How to find startup investors
How to find startup investors… one of the most common questions we get asked at SeedLegals. So, here’s the c...
Are you looking for investment money to grow your company? Connecting with angel groups is a brilliant way to raise funding for your growing startup or SME. In this article, we’ll explain more about angel groups, what they look for and which are the most active angel groups in London. There’s something for every niche and sector on this list, so we hope you’ll find a few groups that are right for you.
Angel investors are private investors who provide money for startups and SMEs to grow. They could be wealthy individuals passionate about supporting startups, ordinary professionals looking for somewhere to invest their money and even friends and family of the founders. The money could be used for product development, marketing, hiring staff or whatever your business needs at the time. Angels invest money in exchange for equity in a company.
The amount individual angels invest varies a lot and could be anything between £1 000 to £150,000 or more.
Angel groups are also called angel networks or angel syndicates. They’re groups of multiple angel investors (anywhere from five people to thousands) and come with many benefits for both founders and angel investors. Angel groups are individual angel investors working as a team to create more funding resources and opportunities.
Grow your network
Many angel groups host regular pitch events and workshops where you can build your network, get your name out there and broaden the expertise available to your company.
Get more money
Companies gain access to more investment money than if you were only working with individual angel investors.
Find the right angels
You can find angel investors more easily and choose the right match for your company.
Build a strong network
Belonging to angel groups helps you to build a network that includes other entrepreneurs as well as investors from a variety of professional backgrounds.
Save time on searching
You’ll have access to multiple angel investors at once, which saves loads of time as opposed to searching for individual angels.
Increase your chances of being approached
When you’re part of an angel group, you’ll get more exposure to investors and they’ll approach you.
Find more investment opportunities
Just as much as founders are looking for investment, angels are also on the lookout for promising companies that could deliver a great return on their investment. Angel groups screen companies and choose ones that will be good opportunities for the investors. The quality and quantity of investment opportunities are enhanced through angel groups, which leads to better financial returns for angel investors.
Admin like due diligence, transactions and deal flow can be managed for the investors by the syndicate, which frees up investors’ time.
Tap into a range of expertise
Investors have more expertise and support to draw on from other angels in the network. For example, If they want to invest in a company whose niche they know little about, they are likely to have the support of other investors in the network who do know about that niche.
The amount of funding an angel group invests per company varies from £50 000 to £10 million. In the list below, we’ll detail how much each network typically invests.
There are many ways for startups to raise funding, and two of the most common are via angel investment and venture capital funding.
The difference between angel groups and VC firms is that angel groups are made up of angel investors who invest their personal money into companies, and it usually isn’t their main profession. VC firms are companies where employees work as professional investors and decide how to invest the money from a VC fund.
VC fund money is generally made up of money from corporations, individuals, pension funds, foundations and more.
VCs usually have stricter conditions and requirements than angels. Their expectations are higher and they are more involved in the company than angels. The most notable difference between the two is the amount of money they invest. VC firms usually invest much more money than angel groups.
Angel investors want to know that there’s a real opportunity for your business to give them a return on investment. Here are the key things angel investors will look for when they’re assessing your pitch.
Angels don’t invest in hobbies, they invest in businesses. You’ve got to show that you’re invested for them to invest.
The investment is SEIS/EIS eligible
Most angel groups don’t invest in companies unless they are S/EIS eligible, so make sure you’ve got your advance assurance sorted before you start raising.
There’s a good market for your product or service
You’ll need to show that you’ve got a competitive product/service that’s already had interest from customers.
Make sure you’re not trying to do too many things with your company at once. That’s a red flag for investors. Put all your energy into the one or few great products/services that will sell and then move on.
You know your stuff
If you’re raising startup money, make sure you know who all your competitors are and that you know your market well. Investors are trusting you with their money, they want to know they can rely on you.
The customer is the source of profit, and that profit is an investor’s ROI, so investors look for companies that are going above and beyond to keep their customers satisfied.
Some of you are impact-driven
Some angel groups look specifically for companies that are making a positive impact on the environment or society with their product or service.
Each angel investor and angel group differs slightly on what they want in a company, but you can read more on some of the most common things angels look for in our articles on 8 steps to making an angel investment and how to raise angel investment in 6 steps.
When you’re starting out, it can be tough to find the right angel investment, but once the ice is broken with that first investment, you quickly learn what works best for your company and one investment leads to the next. Read through the list below to learn about the most active angel groups in London.
“In tandem to you searching for investors, you can make investors find you. So make noise. About to launch your MVP? Just signed a brand name partnership? Shout about it on LinkedIn, Twitter or other communities where investors and startups meet. The more viral your name becomes, the more likely investors will reach out to you.”
A network of over one hundred investors, 24Haymarket is one of the most active angel groups in the UK. They have plenty of collective entrepreneurial, investment and operational expertise to offer companies and co-investors. They invest in companies that are in the early stages of high growth and have already had some commercial traction.
24Haymarket typically invests between £60 000 and £4 million per company. They focus on bringing proven products and themes to market, so you’ll need to show proof of traction when you meet them.
ACF is an investment group that works alongside other angel groups to co-invest in companies. When an angel group can only provide a portion of the money a company is raising, they can approach the Angel CoFund to put in the rest of the money. It’s a unique model that can be very helpful if there’s an angel syndicate that wants to invest in your company but can only stump up part of the amount you’re raising.
