Finland-based earbud maker targeted in April’s largest European angel investment deal

The value of angel investment deals targeting Western Europe improved despite a decline by volume to 27 deals worth a combined EUR 123 million in April 2020 to date, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. Volume was down 43 per cent from 47 deals month-on-month, while value improved 73 per cent from EUR 71 million in March.

On a 12-month comparison, April’s value – with still nine days to go until the end of the month – is so far keeping to the same trend as the first three months of 2020 and has currently declined 63 per cent from EUR 333 million in April 2019. Volume in the four weeks under review was the lowest-recorded result of the last 12 months, while value only remained higher than March. The outbreak of the coronavirus has already had a significant impact on global dealmaking in 2020, therefore it is unsurprising that angel investment in Western Europe is also down year-on-year. Many Western European countries have been under lockdown restrictions to avoid the spread of Covid-19 in recent months.

Screening Eagle Technologies, a Switzerland-based online infrastructure manager raised EUR 52 million in a series A round of funding led by EDB Investments and including business angels and the family office, in the largest angel investment deal to target Western Europe in April 2020. This was followed by another Swiss target as asset management brokerage Crypto Finance – in a series B financing round – received an investment of EUR 13 million from Rainer-Marc Frey, Lingfeng Capital Management, QBN Capital and other investors. One other deal exceeded the EUR 10 million-barrier in April and contributed to the month-on-month improvement by value as Yapily, a UK-based open banking enterprise connectivity software provider, raised EUR 12 million from a number of individuals such as Taavet Hinrikus, Ott Kaukver and Roberto Nicastro, which teamed up with Lakestar Advisors and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures Advisor, among others.

Ten of the top 20 angel investment deals by value targeting Western Europe featured UK- and Germany-based businesses, three involved Switzerland-headquartered companies, while Sweden, Italy, France and Spain were also targeted.

Interestingly, one deal, which placed seventh overall, involved a Finnish group as noise cancelling earbuds manufacturer QuietOn received EUR 5 million in a seed funding round from Business Finland and angel investors. Jussi Lemilainen, chief executive of QuietOn, said the company is now well-positioned to raise a series A round, given its millions of dollars in revenue and profitability. This deal is one of 226 angel investments to target a Finland-based company announced since the start of 2006. The largest of these to date took place in June 2019 when online restaurant food ordering and delivery provider Wolt Enterprises raised EUR 116 million in a series C round of funding from Ilkka Paaananen, 83North Management and EQT Ventures, among others. Aiven, AlphaSense and ICEYE were also targeted in the top five of these deals.

Angel investment activity globally is likely to decrease in April given there have been 88 deals worth an aggregate EUR 436 million announced to date, with still nine days to go until the end of the four-week period. March ended positively with 157 deals worth EUR 1,161 million, which followed the 171 deals valued at EUR 1,152 million in February.

Currently, due to the uncertainty around Covid-19 and how the ongoing spread will continue to affect global dealmaking, it is hard to predict how future months of angel investment in Western Europe will be impacted. However, April’s value having already improved on March could be a positive sign for things to come.

© Zephyr


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