In the third week of March, while most of our minds were fixed on surging corona virus death rates and the apocalyptic scenes in hospital wards, global financial markets came as close to a collapse as they have since September 2008. The price of shares in the world’s major corporations plunged.
The value of the dollar surged against every currency in the world, squeezing debtors everywhere from Indonesia to Mexico. Trillion-dollar markets for government debt, the basic foundation of the financial system, lurched up and down in terror-stricken cycles.
Contrary to what you are seeing in the press, there is an abundance of capital in the world and limited opportunities. The 1930s depression created more millionaires than in any other era and now will be no different. A large amount of High Net Worth Individuals in the Western World are seeking to diversify their portfolios away from traditional investments as a hedge against stock market volatility and low interest rates. In times of recession, the two best investment classes that have outperformed traditional markets have been commodities and private equity. So if there is so much capital available in the world today, why is it so difficult to locate the capital you need?
The most likely answer to your question is that the amounts of capital you are seeking to raise for your start-up is too small to catch the eye of Venture Capitalists. If a Venture Capitalist has tens of millions to invest into private equity, why on would they invest into 100 or 200 start-up companies? Who could possibly manage and foresee all of these investments? Managing one entrepreneur can be hard enough, but 200 start-ups?
Therefore, investing in you would prove cost-prohibitive, even though arguably they could receive more value overall. This brings us neatly to angel investment.
The Angel Investment Industry and its growth within the UK
After the 2008 crash, demand for angel funding increased and angels actually invested in a slightly higher proportion of the deals that they were presented with.
On the supply side, the number of angels remained virtually unchanged and the number of investments had increased slightly in the 12 months following the 2008 crash.
Overall deal sizes remained fairly static, suggesting that angels began leveraging larger investments with co-investors.
With the assistance of Venture Giants, this report was recently published on the BIS website at, and can be viewed:
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in conjunction with the British Business Angels Association, LINC Scotland, the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants commissioned a second Annual Report on the UK Business Angel market for 2009/10.
In summary to the report Venture Giants was pleased to confirm that the angel investment market remained remarkably robust in 2009/10, despite the recessionary conditions from 2008.