StartUpBuzz



At AIN, we celebrate connecting investors to back the great businesses of tomorrow, whatever they do. With this in mind, our latest round up includes a new form of property marketplace, a platform using AI to reinterpret education and a company making new types of soup!

Soupologie

Soupologie

Whilst you may think there isn’t much to differentiate soup, Soupologie would beg to differ. Soupologie makes award winning soups and ready meals that are driving a number of innovations including: the world’s first ‘5 a day soup’ and ‘first free from the 14 main allergens soup’. 

Capitalising on the plant based movement, the company has achieved strong growth and has even released two cookbooks. With an exit focused management team and strong revenue growth, the company is on a fantastic path.

Key Facts

– On track for £3.2m revenue in Y/E May 22

– Products sold at Waitrose, Tesco, Ocado and leading supermarkets 

– Over 21k+ followers on social media  

“Soupologie have steadily built a strong business core around an innovative product range. Alongside executing the fundamentals of the business brilliantly, they amplify the brand exceptionally well through wide reaching media campaigns and an enviable following. The combination is powerful and we knew it was something that our network would be keen to see” Sam Louis. 

Find out more about Soupologie here.

Vesta

Vesta

Vesta is a marketplace for buying and selling rental property, and has sold over £50 million of property since it’s launch in 2018. 

It’s the leading marketplace of it’s kind covering buy-to-let, student accommodation, and portfolio properties for example. The properties often come with a tenant in place – if you buy a property with a tenant in place, the tenant is happy as they don’t need to find somewhere else to live, and the buyer is happy as they have an immediate rental income. 

Key Facts

– The rental market is expected to be £1.7 billion by 2025 

– Vesta has a growing pipeline currently worth £100 million.

– Revenue currently > £20k a month

“This is a space that has been of interest to me for some time and Vesta clearly sets out what the investment options and how much I can hope to generate from the moment I buy the property” Xavier Ballester.

Find out more about Vesta here.

Habitat Learn 

Habitat Learn

Habitat Learn is an ecosystem of products designed to remove the barriers of learning. With the ethos that ‘when online learning works better for all students; all students work better.’

Habitat Learns comprises a suite of products easily integrating into existing education technology. This includes: 

– Video conferencing software, designed specifically for education, as well as providing high quality live stream content, there is AI captioning and translation, and digital watermarks to safeguard IP. 

– Advanced analytics including everything from live recording, invoicing and student attendance records

– An option to get notetakers to take notes remotely. 

Key Facts: 

– Projecting £3m revenue in 2021, (£600k: 2020)

-185 customers (universities and colleges) including Harvard, Yale and Cornell

– Experienced team founding multiple successful startups 

“With lockdown Edtech has seen a real surge but I also looked back to my uni days where I spent most lectures frantically scribbling and missing half of what was said… Oh to have had Habitat Learn!” Xavier Ballester. 

Find out more about Habitat Learn here.

Keen to hear more?

If you would like to see what other companies are up to on Angel Investment Network, or are interested in raising funding yourself, you can find your local network here.

Tech leads but stunning rise in interest for sustainable businesses, finds Angel Investment Network report

Angel Investment Network has revealed its latest ‘State of the Angel Investment Nation’ findings. It is based on the data of our UK registered businesses looking for funding and the keyword searches of investors.

Investor keyword searches
‘Technology’ was the top search term used in 2019, based on investor keyword searches. This was followed by ‘property’ with ‘mobile’ the third most popular. ‘Robotics’ climbed six places year on year to now be the fourth most requested search term. Meanwhile ‘electronics’ is up by nine places on the list to number six.

With climate change centre stage in Davos last week, there also has been a stunning rise in interest for sustainable businesses. Searches for ‘Renewables’ have rocketed by 34 places to be the 14th most searched for term. Meanwhile ‘greentech’, unheard of even a couple of years ago, is now the 19th most popular keyword, up from 47th last year. Environmental leapt 56 places up the rankings to be the 25th most searched for term.

