13 April 2013

Envestors to operate YABA

On my Inventors Club website, I described a business angel as  
"a wealthy individual who wishes to invest in a new business. Typically, he or she may well have already built up and sold a business and will therefore have acquired skills, knowledge and experience that can be shared with the new business. According to the British Business Angels Association ("BBAA"), the industry association for business angels, a typical investment will be between £10,000 and £750,000 in return for which the investor will expect a proportionate share of a new company's capital and maybe a seat on its board. The investment may be made by the angel individually or as part of a syndicate of angels and other investors."
I added that most business angels belong to networks some of which are regional and I referred to the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels ("YABA") as an example.  I also wrote a little primer on angel investment in "On the Side of the Angels" on my former chambers website on the 8 July 2011,

"Additionally, as of 1 April 2013, Braveheart’s wholly-owned subsidiary Envestors Limited has acquired the rights to operate the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels (‘YABA’) from Yorkshire Association of Business Angels Limited and will combine this with the YABA secretariat, previously operated by VFM.
Scott Haughton, a director of Envestors, said: “YABA has been adapting its business model to develop its longer term sustainability. Envestors is ideally placed to power the growth and sophistication of YABA with increased deal flow and syndication opportunities for its members alongside Envestors’ extensive private investor network.”
So what does this mean in practice for local start-ups and entrepreneurs?   

Envestors describes itself as:
"an award-winning investor network dedicated to helping find quality investment opportunities for its network of 1000 private investors and 30 family offices. We specialise in raising from £300k – £1m in younger companies, and from £1m - £10m in more established companies. We work across most industry sectors with investee companies ranging in size from the smaller, earlier stage, through to the more mature. Investments usually qualify for EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme). Aligned to our investors, we seek outstanding management teams capable of delivering their stated business objectives."
Its holding company, Braveheart Investment Group plc, was formed in 1997 and has been quoted on the alternative investment market since 2007. It manages around £120 million and offers equity, loan and mezzanine funding to SME as well as advice on corporate finance and investment readiness. 

The company from which Envestors took over the management of the YABA network was VFM.   Those letters appear to stand for Viking Fund Managers which is another Braveheart business. Yet another is Finance Yorkshire which offers seed corn funding, business loans and equity linked investments of between £100,000 and £2 million.

On its "latest deals" page YABA reports four transactions between 15 Feb 2012 and 26 Feb 2013. I shall follow this page with interest over the next 12 months and report back in 2014 as to the practical effect of the new tie up.

Incidentally, both business angels and entrepreneurs seeking angel investment require advice on company law, contracts, employment, tax and, of course, intellectual property.   I can help with IP and I have written a short article "What Business Angels and VCs need to know about IP" which can be downloaded from the JD Supra website.  Now that I am in 4-5 Gray's Inn Square I have colleagues who can help with all these other issues.   Should anyone require advice or representation on any aspect of angel investment or launching a new business, please call us on 0113 320 3232, 01484 599090 or 020 7404 5252 or fill in our contact form.  Our chambers are developing a strong presence in Yorkshire and the Humber and can see you in conference in Bradford or Huddersfield as well as London.

If you want to talk to me about this article, you can reach me through my contact form or call me on any of the above numbers.  You can also follow me on Facebook, Linkedin, twitter or Xing.