Angels Invest Wales and Camau Nesaf drive business investment in north Wales

Angels Invest Wales Director
Business angels
Growing a business
Sustainability in business

Early stage businesses in north Wales are set to benefit from a new collaboration between Angels Invest Wales and business mentoring provider Camau Nesaf.

As the largest business angel network in Wales, Angels Invest Wales is part of the Development Bank of Wales and has over 300 registered investors in its network.

Working together with Camau Nesaf in north Wales, Angels Invest Wales will be scaling up activity to offer more start-up businesses and entrepreneurs the opportunity to get support from business angel lead investors. In addition, they will be able to access the £8 million Wales Angel Co Fund for match funding.

Steve Holt is the Director of Angels Invest Wales. He said: “Working with technology start-ups, Camau Nesaf has grown out of Clwb Technoleg Môn, an Anglesey-based group of angel investors and entrepreneurs.

“They now have a network of mentors and advisers who develop scale-up plans and investor readiness strategies so are well-placed to work with us to provide private investment for growing and start-up business in north Wales. They will use their knowledge, networks and expertise to form investment syndicates and identify opportunities in strategically important sectors in North Wales. Our co-investment fund will then provide match funding which effectively doubles the firepower.”

Clwb Tecnoleg Mon was originally launched by local entrepreneurs Ben Scholes and Nick Dryden. The pair now work closely with lead business angel Huw Bishop as co-founder and Director of Camau Nesaf.

Huw Bishop said: ”North Wales is a fantastic community of people who are constantly looking for ways to channel their creativity and enthusiasm. We see solid opportunities for investors as well as start-ups, particularly with the development of more syndicates which is very much the current pattern in angel investment strategies across the UK.

“An angel syndicate with the ability to co-invest alongside other groups and financial institutions is a powerful vehicle for enabling growth and scaling-up of technology businesses. The days of singular angel investors growing business opportunities alone without the support of other like-minded investors are rapidly reducing – these days it’s all about shared knowledge and co-invested finance to build a solid platform for early stage business. Shared financial risk through a syndicated approach also works for angels in an uncertain economic climate.

“An angel syndicate gains strength from a diverse range of investors. This ranges from those investing for the first time to experienced ‘high net worth’ investors who are seeking to expand their portfolio. I love helping local businesses grow and welcome approaches from investors at all levels – we’re open for business and we’re keen to talk to both entrepreneurs seeking to develop investment strategies for growth and angels interested in linking with like-minded investors.”

Ben Scholes is co-founder and Chief Executive of Beaumaris based Papertrail. He added: “I have grown my business through a series of investment rounds over the last eight years. The opportunity to widen the shareholder base and achieve the same investment in our most recent round was due to the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund and the match funding provided for our angel syndicate. Huw played an instrumental role in this and has a pipeline of future funding opportunities.

“The economic climate maybe uncertain but there is still plenty of appetite for growth and investment in North Wales. Camau Nesaf and Angels Invest Wales working together will help other early stage businesses to benefit from business angel investment and support. It has certainly helped us to get Papertrail where it is today.”

The £8 million Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund provides Welsh business with a key source of alternative finance through the encouragement of more active Angel investment. The five-year fund supports the creation of angel syndicates and networks across Wales by providing loans and equity up to £250,000 to investors looking for co-investment.