Technology companies impress Dorset Business Angels investors at pitch event

Dorset Business Angels (DBA) held their quarterly pitch event on Monday 11th June at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth and were treated to a diverse mix of pitches for the Angel investors to consider and contemplate for investment. The technology pitches definitely impressed the most with the drone and telecoms solutions gaining investment interest. The evening opened with a presentation from Victoria Boynes-Butler from Laceys Solicitors. Victoria talked to the engaged audience about top tips for investors and touched on veto rights, warranties, IP Protection and Investment documentation.

Impressive tethered drone technology offering creative solutions…

A surveillance technology company that has created a tethered drone system that can operate up to 120m and provide secure HD Video feeds and high-bandwidth data streaming for over 24 hours impressed the investors. The business was seeking an investment of £150,000 on a market valuation of £1.3 million. The funds being sought will be used to produce a fully commercial unit for sale by late summer 2018. The business highlighted the limiting problems that existing drone technology has; flight times (less than 45 mins), lack of stability, data/video transmission, unsecure flight communications and restricted payloads due to limited battery power. The multiple solutions offered that the new tethered drone could address were impressive; inspection of wind farms, provide CCTV coverage at big events such as Glastonbury, testing air pollution with specialist sensors, using GPS for ground mapping or to be deployed as a temporary telephone mask. The worldwide drone sales market is anticipated to be $6.6B by 2020 and tethered done sales at $1.6B. It was identified that the UK market is currently untapped. It was stated that the tethered drone is competitively priced at £60,000.

The presentation stimulated much conversation and questions amongst the Angel investors and expressions of interest were made to pursue the investment opportunity further.

Revolutionising the music industry

The next pitch of the evening came from a company in the music and entertainment industry. The presenter informed the investors that technology has revolutionised the way people buy and listen to music but not the way they make it. The industry problem was outlined to the audience…”Mainly global artists such as Beyonce, Ed Sheeran and Adele are driving growth, which means that revenues are concentrated in the top tier. Outdated major label models make the costs of taking new artists to market too high. As a result, less money is being invested in new artists. Few professionals are making the money their talent deserves which represents an opportunity…” The company has subsequently established a new model for developing and marketing artists and their music. The business model has attracted some of the leading figures in the industry and they have already secured second stage funding of £1 million in April to scale up the business.
The directors believe that they have the ability to grow in to a major force within the music industry. One Angel investor, with long-standing experience in the music industry, told other investors that he believed the business model had the potential to be big and transform the industry and expressed interest in finding out more about the opportunity.

Telecoms company returns to the ‘investment den’ for the 3rd time…

A telecoms company which was returning to the Dorset Business Angels ‘investment den’ for the 3rd time took to the floor. This Company has developed and refined patented technology over the past 5 years and delivers up to 1GB broadband speeds down copper wires at a fraction of the cost of fibre. The company specialises in providing rural locations and its inhabitants with internet connections. Previous investment has been secured from DBA members who were present.
Investors were advised that this is likely to be the final round of investment before significant orders are received from major global suppliers of broadband services. The company has an extensive patent portfolio with 27 granted and 50 + pending. A compelling investment opportunity was presented to the investors.
The business was seeking to raise £650,000 equity finance through the sales of BPP £0.15 shares. Funds will be used to help grow sales and develop rural connectivity solutions and continue its ongoing patent registrations. Several expressions of interest were made by investors.

“The easiest folding travel cot on earth!”

A company working in the childcare sector was seeking investment in a product which they confidently described as “the easiest folding travel cot on earth!” Founded 4 years ago this company has disrupted the childcare market with a new cot which is now being listed by many major retailers including John Lewis, JoJo Mamam Bebe, Tesco Direct, Amazon and over 50 smaller independents. It has won several awards including Mother & Baby, Made for Mums and Consumer Choice Awards. Traction since the product launched in January 17 has been impressive with 2,000 units sold in the UK and orders received from France, Germany and strong pipe line in Australia, Canada, Israel and South America. The team are currently seeking to raise £500,000. This third- round funding will provide funds to meet the demand from the Asian market, where orders have come in much soonest than expected. Although impressed by the product and worldwide interest in the travel cot, no investors expressed interest in pursuing.

An LED lighting systems company dominating many markets…

An LED lighting systems company which is beginning to dominate many markets, including automotive, computing, TV’s, complete commercial installations and a whole range of domestic products. The company has been manufacturing LED’s for nearly 20 years and is an iconic and recognised brand in the lighting market. It is now seeking funding to invest in new equipment to significantly increase volume and reduce unit costs and at the same time, allow it to hold larger inventories to guarantee a rapid response to customers’ orders. The presenting team shared how the LED global lighting market has growing from 5 billion Euros in 2011 to 32 billion euros in 2014 and anticipated to grow to 57 billion Euros in 2020. The business has particularly enjoyed the growth of architectural LED installations and show cased images of their facade and interiors installations which include the Tower of London, the Royal Albert Hall, The Old Vic, TV Studios, Madame Tussauds and other world-renowned buildings across the globe. The company was seeking to raise £2.5 million, of which £1.5 million has already been raised. No interest was shown by investors.

Don McQueen, DBA Chairman enthused,

“We had a good number of pitches to choose from but settled on these 5 companies to present to us. As ever, a very interesting and thought- provoking evening. We were delighted to welcome many first- time visitors and investors to the DBA pitch event. It’s really good to know that our pitch events are grabbing not just the attention of businesses wanting to pitch but also serious investors. We would urge anyone interested in attending one of our events to get in touch and register their interest.”

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