Are you looking for investors to help you expand your startup? Engaging with Angel investor networks can be a great way to secure funding.
Angel investors have emerged as an important source of funding for early-stage startups across the UK and Angel investor networks are helping to power the country’s economy, providing essential fuel for young, innovative companies who are creating new services, products and jobs.
In this article, we’ll cover what Angel investor networks are, how they help entrepreneurs and give you a list of active Angel investor networks across the UK in 2023.
What is Angel investor networks?
An Angel investor network is a group of high-net-worth or sophisticated individual investors who pool their resources to invest in startups and high-growth businesses, typically in exchange for equity in the company.
Angel investors are men and women of all ages hailing from a wide variety of backgrounds. They differ from other investors (for example, stock market investors) in that they often offer their relevant skills and experience to help you improve your startup’s performance and prospects. Angel investors typically look to take between 20% and 50% stake in your startup often using your startup’s valuation as a measure.
As a collective, Angel investors can network, share introductions and often syndicate their capital into a larger pot to make larger investments. Think of it as an alternative to a venture capital (VC) fund. Less corporate and more diverse, more personal.
Angel investor networks often focus on a specific industry or sector, or on seed- or later-stage investments, so finding the right one for your startup can increase your chances of finding suitable investors. Look for Angel investors experienced in your sector, as their experience and advice can be invaluable. You should also look for an ability to follow on, providing more later-stage capital to continue to support you through funding rounds.
7 Angel investment networks in London
London is a thriving business and technology hub with a number of active Angel investor networks supporting the capital’s ambitious startups.
One of the most active Angel investment networks in London, the team at 24Haymarket usually invests in disruptive companies in the healthcare, industrial, consumer, technology and media industries. Investments typically range from £1M to £5M.
With a strong focus on diagnostics, digital health and medical device technologies, Angels in MedCity brings investors together with life sciences entrepreneurs and startups. It was launched in 2014 and has since helped 43 healthcare and life sciences companies raise £14M.
Fig, based in the heart of the capital, works with companies across any sector, who are looking to raise £500K to £5M. It operates across the US, Europe and Asia, helping growing firms to complete successful funding rounds.
Firestartr funds promising digital startups, helping them from the seed stage to Series A and beyond. The Firestartr Spark Series has become one of the leading tech events in London, facilitating high-level networking and covering topics such as blockchain and AI. Firestartr’s Angel investors invest up to $2M, with an average investment of around $100K.
Galvanise provides investment to early-stage tech businesses, typically focusing on startups in the marketing technology, advertising technology and data/analytics space. It usually invests between £150K and £1M.
Newable, which acquired London Business Angels in 2017, links Angel investors with startups across the UK. It specialises in knowledge-intensive companies, including those operating at the forefront of AI, 4IR, robotics and fintech. It services around 1,500 companies annually. The network typically invests between £250K and £2.5M.
Wild Blue is an Angel investor network especially interested in entrepreneurs and startups with a link to the West London area. It often co-invests with other Angel investor groups, and as well as providing investment, offers mentoring, access to its network and even office space. The network invests between £150K and £1.5M.
4 Women-focused Angel investment networks
Many believe that diverse investor and startup teams make better decisions, are more capital efficient and give a better return on investment. Here are some of the top women-focused Angel investment networks.
- Angel Academe
- Investing Women
- Rising Tide
Angel Academe backs tech startups with at least one woman on the founding team. Its network currently has around 400 investors, of which 70% are women. In 2021, it had invested over £5M in 42 early-stage technology startups.
Astia is a well-regarded network, championed by the likes of Google and Salesforce. Founded in Silicon Valley in 1999, it hosts regular events across the UK and the US, fuelling the growth of innovative, women-led startups. Members of the network have invested over $20M into startups across the world.
Based in Edinburgh, Investing Women’s mission is to drive growth at ambitious startups with women founders. Most of the network’s Angel investors have been entrepreneurs themselves and so understand the many challenges that you face. The network typically invests between £50K and £250K.
Rising Tide Europe features over 160 women from across five continents who are innovating in the area of cross-border Angel investing. It puts an emphasis on financial knowledge and is particularly active in the growing fintech sector. The fast-growing network has invested over £2M so far.
10 Regional Angel investment networks
It’s not just London that boasts an impressive startup scene. There are active Angel investor networks supporting young businesses throughout the UK.