Pitch ideas
For entrepreneurs like Jimmy John Shark, property is the most popular sector for pitch ideas. Entertainment and leisure is the second, followed by technology. Overall there were 10% more pitches over the past 12 months from startups looking to attract investors.

According to AIN co-founder Mike Lebus: “Startups are the lifeblood of the UK economy and despite a turbulent year politically, there has been no slowdown in activity. Investor interest remains focused on technology and the cutting edge applications that are possible through it, including mobile and robotics. However property, one of mankind’s oldest profit generators, continues to drive the interest of investors and is now our top sector for pitches.”

He continued: “The growth in interest in impact related terms is remarkable and we are witnessing a seachange in investor attitudes as it has so quickly shot to the top of the news and business agenda. It is the reason we launched our spin off SeedTribe to help support entrepreneurs who put sustainability at the heart of their business model.” 

The report also reveals some discrepancy between startup ideas and investor interest. While fashion and beauty remains the fourth most popular category for pitch ideas, it is just 17th on the list for investors. ‘Inventions’ as a search term fell by seven places from seventh to fifteenth most searched term. Meanwhile ‘Gadgets’ also fell by 15 places to number 32 as investors instead look for more tech and software based ideas.

Entrepreneurial hotspots
AIN has also revealed the UK’s top entrepreneurial hot spots. London remains responsible for 37% of all pitch ideas, although its market share was slightly down. The South East is second in the list with the North West number three, up 10% year on year. There has also been impressive growth in other parts of the country. There was 25% growth in pitch ideas in the West Midlands, with East Anglia up 26%.

The Top 10 Sectors for Pitches:

  • Property
  • Entertainment & leisure
  • Technology
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food & Beverage
  • Software
  • Hospitality, Restaurants & Bars
  • Retail
  • Business Services
  • Education & Training

The Top Keywords for Investors:

  • Technology
  • Property
  • Mobile
  • Robotics
  • Software
  • Electronics
  • Computers
  • Products
  • Residential property
  • Finance

The entrepreneur hotspot list is as follows (based on number of pitches from each region):

  1. London
  2. South East
  3. North West
  4. South West
  5. West Midlands
  6. East Midlands
  7. Scotland
  8. East Anglia
  9. Yorkshire and Humber
  10. North East
  11. Wales
  12. Northern Ireland



Top 5 Startup Podcasts for Entrepreneurs & Angel Investors

The term ‘podcast’ was coined to describe audio content (other than music) that you could download to your iPod – you know, that Apple product long since ingested by the iPhone. But the term lives on and its popularity is on the rise.

According to Edison Research, 64 per cent of Americans are now familiar with the term “podcast” and over 4 in 10 have listened to at least one podcast. 73 million Americans listen to podcasts every week; their average weekly listening time is an astonishing 6 hours 37 minutes.

There is a number of reasons for this including:

  • A shift in audience entertainment expectations towards on-demand content
  • A desire for long-form content where listeners can, by degrees, come to understand fully the topic under discussion
  • A recent UCL study even showed that emotional responses are stronger from auditory content than visual

But the medium itself shouldn’t take all the credit for the popularity of podcasts. Podcast creators have contributed their time, creativity and expertise to produce compelling and informative audio experiences.

Today, the selection of top-quality podcasts is almost limitless. And that is true of any industry from gaming to politics; from children’s books to investigative journalism.

The startup and business space is no different. There is so much choice – it can be a little bewildering. Especially given that you are probably pressed for time and want to start by listening to the best podcast that is most relevant to you!

We love podcasts. We listen to many of them. And we even host our own podcast (see below).

To help you get started on your journey of discovery, we have compiled our list of the Top 5 Startup and Business Podcasts.

1. This Week in Startups

twist podcast

Tech entrepreneur Jason Calacanis interviews successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and offer advice to people thinking of starting their own businesses.

