Latest Angels Invest Wales News
Dec 1, 2021
The latest equity deals in Welsh business to support expansion and job creation plans 05:06, 1 DEC 2021 Subscribe We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Thank you for subscribingWe have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Here we feature the latest equity deals in Welsh firms to support expansion and job creation. 2B Enterprising Swansea-based enterprise learning venture 2B Enterprising has completed a £400,000 equity round backed by a syndicate of 15 business angels to support its growth plans. Led by Angels Invest Wales lead investor Ashley Cooper, the syndicate has invested £275,000 across two consecutive funding rounds alongside £125,000 from the Development Bank of Wales’ Wales Angel Co-investment Fund. The equity investment is being used to scale-up activity, funding a series of appointments - including Jayne Brewer as chief executive - and the further development of class materials for use by schools throughout Wales and England. Established by enterprise educator Sue Poole, 2B Enterprising has created and introduced the Bumbles of Honeywood as an enterprise skills programme specifically for children aged 5 to 7 years old. Developed by entrepreneurial business leaders and experienced educators with extensive input from teachers, the Bumbles of Honeywood features a series of illustrated books and over 120 activities that enhance the teacher’s toolkit and improve numeracy, literacy, digital and physical education skills alongside developing an enterprising mindset. Over 40 schools are already using the programme with 20 of these having been part of a 24 month pilot programme, to help develop life skills and future aspirations. Partners already confirmed include Swansea.com, Dawsons Estate Agents, The Fab Four Coffee, GS Verde Group and Bluestone Resorts. L-R Jayne Brewer (CEO), Sue Poole (founder) 2B Enterprising and Carol Hall (regional manager, Angels Invest Wales). Ms Poole said: “Our vision is a community where school pathways and future career choices for all young people are equally valued and respected. With the support of the Development Bank and our syndicate of business angels, we can now reach out to so many more youngsters initially across the UK, and then abroad; helping them to grow into capable, healthy, well-rounded individuals who can become ambitious, resourceful and successful adults.” Ashley Cooper, lead investor for the angel investment syndicate said: “As responsible business leaders we must do everything we can to assist in developing the talent of the future. Alongside our superb educators we have it within our power to maximise the enterprise skills and resourcefulness of future generations. “The 2B Enterprising model allows businesses to directly impact the youngest in our community making a significant difference to millions of young people both in the UK and abroad, to the significant benefit of future economic success. We look forward to working with the many business leaders and their organisations who are joining our corporate engagement partnership programme." Sign up to the BusinessLive Wales newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn As well as an in-depth early morning newsletter, we will be sending out regular breaking news email alerts. To sign up to this service CLICK HERE LinkedIn And, follow us on LinkedIn to catch the latest stories and to network with the Welsh business community. Entrepreneur and co-founder of Mazuma Accountants Lucy Cohen is one of the investors working alongside Mr Cooper as part of the syndicate. She said: “This is my first investment as a business angel and I’m delighted to be part of such a talented and ambitious syndicate that is already working together by pooling our expertise to support the team and help to drive the business forward.” Carol Hall of Angels Invest Wales said: “Encouraging young people to become enterprising is an important step in helping to unlock the longer-term potential of our economy and create opportunity for all. “2B Enterprising has captured the hearts and minds of a syndicate of business angels who all recognise the value of syndicate investments and the extra firepower that they can bring to companies looking to scale-up. We wish them every success.” Revolancer Founder of Revolancer Karl Swanepoel A Caerphilly-based start-up that aims to support small businesses and fledgling freelancers has secured £150,000 in pre-seed funding from venture capital firm SFC Capital. Revolancer is an online marketplace that connects businesses with approved freelancers for digital projects, and is hoping to revolutionise recruitment in the digital skills market. The company was founded in January by Karl Swanepoel as a university dorm room project and has previously secured £13,000 from Aberystwyth University after winning their InvEnterPrize student enterprise competition earlier this year. Investing alongside SFC Capital is Edward Falzon, a Morgan Stanley veteran of 25 years, who will also be working closely with the Revolancer team as a strategic advisor, alongside founding chief marketing officer of Just Eat, Mat Braddy, and founder of Alpacr, Dan Swygart. Having completed successful tests with sample users, the Revolancer Marketplace is now live and has already seen a number of businesses work with freelance talent through the platform. It’s