The Angel World: Facts and Figures

The latest report on Angel Activity in the UK is a massive 102 pages in length. It’s a good read and it’s “crunchy”. That is, comments are backed up by real deal data, a survey of angels and scaling up from known investments to estimate the market size in the UK. This week I present a quick synopsis of the report. Lots of facts, question is, what to make of them? This is your chance to make a comment before I write another blog.

Colin Mason (University of Strathclyde) and Richard Harrison (Queen’s University Belfast) have just completed their 102 page annual report on the Business Angel Market in the UK 2008/09. Here is a quick summary of facts for 20 of the 24 networks who are members of the British Business Angels Association:

Mean investment £192,634
Number businesses receiving funding 233
Average number investors 2.5
Mean per investor per deal £77,053
UK Investment 2008/09 £63.8M
Registered angels 5,500
Turnover 31% joining
Total business plans received 8,685
Companies presented to investors 824
Sole investors (England) 58% of deals
Investments with >3 investors (England) 30% of deals
Deals greater than £500K 8%
First round deals 32% of total
Change in angel activity since previous year 30%-40% lower
EIS activity (from HMRC) 25%-30% lower
Investments using EIS 76%

Mason & Harrison have also put together some figures estimating the overall Angel Market in the UK and contrasted them with a decade ago:

Metric 1999 2008/09
Market size £426M
Number of networks 48 24
Angels registered 7,000 5,500

I’ve picked a few “one liners” from the report as well:

  • Significant contribution: “business angels are making a significant contribution to the development of entrepreneurial ventures in the UK.”
  • Implications for Regional Networks: “Although the large national networks represent a minority of all networks they dominate in terms of numbers of registered investors, number of business plans received, investments and amount invested.”
  • Early stage: “Investments by business angels … largely concentrated at the start-up and early stage/early growth stages (69%)”.
  • Investee Business Size: “Justover half of the investee businesses of BBAA investors have fewer than five employees and 87% have 10 or fewer employees.”
  • Technology Businesses: “angel investing has a strong focus on technology businesses.”

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