AIV Capital completes investment into Zeotap, one of Europe’s leading marketing intelligence platforms

AIV Capital has completed an investment into next-generation Customer Data Platform (CDP) Zeotap. Founded in 2014, market-leading Zeotap is a customer intelligence platform designed to help companies better understand their customers and predict behaviour. 

Zeotap’s GDPR-compliant Customer Intelligence Platform (CIP), enables brands to unify, enhance and activate customer data in the cookieless future while respecting consumer privacy and ensuring compliance. Recognized by Gartner as a “Cool Vendor”, Zeotap works with over 80 of the world’s top 100 brands, including P&G, Nestlé and Virgin Media.  read more

Meet the Investor: Andy Ayim

 “If you don’t see it, you can’t be it” says inspirational investor and founder Andy Ayim MBE. The quote describes his philosophy in setting up the Angel Investing School with the aim of empowering a new tribe of diverse angel investors for the benefit for the whole startup ecosystem. In our latest interview this game changing investor discusses his motivations, advice to aspiring angel investors, how he finds deals and where the best investment opportunities lie in this tougher climate. read more

Meet the investor: Andrew Craissati

Andrew Craissati has had a storied career with over 20 years in senior roles across investment banking, Universal Studios, National Geographic, the David de Rothschild family office and the Virgin Group. Working closely with the country’s most famous entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson, Andrew gained remarkable insight of the world of early stage investing. 

 As a founding member of the Bricks, an early-stage investment firm, for the past 12 years he has used his personal experiences in supporting companies. Not just with capital but with constructively designed support and value-additive skills and knowledge. For our latest Meet the Investor interview, he discusses the benefits of angel investing, the most exciting markets for investment at this time and an unorthodox but effective approach for identifying the top performers. read more

Angel Investment Network named in prestigious Spear’s 500

Three of Angel Investment Network’s senior team have been named in the 2022 edition of the prestigious Spear’s 500. The index is the definitive market-leading guide to the top private client advisers and service providers for HNW individuals. 

AIN co-founders James Badgett and Mike Lebus were named alongside experienced broker Xavier Ballester who has been with AIN for fifteen years. 

Featured in the publication Lebus commented: “We have now grown to over 1.5 million entrepreneurs and over 300,000 investors across 194 countries worldwide. We’ve tried to never lose touch with our entrepreneurial roots.” read more

Meet the Investor: David Pattison

David Pattison left school not knowing what he wanted to do. He ‘fell’ into the media side of the advertising industry. With two partners he founded globally renowned advertising business (PHD) and had a successful exit.

For the past decade he has been a hugely successful angel investor, working as a chair, mentor or adviser for a variety of businesses and CEOs. Acting as a ‘wingman’ watching CEOs and companies’ backs and witnessing first-hand the ups and downs of start-up and young company life. read more

Meet the Investor: Marla Shapiro

The angel investment world is still overwhelmingly male. Data from the UKBAA suggests only 13% of business angel investors in the UK are women and it is a similar picture worldwide. Lack of access is one of the biggest challenges of gender inequity. There is an urgent need for more successful women to speak up and show others the way. One of the key reasons is that more female investors means more female entrepreneurs are likely to receive support. 

One such woman is the incredible Marla Shapiro- CEO of HERmesa – a UK based angel syndicate, 2022 finalist Angel Group of the Year at the UKBAA awards, investing in extraordinary female (co) founded start ups.  We speak about her continually growing portfolio of exceptional women led start-ups, her drive to support female backed business and what she sees as the fundamentals of a founding team. read more

Behind the Raise with Midstay founder Florian Jacques

For our latest Behind The Raise interview we speak to Florian Jacques, founder of Midstay, the platform helping companies and individuals work remotely. Florian talks to AIN about his innovative startup catering for ‘digital nomads’ with an all-in-one solution to set up remote working experiences. He discusses the benefits of his platform for both employees and employers, the traction points that won round investors and what Elon Musk has got wrong.

Tell us about Midstay and how you came up with the idea?

The idea for Midstay came from the experiences my co-founder and CTO Magnus and I had as remote workers and travellers. We met each other in Bali while surfing on a flat day. While waiting for a wave, we discussed our common experiences of being a “nomad”. We understood that the current landscape of digital tools was missing the essential tool of helping facilitate the relocation of people taking their work with them while travelling. read more

Top fundraising tips: Four ways to demonstrate traction to angel investors

With a downgrade in some valuations and a more challenging economic outlook, angel investors are increasingly rigorous with the startups they are backing. 

