The latest Dorset Business Angels (DBA) Investor event took place at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth. An interesting and diverse mix of entrepreneurs were vying to win the attention and investment of DBA investors. In a first for the quarterly event, all 4 pitches made were successful in achieving interest from the investors present.
A Bournemouth based Private Members Club
Keen to grab the attention and imagination of the Angels was a local entrepreneur with ambitious plans to launch a private members club in Bournemouth. The exclusive club will become the first private members club in Bournemouth and was looking to raise £200,000 for a 20% stake in the business, with a projected 6 times return after 3 years.
Angels were advised that the new club is to be pitched as a place to ‘blend your work and your social life.’ Opening from 7am – midnight, serving food throughout the day and offering live music every evening. Membership will be strictly vetted and will incur a monthly charge. 73% of people interviewed, as part of market research carried out, said that they would be interested in joining and visiting such a venue. A central location in Bournemouth is currently being sought. The vision is to create and establish a successful new brand name in Bournemouth in year 1. In year 2 the founders expect to expand and open further clubs. In year 5, plans will be to franchise to other areas. Expressions of interest in investing in the business were made by 2 of the Angel investors.
Premium Concierge Service
Next to take the floor were a team who take away the stresses of moving home for time-poor home owners and tenants. The solution being offered is a service that helps home movers by taking over managing everything from notifying the council, energy and water companies, through to arranging removals and storage. “We save time, hassle and money. Knowing about clients and their new property also enables us to make other intuitive, timely and personalised product recommendations.”
The team are working with many trusted partners and routes to market include through estate agents, corporate employers and directly online.
Highlighting the opportunity, the team advised that there are 4 million sales and letting moves in the UK per annum. The target of the business is to achieve 160,000 moves which will be just 4 % of the market. The premium concierge service, which was seeking to raise £600,000 allowing them to expand, enjoys partnerships with over 15 national brands. The Angels learned that the business is currently being trialled by Savills. 2 Angel investors expressed interest.
I.T system technology
A company which enjoys working with approximately 30% of the UK’s local government departments carried out an impressive pitch to gain attention for their new web app platform which focuses on ‘Low Code, Integration as a Service’ and ‘Back-end as a Service’ solutions
The business has been operating since 2001 and turns over £1million per year, of which £600,000 is repeat revenue. Continued investment over the years has resulted in the latest release of the firm’s web app platform. They were seeking £300,000 in the latest stage of funding, with a pre-money valuation of £3 million. Investment is needed in order to capitalise on the rapid growth of the business. This highly technical pitch resulted in 1 Angel showing interest in pursuing investment opportunities.
Web publishing company
A local web publishing company, looking for a £200,000 investment, addressed the Angels to discuss their proposal – a native advertising platform to help website publishers take control of their native advertising strategy. Explaining the product the CEO advised, “Native advertising is an advert on a web page which relates to the editorial content as well as mirroring the design. We blend and match the feel of the web site so it doesn’t interrupt the user flow.” He commented that this year digital advertising is set to surpass television advertising revenue for the first time.
Describing the company’s traction the Angels learned that Ad Tags had been issued to around 2000 sites and that turnover in 2016-17 was £1.6million and White Label Contracts were secured and signed with some leading global names such as Vertical Intelligence, Media Drive, Mobusi and Prettysocialmedia.
Some heavy- weight endorsements have been received from industry leaders such as John Lemp, CEO of Revcontent who has enthused, “They are an innovator in the space, their brand and vision is a huge inspiration and keeps us challenging ourselves at Revcontent.”
Investor funds will be used to increase sales staff and coders in order to further develop the product and achieve some senior appointments to help scale up the business. 2 expressions of interest were received from Angel investors.
DBA Chairman Don McQueen advised, “It was great to see that all 4 pitches achieved interest from investors in the room. It was also very satisfying to acknowledge that 3 of the pitches came from local, Dorset based businesses. Our next pitch event takes place on Monday 5th February 2018 and we urge investors to register their interest in these ever popular events. www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk ”
DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim of being a catalyst in Dorset to bring together entrepreneurs and investors to help accelerate the growth of start-up businesses. Their vision is to turn Dorset into one of the UK’s best regions for setting up high growth and start-up businesses by providing quality private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth and sophisticated investors. Several times a year DBA investors invite businesses to pitch for investment in a Dragon’s Den style scenario.