2. The Pitch

Josh Muccio presents real entrepreneurs pitching in the hope of securing venture funding from investors. Entertaining and informative!

3. Masters of Scale

Linkedin podcast

LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman hosts guests with expertise and insights into scaling a startup. The focus is on growth rather than starting out…

4. How I Built This

Guy Raz presents the journies of some of the most famous companies as told by the entrepreneurs who drove them.

5. The Startup Microdose Podcast

The only UK-based podcast to make our list is our own (hosted by yours truly and my colleague, Ed Stephens!).
startup microdose podcast
Recently tracking at the number 1 in the Apple Business podcasts list, the Startup Microdose has exceeded all our expectations in its first year.

With guests including the founders of Huel, What3Words, Depop and Sweatcoin, we unpack the stories and secrets of companies right in the moment of their success.

Check it out on iTunes, Spotify or new podcasting platform, Entale.

Let me know your favourite (even if it’s not mine)!

Since we published this post, FeedSpot released their list of the ‘Top 30 Startup Podcasts on the Planet’

We are delighted that four of our list (Startup Microdose, Masters of Scale, TWiST and How I Built This) all made the cut.

Check out the full list here

What the UK Chancellor’s Budget 2018 means for Entrepreneurs and SMEs

At a glance, the Autumn Budget 2018 is a win for entrepreneurs and SME’s. If your personal income is less than £100,000 and you’re a ‘genuine’ entrepreneur, taxation rules and entrepreneurs’ relief remain favourable. The more indirect budget effects could also be highly beneficial.

Established entrepreneur and founder and MD of globally-recognised, Absolute Translations, Sergio Afonso summaries the 2018 Budget’s impact on UK entrepreneurs and SMEs.

1. Entrepreneur Relief Timeline Extended

Phillip Hammond decided to meet halfway regarding the contested £10m entrepreneurs’ relief allowance, choosing to revise rather than abolish. The change is an increased minimum holding period from one year to two prior to selling a business.

This is meant to reward ‘genuine’ entrepreneurs who recognise that establishing a successful business ready to sell takes time.

Those who build and sell a business within 24 months will no longer qualify for the tax allowance.

2. Rates slashed for independent businesses

Businesses of all sizes have generally gained.

High-street based small businesses are the biggest winners. Up to £8000 in tax savings are now available for small businesses who have a rateable value under £51,000 for the next 2 years.

The fight to protect independents from corporations like Amazon from running local enterprise out of business is additionally supported through co-funding to local councils, with Hammond committing of £675m to the transformation of streetscapes, infrastructure and transport access.

3. VAT Raid scrapped & allowances raised

Despite reports of a VAT raid on small business lowering the minimum required turnover amount required to pay VAT from £85,000 to £43,000, no such decision was officially made.

In fact, the chancellor raised the personal tax allowance from £12,500 for basic rate taxpayers and £50,000 for higher rate taxpayers in 2019.

Businesses seeking capital expenditure will also be pleased with the “Annual Investment Allowance” being substantially increased from £200,000 to £1m.

4. Digital Services Tax a win for Start-ups

Tech-based startups are likely to benefit indirectly from the digital services tax that will be placed on “established technology giants”.

Public calls for companies such as Facebook and Google to contribute to local tax and “pay their fair share towards support of public services” has encouraged Hammond to show the way to the international community.

The “UK digital services tax” introduces a 2% tax for tech companies with sales over £500m. This strategically avoids the UK startup and SME market and potentially creates an opportunity for them to gain market share.

Critics hope it has been designed in a way that doesn’t prevent home-grown tech innovation or international business investment in the UK.

5. Brexit’s Impact

budget brexit
The Budget 2018 cannot be evaluated without taking into consideration the broader implications of Brexit.

Hammond’s Budget aims to reduce austerity but, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, he concedes that the economic situation will continue for another 5 years.

