Angel Investment Network reports strong annual revenue growth

Angel Investment Network (AIN) has announced strong growth, with annual revenues up 9.4% year on year and a record number of deals for the broking business. AIN now has more than a million users in total on the platform.

AIN received over 100,000 pitches in the past year from entrepreneurs across the globe, with the figure doubling over the last two years. Alongside existing markets there has been a rapid growth of startups coming from emerging markets. Meanwhile investors registering on the site have surged nearly 40% year on year, now standing at more than 200,000 registered business angels.

Alongside the online platform, AIN also runs a successful broking division, which has seen exceptional growth in the past 12 months. Revenues have increased by 22% as demand for the team’s expertise increases. AIN has been involved in several significant raises in the past 12 months for a variety of business. This includes eco-friendly baby product business Kit & Kin, fully customisable bio-polymer plastic company Teysha, and Pin Point, data science offering early cancer detection.

Despite ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and a global slowdown, AIN’s results reveal the buoyant startup culture both in the UK and internationally and the popularity for this method of financing.  The biggest demand among investors over the past year has been for software-based business, however food & beverage and property ventures are also seeing impressive growth. Fast growth worldwide markets include India, Canada and Australia.

Additionally AIN has been expanding into new areas including a property investment site, BrickTribe and an impact-driven online hub SeedTribe, catering for the increasing demand from investors for businesses with sustainability at their core.

According to AIN co-founder Mike Lebus: “AIN is the largest network connecting angel investors with startups, and we continue to see strong growth with investors keen to connect to our wide pool of early-stage businesses. We reflect a strong, growing and resilient worldwide startup culture which has now taken root in every continent of the world. We are particularly encouraged by the performance of our broking business as more and more investors are coming to us for access to high quality dealflow.”

He continues: “We continue to operate a lean and agile business model and we are able to launch new products to respond to the needs of our users. This includes our two new standalone platforms, BrickTribe and SeedTribe, which we built to fulfil demand that we were receiving from our investors.”

AIN’s Olivia Sibony named one of the UK’s top 10 Women entrepreneurs

Olivia Sibony, CEO of SeedTribe and Angel Investment Network’s Head of Impact Investing has been named one of the UK’s top 10 Women Entrepreneurs. 

The accolade came from Business Game Changer Magazine in its annual showcase of The UK’s Top game-changing Women Entrepreneurs. The UK’s Top Ten Women Entrepreneurs recognises the outstanding contribution made by individual UK business women. This contribution is either to their businesses, their local communities or by inspiring and mentoring other entrepreneurs. 

Olivia was recognised for three key reasons. These were:

– Founding and exiting her business, GrubClub, selling to EatWith, feeding tens of thousands of diners through hundreds of chefs, one of whom went on to earn a Michelin Star.

– Founding and launching SeedTribe. The UK’s central hub for Impact Entrepreneurs, supporting and connecting hundreds of entrepreneurs, encouraging using profit for purpose.

– Launching the Female Founders Hub for Angel Investment Network, responding to data that showed just 1 in 10 of our investors are women and a low percentage of female founder teams. She was recognised for ‘empowering thousands of women to gain confidence in becoming active investors and using their skills and money to help shape the world’.

According to Olivia: “I am honoured to have received this accolade. My success is in huge part thanks to the incredible network of entrepreneurs, colleagues and supporters with whom I’ve worked closely all these years. I look forward to continuing this work supporting female founders, as well as entrepreneurs running inspiring businesses that are able to align profit and purpose in order to address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.”

The Northern Ireland startup scene deserves more attention

Sam Louis from Angel Investment Network
AIN’s Sam Louis

AIN’s Sam Louis talks through why Northern Ireland’s thriving startup scene deserves more attention.

When it comes to reporting on Northern Ireland’s business climate the focus has, for better or worse, been on Brexit. With discussions about how to resolve the border conundrum continuing, there’s been little talk of much else happening in the internet now. However, one exciting aspect has definitely been under reported – the growth of the Northern Irish startup scene. It is worth examining.

I judged the Digital DNA upStart awards in Belfast earlier this year and was overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of exciting companies developing in Northern Ireland. Across all sorts of sectors, there’s really something underway in the Emerald Isle.

Breadth of opportunities

Encouragingly, our data agrees. This year we created AIN’s first ‘State of the Angel Investment Nation’ report. Built on insights from the 100,000 businesses that came through our platform in 2018, it produced a detailed picture of the angel investment landscape. Within this, the report revealed that Northern Ireland had the second fastest growth across the UK. In raw terms in new entrepreneurs it was up 67% on the year before.

This is a great sign of things to come, as confidence builds within the country that top startups can be started and scaled on home soil. N. Ireland’s highest performing sectors were software and property. ICS cyber security companies are particularly well represented within the software category. However, we are seeing a really encouraging breadth of opportunities – from health food companies and CBD ventures to dog grooming startups. Northern Irish entrepreneurs are setting up across all industries.

