DESPITE the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Edinburgh-based business angel investment syndicate, Archangels, led investments of £16.3m in promising Scottish start-up and early stage companies in 2020, topping its 2019 total of £13.4m by 22%.
Across 2020, the syndicate directly invested £8.1m (2019: £7.4m) in companies in the tech and life sciences sectors and was lead investor on a total of 11 funding rounds.
Archangels also announces that it has appointed Maureen Kinsler to its board of directors.
Until her recent retirement from the post, Maureen was Chair of Marks & Clerk, the international intellectual property service provider, which she joined in 2002. She is a UK and European patent attorney with extensive experience of patent prosecution, handling many internationally diverse patent portfolios for a range of clients. Maureen specialises in photonics, semiconductors and computer related inventions.
Maureen has a first-class honours degree in physics and a PhD in semiconductor devices from Glasgow University. She also has an MSc in intellectual property law from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.
Archangels’ 2020 investments included funding for two new companies – £715,000 in Hearing Diagnostics, which has developed an innovative new system with the potential to revolutionise hearing tests globally, and £3.1m in Integrated Graphene, which has developed a manufacturing process that enables it to produce high performing, pure, 3D graphene (3DG) foam directly onto any surface, at room temperature and in seconds.
Other highlights for 2020 across the Archangels portfolio included:
- Blackford Analysis – announcement of a partnership with global life sciences giant, Bayer, to develop a new cloud-based medical imaging platform for the company
- Reactec – refocusing of its existing Hand Arm Vibration device in response to COVID-19 social distancing protocols to create SafeDistance which alerts workers who come within two metres of each other
- Speech Graphics – launch of their cloud-based platform powering more natural, real-time interactions between humans and AI-driven avatars
- MGB Biopharma – successful outcome of Phase II study into Clostridium Difficile Infection treatment
Commenting on the year’s events and Maureen Kinsler’s appointment, Eric Young, Chairman of Archangels, said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop our portfolio companies from continuing to innovate and Archangels was determined to provide the support that they, and our new investee companies, needed.
“I am particularly excited that Maureen Kinsler has agreed to join our board. Intellectual property is at the heart of each of our portfolio companies and I am confident that Maureen’s experience and expertise in this complex area will prove to be an invaluable asset for Archangels and our investee companies.”
Maureen Kinsler said: “Archangels has a proud tradition of supporting and growing technology and life science companies in Scotland. I like what they stand for. I am very much looking forward to working with the Board, the Executive team and our investee companies over the coming years to deliver sustainable growth in the Scottish market.”