Spanish clothing manufacturer among those targeted by angel investors in February

Both the volume and value of angel investment in Western Europe were higher than anticipated in January as the month ended with 75 deals worth an aggregate EUR 245 million, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. In terms of value, this represents an 87 per cent increase from December and an 88 per cent climb from January 2017. However, February has started more slowly and so far just 24 deals worth EUR 63 million have been announced, although there are still eight days to go until the end of the month at the time of writing. On a positive note, the 24 Western European deals announced in February to date actually account for 46 per cent of total global volume for the period, while value accounts for roughly 17 per cent. The first quarter of 2018 is on the way to being one of the more successful quarters in recent years for angel investment in Western Europe as 99 deals worth EUR 307 million have been announced so far. This means that value is already half of that recorded in Q4 2017 with still five and a half weeks to go until the end of the quarter. Q1 2018 has already exceeded values recorded in Q2 2017 (EUR 257 million) and Q3 2016 (EUR 256 million).

While the quarter seems on track to surpass recent three-month periods, there have so far been a lack of very high value angel investments in Western Europe in February, with only two deals breaking the EUR 10 million-barrier. Together, these deals account for 43 per cent of the EUR 63 million invested in the region so far this month. The largest of these two deals involved France-based online job search platform GoJob raising EUR 17 million from Kois, Breega Capital, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet and Olivier Mathiot, among other angel investors. Alpha Intelligence Capital and Daphni teamed up with unnamed angel investors to inject EUR 10 million into French microcomputing artificial intelligence system provider Another Brain in the second-largest deal. These two deals were actually the sixth- and seventh-largest angel investments globally in February, behind four US-based targets and one Chinese company, which was targeted in the top deal, worth EUR 82 million. French companies were targeted in 15 of the 24 announced deals in the month under review, while the UK featured in five deals, Spain in three and Italy in one deal.

Once again, online businesses, mobile applications and software publishers proved to be popular targets for angel investors in Western Europe in February; however, a number of other companies also featured, including a contemporary art picture wholesaler, an on-demand fuel delivery service, a fruit juice manufacturer and an ocular diseases treatment group.

Of the three Spanish deals signed off during the month, only one targeted a software company, as Mangrove Capital Partners, among others, injected EUR 8 million into mobile rental property search platform Badiapp 2015. The other two deals featured companies in the manufacturing industry, with crowdfunders raising an undisclosed amount for flower, nursery stock and florists supplies wholesaler Nostoc Biotechnologies. Interestingly, one of the three Spanish targets was clothing manufacturer Loomtwo, otherwise known as Costalamel, which received EUR 300,000 in funding from Empresa Nacional de Innovacion, IESE Business School – Universidad de Navarra, Esadeban Business Angels Network and other private investors. This was the only deal to target a business in the apparel manufacturing industry in February and makes you wonder what other deals have taken place in the sector in recent years. Between 2006 and 2018 to date there have been a number of significant angel investments in the industry worldwide, the largest of which involved Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Tommy Hilfiger and other investors making a EUR 351 million investment in US luxury designer Michael Kors in 2011. US sports and performance sock manufacturer Stance, Chinese underwear maker Yupin Life Beijing Technology and Canadian bio-sensing clothing group OMsignal also featured.

In conclusion, 2018 has so far gotten off to a great start, with January exceeding expectations and Q1 2018 on track to become a significant quarter for angel investment in Western Europe. While February has started slower than usual, we have seen before the difference a few large investments in single transactions can make to the course of a month and with still eight days until the four-week period is over, there is hope the month can catch up to heights set in January.  

© Zephyr