Increasing investment from overseas

Looking to the other side of the table, we’ve always had a strong core of investors coming out of Northern Ireland, many of them from a property background. What’s been interesting though is to watch their attention shift inwards as their home market grows. With increasing investment from overseas, this is something we hope will continue, with NI investors going in alongside international firms to fuel the local ecosystem.

As the world evolves, digital talent and capabilities will play an ever-increasing role in the international standings of the world’s nations. Key areas like Cyber Security, saas email security, AI and Machine Learning are already a valuable commodity in dictating not only economic growth, but also geopolitical opportunities. As the Northern Irish start up scene continues to develop, especially in these highly technical areas, it has the potential to make a serious contribution to the UK’s already strong representation at the highest levels of the digital world. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, Northern Ireland’s start up scene looks set to grow. Let’s hear more about it.

Six ways to prepare your home for colder weather

With the clocks going back and Bonfire Night taking place, Winter is officially here! That means colder weather is coming and it is time to take measures to ensure you have a cosy and well heated home this Winter. But this doesn’t mean just whacking up the heating and spending a fortune.

Before you turn on the central heating system, find out more and think about where you might be losing heat to start with. If you think you need an hvac repair, you may visit sites like to see the services they offer or call experts. You can also repair your broken ac unit in Arlington, TX during this season, so that when summer begins your unit is ready to beat the heat.

Simple physics dictate if you can stop heat escaping, you don’t need to spend the money and burn energy by creating more. In addition, you should also take time to assess your electrical systems. If you need to replace your electric panel, contact a professional electrician near you. Here are six smart ways you can prepare for the colder weather.

  1. Have an energy audit: An energy audit is an assessment and analysis of your homes’ energy use. An Energy performance certificate will provide a rating scheme to summarise the energy efficiency of your building. The building will be given a rating between A – G. The EPC will include basic tips on the most cost effective ways to improve your homes’ energy rating. A more sophisticated audit of the kind offered by Zing, includes branch analysis of your energy habits, based on an interview and testing the function of your energy system. This can lead to a bespoke solution for your home’s needs and reduce your energy use as well as keeping you warm.

  2. Deal with drafts: Doing simple things can make a massive difference to your energy bills. Heavy lined heavy curtains can help to retain warmth in a room. Also, a draft excluder works wonders at keeping the cold at bay and also reduce the bills. Another simple step is to close doors throughout a property, this will also help trap the existing heat within rooms, without the need to replace it. However in the longer term you should consider an insulation solution as the most efficient way of increasing energy efficiency.
  3. Insulate your property: If you just turn up the heat in an uninsulated home, you will just lose the heat, costing more money by burning more fossil fuels. By trapping heat in through insulation you reduce the need to spend money putting heat back in. The different types of insulation include:

    Roof and loft insulation: Up to a quarter of your heat in homes leaves through the roof due to heat rising and seeking out an escape route. Insulating your roof or loft with insulating material is the best way of stopping this heat from escaping. For your roofing needs and concerns, look for a service like Bondoc Roofing and other similar services to guide you. You may visit sites like for more info on roofing services. And if you need immediate roofing repair or replacement services, you may call for a residential roof replacement with Beemer Kangaroof and get the proper ventilation underneath your roof.
    Floor insulation prevents heat loss through the floor. Insulating will also block draughts coming in
    Cavity insulation: A cavity wall is a type of wall with a hollow centre, which have two walls leaving a small space in the form of a cavity. Insulating cavity walls, which are more prevalent in newer homes will save energy and can dramatically cut your heating bills.
    Solid wall insulation: If your home was built before the 1920s, the wall is likely to have solid walls. Solid wall insulation can lead to even bigger savings than cavity wall insulation.

    There are a variety of grants available for insulation which Zing Energy can help you unlock.
  4. Bleed your radiators: This may sound obvious to many, but we often find homeowners who forget this simple step to increase a boiler’s efficiency. Bleeding a radiator means letting out air that has become trapped inside an un-vented system. If air is trapped it can prevent water from heating the whole radiator, creating cold spots. A simple feel of the radiator once the heat is turned up should let you know if you need to do this.
  5. Check your boiler’s performance: Once any insulation, draft and and radiator issues have been addressed the heat source needs to be examined. Any energy audit would of course include this. Modern gas boilers, heat far more efficiently than boilers that were manufactured even ten years ago. An efficient combi boiler helps to provide heat on demand, but crucially also saves money  because it doesn’t need to run all day, like old gas boilers. There are grants available for boilers and it may prove a worthwhile investment to save you money and also boost the value of your home. Also to safely deliver fuel for the heating of your boilers, look for a Fuel train company that can help you on this.
  6. Put on an extra layer of clothing: The traditional Dad’s favorite solution! Just as you would take measures to keep yourself insulated when going outside, no reason not to apply the same for the inside. If it is effective and warms you up, then there no need to then turn up the heat, waste energy and burn more fossil fuels. Surely a win/win. Unless of course you have very dodgy taste in jumpers!