- Bristol Private Equity Club
- Cambridge Angels
- Cambridge Capital Group
- Dorset Business Angels
- GC Angels
- Kelvin Capital
- Northwest Business Angels
- The FSE Group
Founded in 2016, the Bristol Private Equity Club is an organisation that introduces high-net-worth individuals to local early-stage businesses seeking investment. The members of the group are all entrepreneurs themselves so understand the challenges involved in starting up and growing a business. They aim to invest in three to four deals each year totalling c.£1M.
A collaborative Cambridge-based group, this Angel investor network invests in innovative startups and mentors the founding teams. It’s active across the technology, healthcare and life sciences sectors. The network invests between £50K and £1M.
Cambridge Capital Group is an Angel investor network comprised of sophisticated investors, family offices and VCs that has been investing in technology startups across the UK’s ‘Golden Triangle’ (Cambridge, London and Oxford) for more than 15 years. Investments typically range between £50K and £1M.
Dorset Business Angels provides early-stage businesses in South England with equity capital. It holds four pitch events per year in February, April, June and October at the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton. The network invests between £5K and £500K.
GC Angels, based in the Northwest, is an active pool of over 400 high-net-worth individuals and institutional capital partners. It looks for high-growth opportunities innovating across digital, creative and technology sectors. Investments typically range between £25K and £2M.
Glasgow’s Kelvin Capital was founded in 2009 and has since raised over £27M for 23 companies. It began by funding early-stage technology companies but has since expanded into a range of sectors.
Housed at the University of Warwick, the Minerva Angel investor network was established in 1994 to provide investment to emerging technology startups in the Midlands and further afield. The typical investment amount is between £25K and £500K.
Northwest Business Angels, based in Manchester, connects young and growing companies seeking investment with Angel investors actively looking for investment opportunities in the region. It’s one of the UK’s most successful Angel investment networks, with almost half of the companies selected to present to the network able to raise investment. Since it was established, more than £22M has been raised by over 250 companies.
In January 2020, Oxford Angel Network (OAN) merged with OION to create one unified Angel network for Oxford and beyond. OION is one of the oldest and largest Angel investment networks in the UK. Today it links carefully selected disruptive technology investment opportunities with investors through its regular showcase events. Investments typically range between £100K – £2M.
The FSE Group is a network of Angel investors that provides funding and support services for startups and SMEs across Southeast England. It offers equity funding between £50K and £2M, as well as debt funding between £25K and £1M.
4 Responsible Angel Investment Networks
Many Angel investors are increasingly focused on supporting startups that are helping the green economy to grow and thrive. Here’s a list of sustainable Angel investment networks active in the UK.
- FOS Advisory
- Clearly Social Angels
- Green Angel Syndicate
- Mustard Seed
This Scottish Angel syndicate has grown to a private members group of around 60 individuals who back science, engineering and technology innovation that positively impacts the world. Investment opportunities are predominantly Scotland based although the organisation prides itself on taking a global perspective.
This network is focused on creating positive social and environmental returns, alongside the financial ones. Founded in 2012, it meets every two months to discover and invest in UK startups that are creating innovative solutions to social and environmental problems. Clearly Social Angels provides selected high-growth businesses with between £300K and £1.5M in debt or equity.
Green Angel Syndicate positions itself as the first Angel investor network in the UK to specialise in making investments that benefit the green economy. It typically invests between £250K and £500K and can act as lead investor or in a supporting role in a larger group.
Mustard Seed invests in early-stage businesses that generate both strong financial and societal returns. It draws on a strong network that includes business leaders, an FCA-authorised VC fund and top universities. Investments range up to £1M.
How Seedrs can help you find Angel investors
With an estimated 330,000 active Angel investors (in 2017) within the European Union, ranging from high-net-worth individuals to syndicates and groups; knowing where to start, how to get in touch, and with who, is a massive challenge.
The good news is we can help you in three important ways:
- Introduce you to Angels – Finding Angels is a labour-intensive process. We can give you access to Angel investors who regularly use our platform through our Private Deal Room.
- Fill your fundraising round – Angel investors alone will be unlikely to fill your entire fundraising round. As experts in book-building, we can give you fast access to capital from a diverse group of investors.
- Save you time – Even if you find investors directly, executing a fundraising round can be time-consuming. We can relieve the admin burden so you can spend more time on what matters.
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