The volume and value of angel investment targeting Western European companies in January 2020 to date was decidedly slower than dealmaking recorded for the comparable three-week period in January 2019, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.
In all, 16 angel investments worth an aggregate EUR 49 million were announced during the month under review, down from 34 such deals valued at EUR 123 million in the same timeframe in 2019. Angel investment in the region also failed to surpass the 24 transactions totalling EUR 154 million recorded over the same period in the traditionally quieter holiday month of December.
It is worth mentioning that angel investment targeting Western European companies declined for the second consecutive full month at the end of 2019 – resulting in a total of 26 deals worth EUR 158 million in December (November: 45 deals; EUR 380 million). However, in spite of this decline, the aggregate value of dealmaking in Q4 2019 was the highest on record at EUR 1,082 million, mostly due to EUR 545 million-worth of angel investment deals being announced in October 2019. This, in turn, contributed to making 2019 a banner year, as value rose for the third successive period to EUR 3,292 million (2018: EUR 2,891 million; 2017: EUR 1,976 million).
A lack of individual, high-value investments in Western Europe announced in January 2020 suppressed aggregate value as no single deal was worth more than EUR 20 million. The largest was valued at EUR 11 million and featured Anyline, an Austrian mobile text recognition application provider, completing a series A round of funding led by Project A Ventures and which also included Senovo Capital Management, Dr Johann Hansmann and Gernot Langes-Swarovski Foundation. This deal was also the 11th largest announced globally in January to date, although it was significantly behind first-placed Califia Farms of the US, which raised USD 225 million in a Series D financing led by Qatar Investment Authority, with participation of Temasek Capital, Claridge, Green Monday Ventures, an undisclosed Latin America based family, Ambrosia Investments, Sun Pacific, Stripes Group, Leonardo DiCaprio, Karlie Kloss, Shaun White, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley.
One Western European deal announced in January stood out in particular: Belgian startup Kazidomi secured EUR 1 million in a deal described as seed development capital funding round and which featured participation by Pranarom, Dominique Baudoux, Francois Blondel, Olivier Coune, Benoit Coenraets and Eric Everard. Kazidomi is an ecommerce platform that allows consumers to buy healthy, organic, vegan and gluten or lactose-free products online at reduced prices. The startup has also begun to develop its own product range that includes sauces, purees and cosmetics, among other things. The investment is interesting considering how healthy eating and veganism are fast-growing trends as consumers are thinking more about the environment and responsible consumption, not to mention the investment comes during a month traditionally considered as a chance for people to stop drinking and pursue clean eating after the extravagances of December.
In conclusion, it remains to be seen if the slow start to angel investment in Western Europe in January 2020 will pick up pace to outperform January 2019 and whether any acceleration will lead to sustainable growth to outshine the banner year of 2019.