This means that after a few years of future-gazing and hype alone driving some investment rounds, genuine traction is squarely back in the back in the conversation. Early stage startups especially need to be able to demonstrate their potential investability with tangible proof points of momentum.

The Oxford languages dictionary definition of ‘traction’ is ‘the extent to which an idea, product, etc. gains popularity or acceptance’. Investors will be looking for the metrics or KPIs that best demonstrate these are being achieved. read more

Behind The Raise with acQyr eXchange founder Jim Mulford

For our latest Behind The Raise interview we speak to Jim Mulford, founder of rewards redemption platform for gamers, acQyr eXchange. The serial entrepreneur talk to AIN about his mission to effectively monetise the hugely growing gaming market with relevant rewards and offers, learn about how to get ahead of your competitors. As someone who has led several exits he also offers his top tips for raising investment and reveals the pitfalls to avoid.

Tell us about The acQyr eXchange and how you came up with the idea?

Our mission and QX Offering have a strong foundation of research, development, pilots, partnerships, and IP for the real-time issuance and redemption of digital reward value in markets that effectively apply loyalty rewards to attract, engage, and retain the customers of businesses within each market. read more

Behind The Raise with WAU Bikes co-founders Linas Pozerskis and Crystal Drury

For our latest Behind The Raise interview we speak to Linas Pozerskis and Crystal Drury the co-founder of smart-EV and energy storage startup WAU (We Are Universal). They talk to AIN about their mission to transform the electric bike market, top tips for raising investment and why shortening supply chains has improved the startup’s capacity to innovate.

Tell us about WAU bikes and how you both came up with the idea?

The problem we identified was that there was no 2-wheel EV platform on the planet that would take all large 4-wheel EV perks and raw sex appeal and make it portable. Our solution was to provide a powerful/portable alternative to full size Smart EVs such as Polestar, Tesla, Lucid, etc. read more

How to create a working culture that boosts business resilience and growth

Almost three-quarters of investors wouldn’t back a company with a problematic workplace culture.  And 66 per cent of potential recruits wouldn’t accept a job with a company known for having a bad culture.  In a recent report (May 2022) by software developer, Culture Shift, these startling statistics reveal that attitudes have significantly shifted – people are simply unwilling to put up with negative or toxic cultures.

This means that when growing your business creating a positive working culture is higher up the priority list for a founder and organisational leaders of small or large enterprises, than it has ever been.  With a natural expectation from investors for a business to be resilient in challenging economic circumstances and still grow, then this culture has to be carefully created and maintained. read more

Smart-EV startup WAU raises £650,000 powered by Angel Investment Network

Birmingham-based smart-EV and energy storage startup WAU (We Are Universal) has raised £650,000 in a pre-seed funding round with Angel Investment Network, the world’s largest online angel investment platform.

WAU, launched in 2018, is a fast-growing smart-EV vehicle platform transforming urban mobility. The product offering includes: WAU Bikes, a smart, long range electric bike with a powerful onboard computer, the 2 wheel version of the smart electric car; and soon unveiling the WAU Powerwall, enabling the bike’s power cells to be linked together to serve as power storage for solar homes and power plants among other uses. Finally WAU vision, its data gathering capability for an autonomous EV future, rolling out to all current and future riders of WAU across the world.  read more

Avoiding pitfalls when claiming under SEIS and EIS Investment Schemes

The SEIS & EIS venture capital schemes are two of the four schemes managed by HMRC that enable UK early stage businesses that are potentially high risk to raise money from angel investors, crowdfunding platforms and venture capital trusts.

They offer investors attractive capital gains tax breaks that significantly hedge the risk of their investments. For any business looking to raise pre-seed to series A funding in the UK, offering SEIS & EIS relief to investors is almost a prerequisite for a successful raise. However, it is not always straightforward to navigate. read more

Top fundraising tips: Five reasons why investors back successful startups

What is the magic formula that turns investor interest into action? In the last of our fundraising top tips blog series, we consider ‘the million dollar question’ of why investors back early stage businesses.

