved Italian online retailer Muuh, which trades under the name Abiby. The company sells beauty boxes, including makeup and face care products, via a subscription service that offers full and travel-sized goods worth over EUR 90.00 for EUR 29.90 with a one-month plan or EUR 149.90 for a six-month plan. Muuh received nearly EUR 2 million in a funding round from undisclosed venture capital companies and businesses angels, including Alberto Genovese. Electronic shopping sites are a popular choice for angel investors, with 110 such deals having been announced globally since the start of 2006. 50 of these featured targets based in Western Europe. Interestingly, only two of these involved an Italian company. The first, and largest, being Muuh, while the second involved speciality food products retailer Foodquote, which raised EUR 1 million in 2016. The largest angel investment in a Western European electronic shopping target since 2006 happened in 2015 when Accel Management Company, Lead Edge Capital Management, Project A Ventures and angel investor Arthur Kosten injected EUR 75 million in Dutch auction site Benaulim, otherwise known as Catawiki.
Globally, there were 146 angel investment deals worth a combined EUR 1,318 million announced in April, the highest-recorded month since June 2018, when EUR 1,562 million-worth of deals were signed off. Four US deals, each worth more than EUR 100 million, accounted for a combined 59 per cent of total value in the four weeks under review.
In conclusion, angel investment in Western Europe has reached impressive levels in the opening four months of 2019, with Q1 2019 the largest Q1 on record (EUR 770 million), and Q2, despite only being half way through, already notching up 67 deals worth EUR 246 million. As we have seen with global monthly results, a small number of high-valued deals can be all that is needed to make the difference between a disappointing month into a pleasing one and if the second half of Q2 can do the same, H1 2019 could be a record-breaking timeframe for angel investment deals in Western Europe.