This is a potential worry for UK-only entrepreneurs and businesses. Opportunities to take a global view is an option for relevant business owners to avoid the expected financial fallout. Others must hope that the unconfirmed but rumoured spending increase of 1.9% will come into fruition.

You can read more detailed takeaways from the Budget 2018 here

Marketplace of Essential Tools for Entrepreneurs

Angel Investment Network has been helping entrepreneurs meet investors for fourteen years now. The community is nearing 1 million users and more and more people are successfully raising money and meeting useful partners through our platform.

Pat on the back for us, right?
entrepreneurs pat

Well, we’re not happy.

We think we’ve been lazy. We believe we can do far more to support entrepreneurs in achieving their ambitions. In this sense, the platform has a long way to go.

What more are we doing to help?

We are entrepreneurs and our job has been to help entrepreneurs for the last decade and a half. So, we feel pretty well-qualified to know what support entrepreneurs need most. Beyond just meeting investors. And we know that we’ve not been providing everything!

So, we spent the last year reaching out to some of the most highly-reputed companies in their spaces. These companies provide specialised tools and services to help people like you grow their companies.

We have now partnered up with the best of them to bring you our marketplace entrepreneurs (1)!

You can now get expert help with:

– Legal/Finance/Accounting
– HR/Recruitment
– Design & Development
– Office Space
– Marketing
– Alternative Finance

From companies like:

SeedLegals – Easily complete all the legals for your funding round online in a fraction of the time, paper-free
Fanbytes – Advertise through SnapChat
SnapHR – Developer hiring
Kandidate – Non-technical hiring
Jobbio – Careers marketplace & talent matching
Hubble – Office space
Tide – Modern business banking

marketplace entrepreneurs (1)

There is also a host of useful tools to ramp up your entrepreneurial efficiency.

This marketplace is open to all, not just members of Angel Investment Network so feel free to share with anyone you think would find it useful.

If you would like to see a service added, let us know and we’ll get our Partnerships team on the case!

Enjoy!

Who was Entrepreneur of the Year 2017?

The Women in IT Awards, the world’s largest technology diversity event, recently revealed the winners of its 2017 programme including ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in front of 1,000 business and technology leaders.

It came as no surprise to us that Dr Kim Nilsson, founder of Pivigo, was ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’.

Pivigo’s upward trajectory…

18 months ago, I reported that data science marketplace, Pivigo, had closed its latest funding round (£300k through Angel Investment Network) off the back of some impressive growth.

6 months ago, I reported that Pivigo was one of the 15 fastest growing female-founded UK tech companies selected to represent the UK government in a link building initiative with Silicon Valley and the US tech scene. (The lowest growth rate of the 15 companies selected was 118% annually!).

pivigo data science entrepreneur

Following a career in academia (including work on the Hubble Space Telescope), Dr Kim Nilsson has walked a gilded path since founding Pivigo in 2013. Pivigo has closed numerous funding rounds to propel its impressive growth – it is now the world’s largest community of data scientists.

This latest accolade came at the Women in IT awards, an event aimed at celebrating diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, hosted by Maggie Philbin OBE and Martha Lane Fox.

Dr Kim was typically magnanimous in her acceptance of the award, highlighting the great work of the whole team at Pivigo:

To be chosen as the winner in a highly competitive category is great validation for the work we do at Pivigo, innovating and disrupting an exciting industry.

On behalf of the team at Angel Investment Network, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Kim and the team.

Keep up the good work!

If you’re a business looking to leverage the power of its data or an individual looking to build your career in data science, visit Pivigo to find out more.

Top 50 Universities for VC-Backed Entrepreneurs

Research firm PitchBook reviewed its venture-capital database of more than 13,000 founders and ranked each school by the number of graduates who went on to launch venture-backed companies over five years ending August 2014. It also calculated the total number of startups founded by a college’s alumni and total capital raised from each institution.

Check out the top 50 undergraduate colleges churning out VC-backed entrepreneurs and innovators.