We have identified the top reasons based on the accumulated wisdom of startups who have successfully raised via AIN over the past two years, based on dozens of interviews. So exactly what are the top factors that will encourage an investor to become part of your cap table? 

1. The strength of the founding team

This came out as the number one reason startups received backing. After all, at this early stage, often pre-revenue, traction may be  limited. Investors are taking a gamble that any early stage company will go onto a significant exit and ensure a significant return. They need to have faith in the founding team to deliver. The old adage that ‘people buy people’ is proved out here. read more

Behind The Raise with CitizenMe

For our latest Behind The Raise interview we speak to StJohn Deakins, the founder of ‘Zero Data’ leader CitizenMe. He talks to AIN about his mission to improve the internet by enabling people to control their own data, developing your ‘why’ as a startup and his fundraising insights having raised in the UK, USA and Asia.

StJohn Deakins, founder of CitizenMe
Tell us about CitizenMe and how you came up with the idea?

My last startup helped over 100 million people get online with their smartphones. After selling it, I had the ‘beach time’ to dig deep into the economics of the internet. It quickly became clear that data will become the new currency of our digital world. However, because everyday people can’t participate in the value of their own data, there are billions of dollars of value left untapped. This personal value from personal data can mean many things. read more

Top tips for raising investment: Patience and practice make perfect

Our latest fundraising blog series features the accumulated wisdom of startups who have successfully raised via AIN over the past two years. Last time we looked at the top fundraising pitfalls. This week we look at the top tips for raising successfully.

All of the founders interviewed have raised successfully through AIN and several on multiple occasions. They have kindly given up their time to share their top tips and advice, helping to improve the startup ecosystem for the benefit of all. Their advice really is worth its weight in gold. read more

R&D Redefined – What the recent
changes mean for start-ups

In our latest blog post Graham Davies founder and CEO of Addition gives us the low down on R&D tax credits and what the recent changes in the budget mean for startups.

Innovation is at the heart of entrepreneurship – whether it’s finding a new solution to an age-old problem, or creating something no one else has thought of yet. Research and Development plays a vital role in economic growth – which is why the UK government has committed to investing 2.4% of GDP in R&D by 2027. read more

How to avoid the top fundraising pitfalls

A strong quality that marks out successful startup founders is a ‘fail fast mentality’. Integral to the fail fast philosophy is cutting losses when testing reveals something isn’t working and trying something else.

However in fundraising this can be a very costly process, with raising investment being carried out in parallel with running a nascent business. Making mistakes with potential investors or going down rabbit holes with time wasters can take you further away from your other job of building a game-changing startup. That’s why we wanted to bring to bear some of the accumulated wisdom of startups who have successfully raised via AIN over the past two years. read more

Behind The Raise with Ben Hallett, CEO and co-founder Vygo

Ben Hallett is the CEO and co-founder of fast growing EdTech company Vygo, built to ensure no student is left behind. In the latest Behind The Raise interview he talks to AIN about creating equality in education, scaling fast and pivoting, the reasons for rising investor interest in EdTech and how to avoid wasting time when fundraising.

Ben Hallett, CEO and co-founder Vygo

Tell us about Vygo and how you came up with the idea?
While studying at university, myself and my co-founder witnessed too many of our peers struggling, falling through the cracks and ultimately falling short of their potential. With further research we discovered that the problem was global with 30-50% of students dropping out of higher education and most students struggling with severe or debilitating stress. We discovered that one of the core challenges is helping students connect with the support they need when they need it and we couldn’t see anyone else meaningfully solving this. This set us out on a mission to ensure that every learner has equal access to the support they need, when they need it, so that they can reach their full potential. read more

Investor Due Diligence: Threat or Opportunity?

In our latest guest post David Pattison, experienced angel investor, business leader and author, considers the thorny question of investor due diligence. Is it a threat or or an opportunity? Or a bit of both?

If you are trying to raise money, there will be a requirement for the company (and often the management) to go through a Due Diligence (DD) process. This is where the prospective investors will take a deeper look you and your business.

If the investors are individuals or angels then the DD can be quite light touch, usually involving an interrogation of the business plan, some conversations with the team and maybe some customers or current investors. If they are funds or institutions, then they will take an almost forensic look and ask you to provide a mountain of information. read more