Edinburgh investment syndicate Archangels gives £1.4 billion boost to Scots economy

Archangels, the Edinburgh-based investment syndicate, has added £1.4 billion to the Scottish economy thanks to its backing of fledgling businesses operating in the life sciences and technology sectors, a new study has found.

The analysis, conducted by the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School, also revealed that the £161 million invested by Archangels since 1992 has directly created 3,647 “high-skilled” jobs and indirectly created a further 1,500 posts.

Since 1997, the jobs created through the syndicate’s investments have paid, on average, 39 per cent more than the median Scottish salary.

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Archangels, which is focused on the tech and life sciences sectors, currently has around 120 members invested in a portfolio of 20 early-stage companies.

The Adam Smith Business School study, which was commissioned to coincide with Archangels’ 30th anniversary, found that every £1 invested generated between £7.11 and £8.45 for the Scottish economy.

The syndicate’s current portfolio is worth an estimated £211.3m and supports more than 755 jobs. Since 1992, the group has successfully exited 25 of its investee businesses, including three that went to an initial public offering (IPO), or stock market listing, one that resulted in a management buyout and 21 that led to trade sales.

During the year to date, Archangels has invested more than £12m in some of Scotland’s most promising technology and life science companies, including Integrated Graphene, Cytomos, Earth Blox, Administrate and BioCaptiva.

David Ovens, joint managing director of Archangels, said: “Over the past 30 years, Archangels has had an incredible impact on both the businesses we have invested in as well as the wider Scottish economy. During that time Scotland has undoubtedly established itself on the world stage as a leader in technology and life sciences.

David Ovens, joint managing director of Archangels. Picture: Peter DevlinDavid Ovens, joint managing director of Archangels. Picture: Peter Devlin
David Ovens, joint managing director of Archangels. Picture: Peter Devlin

“We’re home to some incredibly innovative companies and remarkable entrepreneurs and we are proud of our own track record over 30 years in supporting some of these to grow and scale

“If Scotland is to realise its ambition of building a modern, successful and sustainable economy, then we need to continue supporting innovative businesses to enable them to achieve their full potential.”

He added: “The Archangels story has been one of significant contribution to some great successes over the last 30 years and we look forward to working with our portfolio and investors to make the next 30 even more successful.”

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In May, Archangels revealed a change of chairman after eight years.

Ian Macleod, a former investment analyst and fund manager, took over the helm from Eric Young, who had held the position since 2014. Young will continue to sit on the Archangels board.

Macleod worked in London and Paris for many years as an analyst, specialising in the electronics and telecoms industries, initially with ANZ Capel Cure Myers and longer spells at both NatWest Markets and Jeffries.

Later in his career, he focused on smaller tech, cleantech and biotech companies, moving into fund management with 360 Asset Managers and more recently Accessible Clean Energy. Returning to Edinburgh in 2016, Macleod joined the Archangels board in 2018.

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