Dorset Business Angels (DBA) have been reflecting on their raising and facilitating of investments in excess of £2.5 million since the organisation’s formation in 2013. Its vision has always been to turn Dorset into one of the UK’s best regions for setting up high growth and start-up businesses by providing quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).
The DBA network prides itself on its diverse mix of Angels, many of whom are entrepreneurs who are running or have exited from highly successful businesses and are now looking to help, support and invest in upcoming local talent.
Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. If they are successful, investment may then come from either a single Angel member or several members pooling funds, to support the enterprise. Such investments are always for a minority equity stake, rather than the provision of loan capital.
To date, DBA have received approaches from over 80 companies across a diverse range of market sectors including IT, Finance, Engineering, Automotive, Green Energy and many more.
DBA Chairman Don McQueen advised, “Not every business receives the whole investment from DBA, but the fact that it has had the support of DBA members increases its chances of securing the remaining funds from other Angel networks in the region.
“Over the years, some brilliant concepts have been put before the members. Even if a business does not secure investment on the night, DBA can introduce them to mentoring that will give them an opportunity to revise their Business Plan and return to pitch again to the members at a future event.”
Successful companies that have received investment have included;
- A telecoms company that is able to deliver high-speed broadband services down the BT copper wire network at a fraction of the cost of fibre
- A medical company which is a spin out from Imperial College, which designs and manufactures specialised equipment to detect the onset of various forms of cancer.
- A mapping company that has developed an app to assist walkers, ramblers and the emergency services.
- A company that brings together buyers and sellers of used cars, in order to reduce costs by cutting out the large dealerships.
- A company that developed a range of instruments to determine the amount of toxins present in common foodstuffs.
- A manufacturing company that has developed the next generation of aerosol valves that use air as the propellant instead of CFC gases.
- A SaaS company in the publishing sphere, bringing together buyers and sellers in the Native Advertising market.
Investments to-date have ranged between £150-550K, but larger investments up to £1.5M have been facilitated through our association with other Angel groups and Private Equity Houses.
Before a business is invited to pitch to the members, the Screening Committee will have already carried out initial due diligence on the preliminary data that is provided by the Company to ensure that it meets certain criteria, to be worthy of further consideration by our members.
Usually these criteria will be:-
- Is the product/service likely to disrupt the market sector in which the Company operates?
- Does the management team have the necessary skill-sets to achieve their financial forecasts and ultimately, achieve an adequate return for the investors?
- Is the investment required sufficient for the Company to achieve its objectives, or is it likely to require further funding rounds to achieve a suitable exit multiple for the investors?
- Is the valuation of the Company prior to investment realistic, in relation to the progress it has achieved in its development to-date?
Don concluded, “We are always keen to welcome new investors to our network and would urge anyone interested in joining or finding out more about us to get in touch. We would love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org”
The next investors’ pitch event which will take place in February 2019 at the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton. To book a place at the DBA Pitch Event visit our Eventbrite page