Infographic – What the SEC Announcement Means for Startups and Entrepreneurs

July 10th 2013 the SEC announced that the ban on general solicitation has been removed for small businesses seeking startup capital, allowing for sweeping changes in the way businesses find funding. With general solicitation now permitted, startups have the opportunity raise money from a wider range of investors – potentially accelerating their funding.  The infographic below details the changes to come with yesterday’s announcement and explores the ways it will affect entrepreneurs as they seek funding.

Infographic – Statistics on Capital for Entrepreneurs – VC and Angel Funding in the US by Race, Age and Gender

A study conducted by CB insights has revealed a lot of details about VC backed companies across the country. The focus of the study was on the three largest players in tech startup; New York, California and Massachusetts.

Key Stats

40% of funded companies have two founding members, and they raise 19% more money on average than companies with one or three founders. A common scenario is one founder focuses on the technical and product side of the business, while the other handles more of the business and marketing. A two founder company has the advantage of a greater depth of knowledge, while still keeping decision making simple compared to larger teams.

Founding teams based in California, raise more money than the other two states. On average 67% more than teams in Massachusetts and 59% more than Nee York based teams.

On average, all Asian teams raise:
• 74% more than all white teams
• 82% more than mixed teams
• 207% more than all black teams

Founders According to Race and Gender

Most founders are white males, but on average Asians receive more funding. Massachusetts has a higher percentage of women founders, compared to New York and California.

Median Funding Received by Race:
• Asian Pacific – $4 million
• All White – $2.3 million
• Mixed – $2.2 million
• All Black – $1.3 million

Median Funding Received By Gender:
• All Male – $2.2 million
• All Female $2.2 million
• Mixed $4 million

Age and experience factors

Older age does not automatically translate into more funding. What is rewarded is more experienced founders.

Median funding Received by Age Range:
• 35-44 ($2 million)
• 26-34 ($2.5 million)
• 45-54 ($2.4 million)
• 18-25 ($1.4 million)

Former Titles and Roles

An interesting statistic is the breakdown of the previous job title and job role of founding members.

Former Title Breakdown:
• Other role – 46 %
• Sales & marketing – 13 %
• Product development & management – 12 %
• Engineering – 11 %
• Business Development – 8 %
• Software – 6 %
• Strategy – 4 %

Former Role Breakdown:
• CEO/Founder – 39 %
• Other title – 28 %
• Director – 10 %
• Vice President – 9 %
• Senior Vice President – 5 %
• Manager – 5 %
• Consultant – 4 %

Infographic – State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa

Statistics shows that South Africa ranks 35th out of 189 countries in the world. South Africa has scored well in the cost of starting up a business, getting credits, dealing with construction permits and protecting investors. And on average, it only takes 6 procedures and 19 days to start up a business in South Africa.

What is the current state of entrepreneurship in South Africa? This infographic presented to you, courtesy of data visualization not only presents the statistics, but hopes that in doing so we will strengthen a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Infographic: 35 Startup Buzzwords Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Angel, freemium, MVP, value proposition — there are a lot of buzzwords that get thrown around in the startup world. As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to know, understand and sparingly use them.

Entitled “The Founder’s Dictionary,” and jammed packed with a ton of buzzwords I have heard in boardrooms and coffee shops, the infographic was created to uncover “the true meanings” of these terms.

Take this one with a grain — no, a tub — of salt, folks. This infographic isn’t what it seems to be at first sight. While it would be awesome to have a dictionary for these terms, this resource actually pokes fun at the mysterious origins and definitions of these oft-used buzzwords.

Yes, it is important to know what these buzzwords mean — and to know whennot to use them — but don’t source your definitions from this comedic infographic. You may, instead, want to check out Quora, where a thorough thread of annoying startup buzzwords can be found.

This production is, though, a comical glimpse into the world of entrepreneurial word play.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericaswallow/2012/03/14/startup-buzzwords-infographic/

Which startup buzzwords have you heard flying around the office? Share them in the comments below.