Archangels’ Chorus | Blowing Our Own Trumpet!

Over 180 investors and entrepreneurs will gather tonight (Tuesday, 25th April, 2017) to celebrate a quarter of a century of early stage investing by Archangels, and will hear that the syndicate has led more than £222m of investment by Archangels and its partners in 82 Scottish companies, creating over 3,500 high value jobs since launching in 1992.

Archangels will also disclose that total funds invested by Archangels investors themselves, since 1992, breached the £100m mark (£103.5m) during 2016. A further £33.4m of funding has been leveraged from Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, since Archangels’ inception.

Archangels’ companies have generated an estimated £1.39bn in turnover since 1992, which equates to £14.34 for every £1 invested. In addition, the syndicate’s investment activities have generated £989m of Gross Value Add (GVA) to the Scottish economy during that time.

Archangels was formed in 1992 by entrepreneurs, Mike Rutterford and Barry Sealey. One of their first investments was in Dunfermline-based Optos, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2006 and was subsequently acquired by Nikon Corporation in 2015. Today, Archangels has a portfolio of 22 investee companies, employing more than 660 people in Scotland.

Attendees at Archangels’ annual “Chorus” event in Edinburgh will hear that 2016 was another landmark year for the business angel syndicate. Archangels arranged £14.6m (2015: 13.9m) of investment over 12 funding rounds during the year, principally in its existing portfolio of companies, but also in two new investee companies; Optoscribe and PhysioMedics. This total included arranging follow-on funding of £3.6m in Edinburgh-based ZoneFox – a record investment round for Archangels and the biggest investment by any business angels in Scotland by a factor of nearly two times.

Archangels investors themselves committed total investment of £8.3m in 2016, with Scottish Investment Bank pledging £3.4m of investment capital and £3.0m from other partners.

In 2016, Archangels returned £31.5m (2015: £16.0m) to investors, principally through the sale of Touch Bionics in Livingston to Icelandic prosthetic limb specialist, Össur, and a deferred consideration relating to the sale of Dundee-based CXR Biosciences the previous year.

Eric Young, Chairman of Archangels, said:

“The four pillars on which Archangels was founded: to put something back; support young Scottish companies; make an investment return; and have fun; have stood the test of time well. Through our investments in companies such as Touch Bionics, producer of the world’s first bionic hand, and Optos, creator of the world’s first widefield eye scanner, we can truly say that we have improved lives worldwide, and that continues today, exemplified by our latest investment in PhysioMedics, for their online back pain tool.

“We value highly the support which our investors and our key partners, particularly Scottish Investment Bank, have provided during this journey.

In the next 25 years, we will continue to build on what we have achieved so far, to support and nurture future generations of entrepreneurs to generate value for the Scottish economy and our investors, and to create high quality jobs and improve lives.”

Professor Rob Wiltbank, Associate Professor of Strategic & Entrepreneurship for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University, Oregon, and widely regarded as an expert in angel investing, said:

“Archangels is the longest consistently running business angel organisation in the world. This is something to be proud of in Scotland.”

Archangels’ annual “Chorus” event will be addressed by keynote speaker, Scottish businessman and philanthropist, Sir Brian Souter, a longstanding Archangels investor. Attendees will also hear from Archangels’ founders, Barry Sealey and Mike Rutterford. In addition, Archangels’ Chairman, Eric Young and the Archangels executive team, Sarah Hardy, Niki McKenzie and David Ovens will present a “state of the nation” summary.

The event’s headline sponsor is Barclays Bank, with further support from Dickson Minto, MBM Commercial and Chiene & Tait.

Stuart Brown, Head of SME Scotland & Northern Ireland at Barclays said:

“As banking partner to some of the most disruptive and innovative businesses in Scotland and beyond, we understand entrepreneurs and how important the angel community is to helping a venture succeed. Archangels has led the way and Barclays are delighted to be part of its 25th anniversary celebrations.”


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