Dorset Business Angels (DBA) hosted their quarterly investors’ pitch event and welcomed four incredibly diverse pitches to present to the savvy Angel investors.
Creating the Airbnb for venue space
A venue booking platform, whose proud claim is that they are building the Airbnb for venue space, took to the floor first to make their pitch. They have a clear mission which is to make venue discovery and booking easy. Their vision is to become the ‘go to place’ to discover and book venues online.
The DBA’s learnt that currently in the UK, out of a possible 200,000 venues, only about 20% have a website to market their venue. The founders’ passion for providing these venues with a suitable platform has resulted in a seamless, self-service experience for anyone wishing to seek and book a venue for their event. After just 12 months of trading the Company has over 17,000 venues live on their platform, with the aim to increase this to 50,000 in another 12 months. When asked about who their competition was they described the venue booking industry as a very fragmented market with the biggest agency only having a 1 % market share.
In their current fundraising bid the team are seeking to raise £1.5million, of which £1million has been raised to date. The funding will enable them to scale the business internationally, invest in their marketing spend and develop their product, in particular with regards to the calendar and booking functions. Expressions of interest were shown by Angel investors.
Putting the ‘fun’ in to exercise to make it sustainable
A company in the Wellness sector, which was founded by a former international athlete, made a thorough presentation to the Angels. They laid out their business aims, which were to make exercise enjoyable for all and transform it in to a sustainable habit. Identifying the opportunity; 80% of adults don’t meet the minimum national exercise guidelines but 78% of adults do have a desire to exercise. They highlighted that exercise is often seen to be a negative experience and can be driven by feeling bad about one’s self and is not deemed to be enjoyable. The team’s solution to this is to make exercise fun, accessible and sociable in order to get as many people as possible to be active. They have done this by recreating childhood play and designing personalised game- based exercise classes and applying them to a work out scenario. The business began by running its own in-house training sessions, which were then scaled up across London and then launched in 4 other UK cities. They now train, license and support individuals to launch their own local communities. They currently have over 180 trained instructors on their books and a growth rate of 35%, month on month.
Seeking to raise £300,000 with the aim of accelerating the growth rate, providing more support for their instructors and growing the in-house team to manage the business. They gave their business a Pre Money Value of £2.25million. Expressions of interest were shown by Angel investors.
‘The uber for charity’
An impressive pitch was made to the investors by a company which has created a smart phone App which connects donors of unwanted goods to charities. It is now seeking to scale up the business and become the pre-eminent provider of goods donation services to the retail charity industry.
The UK market was identified as one that has 11,500 charity shops and over 3,000 vans accepting or collecting unwanted items with 7,000,000 pick ups of goods from donors per year. The average cost of a man-and van service to the charity was between £27 – £30 to the charity. Progress of the business was reported – they currently have 40 charities signed up to their App, with over 1,830 shops signed up, 8 to the courier service. Subscribers include national names such as Cancer Research UK, Shelter, Barnardo’s, CATS and Children’s Air Ambulance. The business has already won the Apple Best App of 2017 and hailed it as the “uber for charity”.
The charity ask was simply that the Services Director be invited to return to the Angels Pitch event in a few months time in order that further progress could be reported, at which time they would be seeking investment of £250,000. There was much admiration shown by the Angel Investors for the originality of the App and the simple solutions that it provides to the charity sector. Numerous expressions of interest were shown and much encouragement for another visit and pitch to the Dorset Business Angels ‘den’.
Aesthetic skin care and wound healing
A Medical Science company which designs, develops and markets new patented technologies in healthcare, sterilisation and medical devices offered the final pitch of the evening. Having started their venture in the space sector they have moved in to the world health care product market with a particular interest in the aesthetic skin care and wound healing markets. They have products being trialed around the world, many in the early stages but with paying customers and paying patients. They currently have 10 patents filed, with 2 granted in the UK. Exit opportunities were discussed, with big brand names such as Cutera, Allergan, Smith & Nephew and Johnson & Johnson identified as key names.
The Company is in the fourth round of a capital EIS cash raise with £250,000 left of a £500,000 raise. They valued themselves at a Pre Money Value of £6.2million and advised that funds would be used to expand the UK market, build stock of skin care consumables and development for their wound care product. There were no expressions of interest from the Angels
The evening also included a presentation by one of the DBA sponsors, Investec Wealth & Investment UK. Senior Investment Director Robert Jones presented to the audience outlining how Investec are able to help their entrepreneurial clients with their investment affairs.
Dorset Business Angels Chairman Don McQueen advised, “What an incredibly interesting evening. We really enjoyed the four quality pitches and the subsequent questioning to the businesses. We’ve had good levels of investor interest shown this evening and look forward to finding out more about these businesses.”
Continuing Don added, “Our next pitch event is on Monday 26th November. We welcome potential investors to come along, network and maybe discover an exciting, new investor proposition! Even if someone has not invested before you would be made very welcome.”
DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).
Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.
DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Investec Wealth & Management and Laceys Solicitors
To book a place at the DBA Pitch Event visit www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk/Pitch-Evening.aspx