You can watch this video on their website to learn more about how it works.
Angel Academe invests in female-founded tech startups. The network is made up of mostly female investors “who understand that diverse teams build better businesses.”
Their investment criteria state that you must be a female founder or co-founder who owns at least 20% of founder equity in the business and your company is a UK business with a pre-money valuation of £1 million – £15 million and eligible for SEIS/EIS tax relief. You can read the full list of criteria on their website.
Angel Academe typically invests £250 000 to £5 million.
This network is made up of over 300 000 active investors globally. You can get your business in front of all those investors by publishing your pitch online to the network.
If an investor likes your pitch, you’ll get an email inviting you to connect. You’ll then gain access to their contact details to continue discussions. You can grow your own network exponentially by using Angel Investment Network. It’s an easy way to get exposure and find investors because all you have to do is sign up online and publish your pitch.
Investment for this network usually ranges between £10 000 and £10 million.
This is Europe and the UK’s largest angel-led finance platform. They are a 6,000-strong network of investors. They match startups and SMEs with suitable investors online they start with the right lead investor and then open the round to the rest of the investors in their network. Angels Den is non-specific when it comes to the sectors they invest in.
Angel Club members get access to SpeedFunding events, pitch coaching and a half-hour pitch at a Club event where you can meet others in the network.
Investments from this network range between £50 000 and £1 million.
This network connects investors with companies in healthcare and life sciences. They focus on digital health, diagnostics and medical device tech. Angels in MedCity partners with life sciences experts to offer practical support and expertise to investors and companies in their network.
Angels in MedCity makes an average investment of £300 000 per company.
Ascension Syndicate Club is a group of early-stage angels that co-invest in deals alongside Ascension VC funds. They invest in S/EIS eligible companies and are not sector-specific, although they do tend to focus on fintech, healthcare, sustainability and media.
Being part of the Ascension group gives you access to a strong support network that includes inspiring events, great deals and a helpful mentor network.
You can learn more about the VC side of Ascension in our article about the top VC firms in London.
Ascension Syndicate Club is a very active network at the moment. They look at an average of 3,000 investment opportunities a year.
Cambridge Angels is a well-known network that invests in companies throughout the UK but, as their name implies, they focus mainly on the Cambridge area. If you’re interested in angel networks outside London, read more in our article about early-stage investors in Manchester or the most active angel investors in Bristol.
Cambridge Angels typically invest between £50 000 and £500 000 initially and often commit more funds over several rounds.
This angel group invests in startups across the UK’s Golden Triangle of hubs, which includes Oxford, Cambridge and London. They invest in seed, startup and early-growth technology companies. They focus on companies raising between £150 000 and £2 million, and they only invest in S/EIS eligible companies.
Good to know: Cambridge Capital Group usually doesn’t invest in consumer-focused companies, unless it’s a very well-differentiated product with an attractive market.
You can submit your pitch to CCG for review, and if you’re successful you’ll be invited to one of their monthly online or quarterly in-person CCG Pitch events.
Connected uses matching technology to connect you with the right investors. They give you direct access to the investors, board advisors and non-exec directors you need to make your business thrive. Joining the Connected community also gives you access to content to help you upskill. This network works as a membership, so all you need to do is purchase the subscription that works for you. You can read more about how it works on the Connected website.
The FSE Group is dedicated to making positive economic change and taking a sustainable approach to funding. They’re committed to diversity and investing in underrepresented locations. They invest in companies making positive changes in the social, economic and environmental sectors.
As well as investing in London-based startups and SMEs, they also support businesses in the Midlands, South East, Cornwall, East of England, Yorkshire and Humber.
Individual angel investors at FCS invest between £10 000 and £50 000.
Galvanise Capital is an angel group that invests in early-stage tech companies in the marketing, advertising and data and analytics industries. They have a presence in both London and Edinburgh. Galvanise’s investors are known to be very hands-on when it comes to helping their founders with expertise and connections. They make the fundraising process as easy as possible for founders by offering so much support.
Galvanise capital typically invests between £150 000 and £1 million.
Green Angel Syndicate is the UK’s leading climate change angel network. They invest in early-stage companies that contribute to solving climate change and global warming. This includes companies that cut greenhouse gas emissions, absorb carbon dioxide, or preserve or rehabilitate the natural environment.
Green Angel is not sector-specific but they do prefer companies in:
They usually invest £150 000 to £500 000.
A network of over 500 angel investors, Newable invests in early-stage startups in Deep Tech:
They only invest in S/EIS qualifying startups, so make sure you’ve applied for SEIS/EIS Advance Assurance before you pitch to them.
They invest an average of £700 000, with the option of follow-on funding.
Mustard Seed invests in founders on a mission to make a difference. They believe that business can and should be a force for good. They are more focused on helping founders build sustainable companies than rushing towards an exit.
Mustard Seed typically invests between £300 000 and £2.5m in startups with both a strong commercial and social impact element.
SFC combines their own seed fund with angel investment to back early-stage startups with pre-seed funding. They often act as lead investors and support companies before, during and after investment. SFC isn’t sector-specific and they require S/EIS eligibility to invest in your company, so check the requirements before you contact them.
SFC usually invests between £100 000 and £300 000.
Got questions about fundraising? One of our funding experts will be happy to help so book a call below to get in touch.