Newable Ventures’ Angel Network completes record level of investments in March

The month of March proved to be a successful one for Newable Ventures, which deployed circa £2m in six companies to round off a busy financial year, Business Leader reports.

The month also saw the group secure £10m from British Business Investment’s Regional Angel Programme.

Closing these six deals in March saw a “record level” of angel participation according to Newable Ventures Director Sanjeev Gordhan who comments: “Such strong levels of participation in the early stage investment market bodes well for the Fund and angel network moving forward.”

  • Among the investments is QLM. The Bristol-based company is revolutionising how Green House Gas emissions are monitored by Oil and Gas companies by developing high-sensitivity, low-power and highly accurate Tuneable Diode Lidar (TDLidar) gas detection and imaging systems. The company has secured £3m in equity funding to allow them to complete commercial development of their products.
  • Newable Ventures has also followed its previous investment into NuVision. This year’s £1.6m fundraise was executed in partnership with Mercia Investments, providing further support to the Nottingham University spin out which manufactures Omnigen, a wound dressing and grafting material sourced from a natural biomaterial called amnion. The company’s product enhances wound healing after ophthalmic injury, and further applications are being clinically studied.
  • RobinAI was set up by Richard Robinson in 2019. The company automates the process of preparing legal contracts for financial service firms. Robin AI’s technology compares favourably with traditional legal services when automating simple contracts such as NDAs, and frees up a lawyer’s time to focus on higher value activities.
  • Another South West-based company to secure investment from Newable Ventures was Zentraxa, a Bristol-based biomaterials company specialising in hard-to-manufacture peptide-based materials. The company is developing novel adhesive compounds using their proprietary platform.
  • Using next generation DNA sequencing and novel machine learning, GenomeKey diagnoses bacterial presence, species and antimicrobial resistance in a matter of hours. Compared with the normal week-long identification of antimicrobial resistance, GenomeKey’s technology has the potential to save lives, money, and antibiotics.
  • Distil was set up by Gerry McNicol in 2018. The company helps SMEs who have a growing digital presence, re-engage existing customers by personalising communications. The company has developed a scalable SaaS solution for their customer base, and this fundraise will enable scale-up through sales and marketing activities.

Avantika Gupta, Associate Investment Director at Newable Ventures, comments: “These six deals are a perfect demonstration of the Newable Ventures’ investment philosophy. What really excites us is that we have provided investors exposure to a wide variety of emerging technological trends that had been developing before the COVID-19 pandemic, but have since seen widespread uptake in their respective sectors. From using AI and Machine learning to create new tools to identify and fight against disease, to LIDAR Sensors providing commodity companies real time data on their Green House Gas emissions, we feel that these investments are at the forefront of the 4th industrial revolution.

“We are delighted to have invested in these six incredible founders, and look forward to working with each of them in growing their businesses over the coming months.”

2020 was a year when the UK start up sector had to contend with the UK’s exit from the European Union and the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also the year that saw UK start-ups raise a record £11.2bn of investment.

Sanjeev Gordhan notes that such optimism has continued into 2021, adding: “Angels are really the driving force behind UK start-ups thanks to their capital, advice and mentorship of founders, and their ability to raise the profile of investee companies amongst their respective networks. The key to maintaining, and hopefully growing this level of investment in UK start-ups will be to ensure that we have a vibrant early stage investment eco-system providing a robust pipeline of entrepreneurial talent.

“Newable Ventures EIS Fund and angel network plays a critical role in furnishing this pipeline of entrepreneurial talent, and such high levels of engagement from our angels bodes well for the future. I would like to thank the Newable investment team and our 400 angels for their support so far this year, and we look forward to working with you throughout 2021.”