Glasgow angel group Kelvin Capital invests £12.5m in record year

An angel investment syndicate has hailed a surge in new members keen to back high-tech Scottish firms during a record year which saw funding deals jump to £12.5 million.

From left: Kelvin Capital's John McNicol (director), Lynn Hall (portfolio relations manager), Susie Fisher (investor relations manager) and Angus Hay (director). Picture: Contributed

Glasgow-based Kelvin Capital, which backs technology, life sciences and electronics manufacturing firms, has also had a strong start to 2020 with £3.3m of new investment already committed to portfolio companies.

The investment group, managed by directors John McNicol and Angus Hay, now has almost 250 members from the UK and overseas, an increase of over 20 per cent since 2018.

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During 2019 the syndicate’s total investment figure was up by 19 per cent on the previous year with significant deals made with companies including Biotangents, ProFactor Pharma, Novosound and Sofant Technology.

In the last quarter of 2019 alone, £2.75m was invested in Scottish based businesses including £1m into hydrogen technology company Logan Energy.

Other funding deals included backing for Dundee tech firm Snappy Shopper which has developed an online platform that helps convenience stores and traditional corner shops cash in on the growth in online grocery sales.

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Last year’s figures take the total investment secured for Kelvin Capital’s portfolio since the syndicate was launched in 2009 to almost £35m. That includes investments made from its membership of private investors, plus co-investment from others including the Scottish Investment Bank.

New investors from overseas

McNicol, director and founder of Kelvin Capital, said 2019 had seen a series of important milestones achieved.

“Total investment reached record levels and the value of the portfolio has increased significantly, which is exciting for everyone involved with Kelvin Capital,” he said.

“A key part of our success is not just investing money but bringing in highly experienced industry specialists from our membership and vast network, who work with the portfolio companies to support and drive their growth ambitions. This brings even greater value to the businesses which will in turn benefit our investors.”

New members who joined the syndicate during 2019 included investors from Europe and the Far East.

Hay said they were attracted by the “potential and diversity of the high quality businesses being created in Scotland”.

“Many of our portfolio businesses are maturing from early-stage operations into established companies delivering impressive growth in their sectors. Supporting globally ambitious opportunities is a key component in the Kelvin Capital investment ethos and one that we believe brings greatest value to the investor community.” he said.

Latest investments involving Kelvin Capital include a six-figure funding deal put together with the Scottish Investment Bank and e2c for Edinburgh-based Ingenious Audio which designs and manufactures audio electronics.