Angels of the North: YABA launches new investment services for angels and entrepreneurs

7 March 2012

The Yorkshire Association of Business Angels (YABA) has today announced its intention to become the pre-eminent investor network in the north of England, by launching a new suite of investment services for business angels and corporate investors.

Says YABA Chairman, Andrew Burton: “Our membership has grown rapidly in recent years, and we’ve reached a size that allows us to introduce a more sophisticated offer to both our membership and to those companies looking for finance. YABA is evolving, and these are exciting times.”

For investors, the new membership packages include a robust screening system to ensure the quality of investment opportunities, opportunities can be matched to individual investment preferences and new-style angel group meetings which allow a more in-depth introduction to entrepreneurs and companies seeking finance. Expert guidance to enhanced tax breaks offered by EIS and SEIS is available, and a wide range of focused ‘Master Classes’ in key investment strategy areas will be hosted by experts to develop  and refresh members’ knowledge and skills. New or less experienced investors will have access to peer support from more experienced colleagues.

YABA now has 130 members with a combined total of some £34 million risk capital available to invest.

In the last 10 years YABA members have been involved in 114 deals in the region, with investment totalling over £15.5 million in early stage businesses across all sectors. Individual members’ investment levels range from £30,000 to £300,000.

YABA Manager, Barbara Greaves says: “YABA is already a vibrant investor network, and the services and support on offer are aimed at further enabling a successful deal flow and return on investment. We’re actively promoting a greater emphasis on syndicated investment (where individual angels invest in groups) to build wider portfolios and spread overall risk. We’d love all our angel members to achieve investment returns that research shows can be as high as 22 per cent over a 4-year period.”

For entrepreneurs and companies seeking finance, YABA will offer guidance as to which new service level best meets their needs based on an appraisal of their business opportunity.  Opportunities can be posted on YABA’s website for all angel members to view, presented to small groups of angels at the new-style Investor Meetings, and companies with a larger funding requirements may be invited to present to investors through the exclusive Viking Club. 

The network is particularly keen to dispel the common misconceptions surrounding business angel investment which can put companies off from considering this as a finance option. 

Says Greaves: “Angel finance is only repaid when the company achieves success: there are no payment deadlines, interest payments, or personal guarantees - it’s risk free capital. And despite TV programmes such as Dragons’ Den showing entrepreneurs being aggressively interrogated and demands for very high equity stakes in the company, the reality is very different!  YABA members are business professionals with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the sector in which they’ve achieved success. Many of our members tell us that their motivation in becoming an angel investor is not just financial – they get to ‘give back’ to the business community and help others unlock potential to achieve success through their expertise, which is extremely rewarding in itself.”

The new packages will take effect on 01 June and the first new Investor Meeting takes place on 15 May.  If you’re interested in becoming an angel investor, or are looking for equity funding, please contact Barbara Greaves on 01423 810149.