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Key Findings

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Investors

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Purpose

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Policy

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Appendix

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Angels

European angel investing landscape

Pre-seed stage investments are particularly difficult to monitor given most angel investments are not tracked until much later in the life of the startup. The European Business Angels Network organisation ('EBAN') estimates that the 'visible' market only represents 10% of the overall angel investments. As such there is an inherent bias in our datasets towards 'super-angels' and/or startups that have already managed to progress through multiple stages of investments. The reporting lag is also much more likely to impact the performance for 2018 and 2019.

EBAN estimates that $8.6B (€7.5B) was invested across all European countries in 2018 by angel investors, based on the extrapolation of the 'visible' market. Angel investors with the deepest pockets reside in the UK, Germany and Spain.

Capital invested ($B)


$8.6B
invested by angel investors in Europe in 2018.

'Visible' capital invested ($M) by angels by country

Legend

  • Capital invested ($M)
Note:
EUR to USD conversion taken at 1 EUR to 1.145 USD from December 31, 2018. Displaying 'visible market' capital invested ($M) in the EU-28 countries.

A significant number of founders surveyed mentioned receiving angel investments to start their company from these countries.

Share of respondents (%) who raised initial financing from angel investors by region

Source:
Note:
Founder respondents only.

Though we can see only a small part of the 'visible' market, EBAN estimates there are well over 300,00 angel investors in Europe. Still, the number of active angels (those who participate in at least one investment every year) is significantly lower - though rising quickly.

Number of unique angel investors participating in at least one investment and # of angel investment

Legend

  • # of investments
  • # of angels participating in at least one investment
Note:
All Dealroom.co data excludes the following: biotech, secondary transactions, debt, lending capital, grants. Please also note the data excludes Israel.

Angel investing in Europe has grown significantly from just a handful of investor networks on the continent in the late 90s to a market that today sees more than 450 active communities of angels scattered across the map.

Angel investing in Europe has grown significantly from just a handful of investor networks on the continent in the late 90s to a market that today sees more than 450 active communities of angels scattered across the map.

This strong growth is also reflected in the size of the angel market in terms of investments made annually in early stage startups. Nearly €7.5B are estimated to be invested each year by European angels, with approximately forty thousand startups receiving pre-seed, seed and series A funding from this category of private investors. To put this number into perspective, in 2009 the angel investor market in Europe was estimated to be worth approximately €2.6B. EBAN has been monitoring the angel investment market in Europe since 2004 when we first launched our annual 'Statistics Compendium' publication.

Jacopo Losso

EBAN

Director of Secretariat

Founders are becoming more likely to make investments back in the ecosystem in comparison with the period 2015-2018, leading to the increased sophistication of the investor pool.

Share of angel investments (%) by founders, 2015-2018 vs 2019

Note:
All Dealroom.co data excludes the following: biotech, secondary transactions, debt, lending capital, grants. Please also note the data excludes Israel. 2019 as of September 2019.

Angel investors form a critical part of any successful ecosystem.

Angel investors form a critical part of any successful ecosystem. Looking back a dozen or so years ago, there were very few angel investors in Europe, and even fewer founders turned angels. For TransferWise, it was a huge coup to get the likes of Max Levchin (founder of PayPal) and David Yu (then the CEO of Betfair) to invest in our seed round. Besides the credibility, it gives startup teams lots of experience to tap into for problem solving as you grow. Seed funds like Seedcamp, who often act together with the angels, also have a vital role to play in fulfilling this need.

Taavet Hinrikus

TransferWise

Co-Founder & Chairman

The top 15 most active angel investors are all founders (or in the case of Sophia Bendz, operator) except for 3.

Top 15 angel investors in Europe by deal count, 2015-2019

Former Founders


40%
of angel investors surveyed by EBAN have also been a founder in the past.

Source:

The age profile of angels varies widely. In France, the average angel investor is 62, while in CEE countries they are 43.

Average age of business angels by region

Note:
Based on a study performed by EBAN and funded by the European commission, 'Understanding the nature and impact of the business angels in funding research and innovation', November 2017. The dataset includes 592 angel respondents across Europe.

CEE countries also have the largest proportion of women angel investors.

Share of angels (%) by country and by gender

Legend

  • % of women
  • % of men
Note:
Based on a study performed by EBAN and funded by the European commission, 'Understanding the nature and impact of the business angels in funding research and innovation', November 2017. The dataset includes 592 angel respondents across Europe.

