Business Investment with Angels not Dragons
If you are a fan of the BBC show DragonΓÇÖs Den, then you will be aware of the impact that finding the right financial backer with the right industry connections can make to a fledgling firm, whether it is the retail nous of Theo Paphitis or the seemingly unbound abilities of Peter Jones ΓÇô the difference is unquestionably life changing.
But while the prospect of being paraded on television, and possibly humiliated in the process, is not high on the agenda for many businesses, less public opportunities to meet and mix with potential investors, or ΓÇ£Business AngelsΓÇ¥ as they are sometimes called, do exist.
One example is the London Investment Fair from Beer & Partners. Now in its 12th year, the event offers companies seeking funding the opportunity to meet over 100 private investors in more of a ΓÇ£DragonΓÇÖs LoungeΓÇ¥ situation away from the glare of the television cameras.
But with a reported ┬ú1.6 of investment secured by businesses at the firmΓÇÖs previous event, it would appear that the opportunity to secure funding and expertise is significant. In the same way that Peter Jones and his fellow Dragons are likely to dismiss any chancers outright, the number of businesses at these events are restricted to 30 and must demonstrate the following:
- 1) A clear and rational business plan demonstrating significant growth
- 2) A management team that has the ability to create profits, particularly through capital growth for investors
- 3) An exit strategy, perhaps through a public offer, trade sale or buy back
- 4) A realistic valuation for incoming funds.
With an investment scale of between ┬ú100k and ┬ú2.5m and over a decade of providing such events to SMEs, Beer & Partners have, according to a report in the London Evening Standard, helped to raise around ┬ú120m across 400 deals.
With the banking sector attracting criticism for its apparent failure to lend to SMEs following the banking crisis, being aware of other avenues from which investment can be found could be increasingly important for businesses, including the thousands of firms which choose to operate from serviced office space such as those advertised by www.officebroker.com