Scots business angel syndicate Archangels steps up investment in H1

Edinburgh-based business investment group Archangels has seen the amount of investment it has led in innovative Scottish tech and life sciences companies jump by about a third year on year.

The organisation – one of Scotland’s top investment syndicates – said that in the first half of 2021 it led investment of £12.4 million in such firms, compared to £9.5m in the comparable period last year.

Archangels itself invested £7.3m between January and June 2021, a record for any six-month period, with co-investment of £3.1m from Scottish Enterprise and £2m from a range of other parties.

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During the first half, Archangels invested in one new business and provided follow-on growth capital to seven existing portfolio companies. These included a first-time investment in Scottish biotech company BioCaptiva, the University of Edinburgh spin-out that has developed a novel next-generation liquid biopsy technology device that could “revolutionise” the early diagnosis and monitoring of difficult-to-detect cancers.

David Ovens, joint managing director at Archangels. Picture: Peter Devlin.David Ovens, joint managing director at Archangels. Picture: Peter Devlin.
David Ovens, joint managing director at Archangels. Picture: Peter Devlin.
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The business angel syndicate was also involved in a follow-on investment round in Edinburgh-based Administrate, the platform that equips organisations around the world to plan, organise, deliver and scale training. Archangels said this investment round will be used to accelerate and capitalise on Administrate’s strong growth.

The first half also saw a further round of investment in Optoscribe, the supplier of 3D glass-based integrated photonics products, suited to optical communications applications such as optical transceivers in the rapidly growing data centre market, or precision fibre alignment structures and interconnects for high-density fibre-optic connections. Archangels said Optoscribe’s market has seen significant growth in the last 12 months, and is able to support the rapid growth in the telecoms data centres market.

Archangels’ joint MD David Ovens said: “While the pandemic has had an inevitable impact on areas of the economy such as retail and hospitality, Scotland has a world-renowned tech and life sciences community that supports many thousands of high-quality jobs, and is making an increasingly important contribution to the economy.

“At Archangels, we are committed to providing the growth capital and access to networks that support our portfolio companies, based here in Scotland, as they scale up to become truly international success stories.”

The latest figures follow Archangels leading investments amounting to £16.3 million in 2020, topping its 2019 total of £13.4m by 22 per cent.

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