We are also noticing an increase in diversity within the angel investor population, not just in terms of gender with more female investors participating in angel networks, but also in terms of age and background profile of the individuals beginning their investor careers.

We are seeing consolidation of angel investment activity in many countries in Western Europe and strong expansion into regions such as Central and Eastern Europe and South Eastern Europe. We're also noticing an increase in diversity within the angel investor population, not just in terms of gender with more female investors participating in angel networks, but also in terms of age and background profile of the individuals beginning their investor careers. What has never changed in these years, though, is the fundamental role played by the angels in getting ideas to the market and scaling up businesses in their early days.


Jacopo Losso

EBAN

Director of Secretariat

The first Atomico angels cohort has invested into 42 companies to date, mostly in climate tech, and 45% of investments have been into female founded companies.

Atomico Angel Investor Programme

Roxanne Varza

Roxanne Varza

Station F, France

Rohan Silva

Rohan Silva

Second Home, UK

Gregory Gazagne

Gregory Gazagne

Criteo, France

Suvi Haimi

Suvi Haimi

Sulapac, Finland

Tuva Palm

Tuva Palm

NordNet, Sweden

Doreen Huber

Doreen Huber

Lemoncat, Germany

Emily Brooke

Emily Brooke

Beryl, UK

Johan Brand

Johan Brand

We Are Human, Norway

Josefin Landgard

Josefin Landgard

Kry, Sweden

Clare Johnston

Clare Johnston

The Up Group, UK

Stefano Bernardi

Stefano Bernardi

Token Economy, Italy

Ritu Jain

Ritu Jain

LifeX, Denmark

We started Atomico's inaugural angel programme last year with 12 angels from across the European ecosystem. They received no guidance about sectors. Currently, 34% of the deals have been in startups with an environmental impact, and 34% of the deals are with female founders. This just goes to show that a diverse set of people becoming angels – whether that is through capital earned at a successful tech company or through angel programmes – is key to increasing the diversity gap in funding and supporting solutions to big societal problems.

Sophia Bendz

Atomico

Partner

Repeat founders with significant experience in scaling a company are much more likely to use angel investments for initial financing of their company.

How did you finance the initial setup and earliest phase of your most recent company?

Source:
Note:
Founders only. Respondents could select multiple options.

'Super angel' investors and venture capital investors have similar investment selection criteria. Venture capital investors are more focussed on exit potential, while 'super angels' are more interested in valuation and deal terms.

Investment selection criteria by angels and VCs

Legend

  • % of angels
  • % of VCs
Note:
Angel data are based on the EIF BA Survey, a survey of 60 angel investors or 65% of the ‘European Angels Fund’ programme population at the time the survey was conducted. VC data is based on the EIF VC Survey 2019.

Angel investors spend a significant amount of time supporting founders every month. They spend most of their time giving general advice, followed closely by operational contributions.

Number of investments


3
is the median number of investments made by angel investors over the past 12 months.

Angels' median time spent per month on their portfolio

Note:
Based on EBAN survey respondents including 90 different angels across Europe in 2019.

Still, on average angel investors are likely to say they participate in board activities and leverage their network with introductions more than on operational contributions.

How are angels typically involved with companies they invest in?

Note:
Based on EBAN survey respondents including 90 angels across Europe in 2019.

Regarding specific 'hot topic' sectors, angel investors are most excited about artificial intelligence, e-commerce and digital health, but a number of angel investors are also actively investing in sustainability and cleantech.

Share of VC and angel investors (%) with portfolio companies in selected sectors

Legend

  • % of angels
  • % of VCs
Note:
Angel data are based on the EIF BA Survey, a survey of 60 angel investors or 65% of the ‘European Angels Fund’ programme population at the time the survey was conducted. Source for VC data: Botsari, A., Crisanti, A., and Lang, F. (2019).

Angels tell us the lack of favourable tax systems is a barrier to investing. Over 30% of respondents picked this element as the most important consideration out of 17 options available. The EIS/SEIS scheme introduced in the United Kingdom has been an incredibly effective tool to attract angel investments into the country.

Top 10 most underdeveloped elements for angel investing

Legend

  • Most important
  • Second most important
  • Third most important
Note:
Based on the EIF BA Survey, a survey of 60 angel investors or 65% of the ‘European Angels Fund’ programme population at the time the survey was conducted.

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