At the time of writing, there have been 24 deals with an aggregate value of EUR 102 million involving angel investors injecting funds into Western European companies announced in June 2020. However, it is worth noting that there is still a week to go until the end of the month and that volume and value are likely to increase further by then. Last month, there were 59 such deals worth a combined EUR 293 million signed off.
The global Covid-19 pandemic which has swept the planet this year had undoubtedly had an adverse effect on dealmaking in 2020 so far. As a result, it is not surprising to note that both Q1 and Q2 are down on the corresponding periods of last year. However, it is worth highlighting that value for Q2 2020 (EUR 734 million) is already up on Q1’s EUR 644 million, while volume (151) is only slightly short of Q1’s 164 deals. Time will tell if enough transactions will be announced in the quarter’s final week to boost this figure higher than Q1. In Q1 and Q2 2019, there were 181 deals at EUR 907 million and 198 deals at EUR 866 million, respectively.
The UK was a notable target of angel investment within Western Europe in June, having been targeted in three of the top five deals, including the largest of all. That transaction saw synthetic and stem cell technology developer Bit Bio secure a EUR 37 million Series A funding round from ARCH Venture Partners, Foresite Capital Management, Bob Nelson, Rick Klausner and Jim Tananbaum, among others. The month’s second-largest deal by value featured a German target as online business management software-as-a-Service provider Bryter received EUR 14 million, also via a Series A injection, from Accel Management, Notion Capital Partners, Dawn Capital and Mike Chalfen.
There is nothing unusual about German and UK companies featuring heavily in a month’s largest angel investments as these countries have traditionally attracted a lot of interest from angels. However, this month is slightly unusual as three Irish companies received angel investment and featured in the top 25 in the month under review. One of those involved TripAdmit, an operator of a ticketing platform for tour and activity operators, bringing in EUR 300,000 from Thomas Jones. The company said the financing would be used to expand its platform, as well as to provide help to Irish tourism organisations and enable them to rebuild following the disruption caused to their usual business by the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting global lockdown and the associated travel restrictions. TripAdmit operates a digital ticketing platform which can be integrated into tour and activity operators’ websites, enabling them to sell tickets via their own sites. The company also said the proceeds of the funding round have been earmarked to help it expand its sales, marketing and engineering operations to reach more customers.
Irish companies have secured fairly significant amounts of angel investment over the years, with 113 such deals having been announced since the start of 2006. The most valuable of these was actually signed off in October of last year, when mobile lending peer-to-peer platform operator Flender Ireland received EUR 75 million from former Irish rugby star Jamie Heaslip, as well as Mark Roden. The next two deals were both announced in April 2020; Profitero received EUR 18 million from Scaleworks Venture Equity Fund and Conviction Investment Partners, while Avectas brought in EUR 18 million from Seamus Mulligan and undisclosed existing investors.
Given the exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic, no-one will be surprised to see activity levels down on the corresponding periods of last year, but there are still sizeable investments being signed off, giving plenty of hope for the rest of 2020. The uncertainty caused by the crisis means we cannot be sure what form the “new normal” will take, but results will give many hope that an upturn in activity will follow as restrictions are gradually eased.