Shake-up at top as Scottish angel syndicate rolls out new growth plan

TriCapital Angel Investors, the Scottish angel syndicate, has announced a shake-up at the top as it rolls out a new growth plan.

The Borders-based early stage investor in a series of start-up success stories, including Aurum Biosciences, Findra and ZoneFox, has appointed Moray Martin as chief executive.

Martin, previously the angel syndicate’s development director, will lead the roll-out of a new strategic plan and business model alongside operations manager Carolyn Murray.

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As part of the changes, Jamie Andrew, who has led the investment group for more than four years as executive chairman, steps down from the role at the end of June to become honorary president and will continue to support the syndicate in an “ambassadorial” role.

Moray Martin has been made chief executive of TriCapital Angel Investors. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Douglas Needham, currently vice-chairman, will become non-executive chairman from the start of July. Additionally, Kathy Kinder has joined the board as a director from her previous position as board advisor, and will work closely with the leadership team on business development and deals.

Andy Purves continues in his role of director.

The venture was established in 2004 and has since backed 28 companies, while achieving a series of exits including Biopta, Lab 901, Sphynx Medical, Touch Bionics, Exterity and ZoneFox.

Last month, the Scottish Enterprise-accredited syndicate led a £1 million investment round in Ten Bio, a University of Dundee spin-out developing a human skin culture system and completed a £1.2m follow on round for Aveni, a fast-growth company that uses conversational data to analyse risk in the financial services sector. Both deals included match funding from Scottish Enterprise.

Martin said: “TriCapital has evolved to become a significant player on the Scottish angel investor scene. I am excited to be leading the next phase of growth for the syndicate, supported by our active and growing cohort of members, in an environment and ecosystem which continues to present significant value-driven opportunities.

“The firm has a strong track record around delivery of support, loyalty, and service to our portfolio companies. We have a rich heritage and brand which provides me and the rest of the new leadership team with a fantastic foundation to begin the next chapter in our story.”

He added: “The Ten Bio and Aveni deals highlight the kind of deals we are looking to complete going forward, typically in the £500,000 to £2m range – investment rounds in which we will lead while bringing in other investors and value including from the public sector.

“While we have built a reputation for investment into tech, biomedical, electronics and engineering, we are in fact sector agnostic and our main focus is around backing entrepreneurs who we believe we can support and help guide to commercial success.”

Needham said: “I would like to thank and pay tribute to Jamie on the occasion of his retiral. He is a founding member of TriCapital and has achieved a great deal during his time on the board, and then as chair. We look forward to his continuing contribution as honorary president.”

Last month, it emerged that business angel activity had bounced back in Scotland with investment levels returning to pre-coronavirus highs.

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