September 11, 2018
UK sports agent among those targeted by angels in August
August has so far been a quiet month for angel investment deals featuring Western European targets as just 10 deals worth EUR 18 million have been signed off during the month, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. However, it is worth noting that at the time of writing there are still eleven days until the end of August and therefore time for dealmaking to rebound. In the opening seven months of 2018, angel investment in the region has increased compared to previous years, with July contributing significantly to the overall value with EUR 398 million injected across 59 deals, making it the largest recorded month on record. The value of angel investment in Q2 2018 represents the highest quarterly result on record, with H1 also being impressive when compared to other half yearly periods. In fact, 2018 is already on track to exceed any previous years by value and with 69 deals worth EUR 416 million already announced in Q3, a few more sizeable transactions would boost value once again.
While the year is on track to break any previous records in terms of angel investment in Western Europe, there has been a lack of large deals signed off in August so far. The most valuable investment in the month to date involved UK-based online car repair garage price comparison site Whocanfixmycar.com raising EUR 4 million from Sir Trevor Chinn, Active Private Equity Advisory, Venrex Investment Management and Shell Ventures. Seven of the thirteen deals announced in August featured UK-based firms, while Germany and Italy were both targeted twice and Belgium and Sweden featured in one deal each. These last two deals involved mobile invoice payment application provider POM raising EUR 830,000 in funding from Be Angels and Business Angels Network Vlaaneren, among others. This was followed by Swedish mobile smart toy-connected gaming application provider Wrlds Creations raising EUR 530,000 from Felix Granander, the van-Niekerk family and Joakim Liljedahl.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the Western European companies targeted in August operate in the online, digital and software publishing industries, with the exception of certain manufacturers such as hand disinfectant dispenser monitoring sensor maker GWA Hygiene of Germany and medical device groups including UK-based Calcivis, which makes tooth decay imaging equipment and UK mycobacterial disease detection product manufacturer PBD Biotech. However, the most interesting deal of the month to date involves crowd-funding investors picking up a 20 per cent stake in UK-based the Fans Agency Company, a professional footballers’ agency and management services provider for EUR 560,000. This deal is one of five other transactions which involved angels investing in agents and managers of athletes and entertainers to have been announced worldwide since the start of 2006, Zephyr shows. The largest of these involves US-based television producer manager Creative Arts Agency raising EUR 8 million from business investors, followed by Chinese artist agency and cultural events promotor Hangzhou Joy Cultural Development securing EUR 4 million from Angel Plus and Shanghai Zhongyuan Capital Management. UK-based sports player agent 110Sport Group and US talent manager United Talent Agency also featured.
Global activity followed a similar pattern to Western Europe, with August being lower than previous months, while quarterly investment remains high.
In conclusion, 2018 is on track to be a record breaking year for angel investment deals, both in Western Europe and globally, with the opening six months of the year having excelled any other previous starts. Just a few more sizeable transactions in the next two weeks would ensure August keeps in line with July, June and May in terms of value.