Edinburgh investment syndicate Archangels ups 2022 funding to over £13 million

Archangels, the Edinburgh-based investment syndicate, invested £13.4 million during 2022 in some of Scotland’s “most promising” early-stage technology and life science businesses, new figures have revealed.

The total investment for the past year, spread across 11 businesses, marks a 14 per cent increase on the syndicate’s investment activity in 2021. New additions to the portfolio included technology firm Earth Blox, which secured £1.5m in funding to expand its global reach and further develop its cloud-based software. Other businesses to receive follow-on funding included Integrated Graphene, Cytomos, Hearing Diagnostics, Administrate and BioCaptiva.

Co-investors on deals totalling some £27m during 2022 included Scottish Enterprise, Par Equity, Mercia and various other Scottish angel syndicates. Archangels also generated a “significant gain” on the sale of portfolio company Optoscribe during the year.

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Archangels, which is believed to be the world’s longest continually running investment syndicate, this year marked its 30th anniversary with a report by the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School highlighting the value of the syndicate’s activity in Scotland. The analysis found that the £161m invested by Archangels since 1992 has generated up to £1.4 billion gross value added (GVA) for the Scottish economy and directly created 3,647 high-skilled jobs.

David Ovens, joint managing director at Archangels, said: “2022 has been a big year for Archangels and our members. Thirty years of investing in and supporting Scotland’s life science and technology sectors is a milestone of which we’re all very proud. Despite ongoing volatility in the economy, we have continued to see strong demand for funding from innovative early-stage businesses with the ambition to grow and scale. While the economic outlook remains challenging for 2023, we are confident that we’ll continue to find opportunities for our members to back exciting and innovative young companies,” he added.

Archangels, which is focused on the tech and life sciences sectors, comprises some 120 members and an 11-strong board and executive team. There are currently 21 companies within the portfolio.

September’s report by the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School found that, since 1997, the jobs created through the syndicate’s investments have paid, on average, 39 per cent more than the median Scottish salary. The study revealed that every £1 invested generated between £7.11 and £8.45 for the Scottish economy. It also found that, 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.

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. 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.

Members of the Archangels team - David Ovens, Ian Macleod and Niki Mackenzie.

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