now hoped that the new funding will kickstart its growth and attract a wider cohort of corporate and freelancer users. Speaking of the investment, Mr Falzon said: “Revolancer is an enabler, a true marketplace for freelancers, building a community that puts the freelancer first. “Karl recently graduated from university and already has an impressive track record of running profitable businesses. His combination of passion and intuition, along with the smart team he has surrounded himself with, are the reasons why I wanted to be part of his journey.” Founder and CEO Mr Swanepoel said: “As a young entrepreneur myself, I know how difficult it can be to start from scratch; I hope Revolancer will break down those barriers for others by offering a trusted platform to find freelance work and build a skills portfolio that helps their business to grow naturally. “Given the flexible working revolution we’ve seen since the first Covid-19 lockdown, the ability to work and hire remotely is more in demand than ever, so it’s a hugely relevant and exciting domain to be part of. “We believe this is the future. We do the leg work for our clients, with quality vetting and payment protection in our hands as well as facilitating the employment process on our platform, so we’re hoping that this will be well adopted and transform the freelancing space. “Our in-house tech provisions already keep turnaround times and expenses low, so we feel we can really hit the ground running with this investment. The team is over the moon and we’re looking forward to seeing where it will take us next.” Alpacr founder Mr Swygart said: “After my first conversation with Karl, I knew instantly that they were working on something very exciting! Since then I’ve been blown away by the speed and strength of the team -most of which have only just graduated.” Brand founder at Just Eat Mr Braddy said:“It’s been great to see Revolancer grow - I’m helping the team use viral growth strategies that we pioneered at Just Eat, in order to take the platform to the next level.” Deploy Pontyclun-based Deploy, which is disrupting the water storage industry with an innovative water tank that improves accessibility and sustainability for agriculture and rural communities, has secured an an investment boost. Manufactured with a concrete-filled fabric to ensure durability, resistance and reliability, Deploy is the brainchild of engineers Paul Mendieta from Ecuador and Beren Kayali of Turkey. They have now secured the backing of the Development Bank of Wales with a £250,000 equity investment along with £187,000 from the Start Up Funding Club (SFC Capital) and a Smart Cymru grant of £133,000. Having also won the support of Innovate UK, the business partners first met when studying a masters in innovation design engineering at Imperial College and the Royal College of Art in London. It was during this time that Mr Mendieta also completed an internship with Pontyclun-based Concrete Canvas, manufacturers of a concrete-filled fabric composite material. Deploy now uses Concrete Canvas Hydro for the manufacture of its water tank as it incorporates a PVC geomembrane as an extra layer to provide impermeable properties, making it perfect for water storage. Used by the agriculture industry and for flood mitigation, Deploy can be transported in a folded state and can easily be deployed by air inflation. The investment by the Development Bank, Start Up Funding Club and Smart Cymru will be used to accelerate production at the Pontyclun site with the installation of a manufacturing line. Up to four new jobs will be created in the next year before the company begins a programme of international exports in late 2022. Chief executive Mr Mendieta said: “Our mission started after I first started analysing the water related issues of more than 175 communities in Ecuador. I then completed my internship with Concrete Canvas and this inspired my commitment to helping rural communities around the world to have easier access to safe drinking water. “Together with Beren as co-founder we are working with the agriculture sector and rural communities to help with the management of their water resources by using innovative infrastructure solutions to create social and sustainable impact. “This funding from the Development Bank, Start Up Funding Club and Smart Cymru will transform the business, accelerating our development and helping to exploit the opportunity to create real impact in rural areas of the UK by providing more environmentally friendly, cost-effective, easily installed, flexible and long-term water storage tanks. “We’ve found our place in Wales and we’re just so pleased to be based alongside our friends at Concrete Canvas and to have the backing of our investors. It’s given us the validation and confidence that we need to scale-up and help others along the way.” Investment executive with the Development Bank of Wales, Andy Morris, said: “This is another co-investment for us alongside the Start Up Funding Club and we couldn’t have picked a better business to support together. Both Paul and Beren have got fantastic vision along with a real drive to make a difference both here in the UK and globally. We wish them every success and look forward to working with them as equity partners.” GS Verde Group advised the Development Bank of Wales. Geldards advised Deploy and Bennett Brooks acted for the Start