September 29, 2017
Spanish running application developer among September’s European angel investments
The aggregate value of angel investments in Western European companies announced during September has already surpassed August’s value, despite the fact that volume is down over the same time frame and there are still ten days to go until the end of the month at the time of writing. In all there have been 22 deals worth a combined EUR 98 million announced during September, compared to 33 worth EUR 42 million in August. The result compares less favourably in a year-on- year comparison; in September 2016 EUR 142 million was invested across 68 deals. September’s promising value result has undoubtedly been boosted by a number of individual large transactions; during the month under review three deals broke the EUR 10 million barrier, with the largest of all being worth just under EUR 27 million and accounting for 28 per cent of total value for the month. Results also look positive on a quarterly basis – as Q3 nears an end some EUR 298 million has been injected across 108 deals, representing an improvement in value on Q2’s EUR 252 million, while volume remained unchanged over the same timeframe. Value is also up on Q3 2016, when deals worth EUR 255 million were announced.
As previously stated, dealmaking has been boosted by a few sizeable transactions; the month’s largest was worth almost EUR 27 million and involved an Italian company as mobile contact-based money transfer software provider Satispay secured a round of funding from Sella Ventures, Shark Bites and Iccrea Banca, as well as Jonathan Weiner, Ray Iglesias and Nicola Carbonari, among others. This was followed by a EUR 20 million investment in UK-based online psychology player Ieso Digital Health by Ananda Social Venture Fund, Esprit Capital Partners and Touchstone Innovations, as well as undisclosed angel investors. One other transaction broke the EUR 10 million barrier as new business incubation firm Entrepreneur First Investment secured EUR 10 million from Greylock Management and Founders Fund Management, among others, including angels Demis Hassabis, Mustafa Suleyman and Bryan Baum.
As is frequently the case, companies based in the UK, Italy and France accounted for many of the month’s angel investments. However, multiple Spanish targets also featured, with many being active in the software sector. One such company is Runator, the mobile running application developer officially known as SocialRun. The firm secured EUR 390,000 via a funding round from investors including Ignacio Mayol (who invested EUR 30,000) and an undisclosed American business angel (EUR 90,000). The company has earmarked proceeds of the deal for strengthening its marketing and business strategy while also expanding its existing operations. Following completion Runator’s founders own 70 per cent of the business. The firm said it intends to carry out a new funding round in mid-2018 with a view to financing its expansion into Latin America. The company’s application is designed to compile running workouts from other apps, thereby enabling runners to keep track of their friends’ training routines and keep all of this data in one place. The service can be used in conjunction with products such as Strava, Runkeeper and Endomondo, among others.
Naturally, software publishers are frequently the subject of angel investors’ interest; since the start of 2006 some 2,108 deals involving angels investing in targets based in the sector have been announced. The most valuable of these closed in November 2015, when Indian mobile taxi booking application provider ANI Technologies (trading as Olacabs) received EUR 470 million via a Series H round from Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global Management and Softbank, as well as Daniel Neary, among others. This was followed by a EUR 375 million Series E injection in the same company by investors including Rahul Mehta in April 2015. Other companies in the sector to have been targeted by angels since the beginning of 2006 include Hangzhou Enniu Network Technology, Sontra Solucoes Em Transporte and Unity Technologies.
In conclusion, September (and Q3 as a whole) has proven to be promising in terms of the value of angel investments featuring Western European targets. Despite a drop in volume, improvements in value have been recorded, with the larger deals announced in recent months having had a particularly big impact.