Up Funding Club. Concentric left to right Dafydd Loughran and Edward St John of Concentric Cardiff-based health tech start-up Concentric, which has developed a digital platform that empowers patients to share decisions with clinicians for best outcomes, has secured a six-figure investment boost to support its growth plans. Led by lead technology investor Ed Parkinson, a syndicate of 24 has invested £345,000, along with £72,500 from the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund from the Development Bank of Wales and £82,500 from other private investors. The equity investment will accelerate the delivery of recent six-figure contracts and help fund the recruitment of three new roles. Established by clinicians Dafydd Loughran and Edward St John, and chief technology officer Martyn Loughran, Concentric was launched at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Customers now also include Oxford University Hospitals, Chelsea and Westminster, Royal Cornwall, Swansea Bay University and Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS trusts. Chief executive Dr Loughran said: “The pandemic has shone a light on the opportunities for digital health technologies to transform our experiences of healthcare - both as clinicians and patients. The consent process - traditionally a rushed conversation on the morning of surgery documented on a carbon-copy consent form - has not been fit for purpose for some time. Concentric’s digital transformation of the consent process is one part of the puzzle to delivering patient-centred, value-based healthcare - using innovative and intuitive processes and software to support patients to make the right decisions for them. “A significant proportion of this investment round has come from consultant surgeons using Concentric in their daily practice and with the backing of our experienced investors and the Development Bank, we have the capital and expertise to successfully scale-up both within the UK and globally over the next 18 months. “I’m particularly delighted to welcome Ed Parkinson on board as our lead investor and Investment Director at this stage in our journey. He was instrumental in bringing the syndicate together and comes with a proven track record of scaling agile, global technology businesses.” Mr Parkinson, lead investor for the angel investment syndicate said: “Concentric is a market proven platform, already improving the lives of patients and their surgeons in some of the busiest hospitals in the NHS; a huge achievement for such a young company. I look forward to supporting this exciting Welsh business as they scale across the UK and beyond.” Loosemores advised Concentric Health and Capital Law were the advisors to the angel investors and Wales Angel Co-investment Fund. Forth Chief executive and founder of Forth Sarah Bolt Chesptow-based health tech firm Forth has secured a £1.6m equity investment to support its new pioneering female health product. Its second investment round has attracted backing from a consortium of both UK and overseas investors including, Trajan Scientific and Medical, (Trajan) through its European subsidiary Trajan Scientific Europe. Launched in 2016, Forth is one of the UK’s leading companies in personalised biomarker tracking. Starting with a small sample of blood, the company helps people to navigate their way to better health by providing clear scientific data about their body’s biochemistry, together with expert advice to help them improve. It recently launched a new product to help women gain better insight into their hormone fluctuations. Female Hormone Mapping is the first product in the world to use AI to help map how a woman’s hormones fluctuate throughout their entire cycle, rather than a single day which is current clinical practice. Founder and chief executive of Forth, Sarah Bolt, said: “Our mission at Forth is simple - to give people a better understanding of their own body using a combination of science and technology. This investment will enable us to launch female hormone mapping and also develop more unique and insightful products to help people engage proactively with their health. Trajan is a perfect partner as we share a focus on using science to advance preventative health while the Development Bank continues to support us as a Welsh-based company that is at the forefront of the femtech market. The Development Bank of Wales has also supported Forth’s second round of funding with follow-on equity of £250,000 bringing its total investment to date to £500,000. Senior investment executive Alexander Leigh said: “ Sarah and the team have done incredibly well to secure a strong market position in a rapidly growing sector. The company is ranked by Trustpilot as the highest rated service in the sector and has all the drive and the skills to deliver on their vision. “Our follow-on equity funding coupled with Trajan’s strategic investment will now give Forth unique access to cutting edge technologies as they develop their innovative product offering with Female Hormone Mapping. We‘re proud to be behind this great team and wish them every success.” Forth reported revenue growth of over 100% in June 2020 compared to the previous year. Read More Most Recent Most Recent
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Angels Invest Wales has 1 team member, including current Chief Executive Officer, Giles A Thorley.