Rivers Capital Partners, managers of the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund, are delighted to announce 2014 as the most successful operating year since its inception four years ago. Combating continued economic uncertainty, the Fund’s flexible qualities ensured that demand for investment finance thrived throughout the year with the £7.5m core capital fully invested out by Dec 2014.
The finance provided from this core capital has empowered 55 of the most innovative North East businesses to achieve their growth ambitions, with the vast majority supported with follow-on investments through the Fund’s 107 transactions.
The Angel Fund’s portfolio has contributed year on year to the growth of the economy, creating £17.1m worth of turnover in the North East in 2014 alone. With a strong commitment to stimulating new business and developing the North East’s economy, the Angel Fund’s portfolio have successfully created and safeguarded almost 500 jobs in the region.
With its capacity to act as an Angel co-investment Fund, matching investments from the Fund’s facility, the Angel Fund is unique within the North East. Rivers Capital has actively forged strong connections with key business Angels and syndicates across the region, enabling the Fund’s portfolio to generate an enormous £7.2m of additional co-investment to date.
Sharing their wealth of experience in successfully managing and raising finance for their own businesses, ‘The Entrepreneurs’ Fund Manager’- Rivers Capital, worked hard in 2014 to educate the North East about the sources of finance available in the region.
Determined to encourage emerging entrepreneurs, Rivers Capital held 26 events last year equating to roughly 1 every 2 weeks. The year round suite of seminars broke down ‘investment readiness’ issues to people seeking or about to seek finance. The aim was to help them come to an investor better prepared with an understanding of the ins and outs of raising venture capital money.
Opening a new office in Teesside was a fantastic way to bring the prosperous investment year to a close. A large number of enquiries had been received from the southern part of the region so Rivers Capital felt it was appropriate to further improve their service offering to clients in that area.
Looking to 2015, the continued success of the North East Angel Fund over the last 4 years saw the Fund awarded an extension which enables it to invest in the growth of North East businesses for an additional 12 months.
Dr Michael Dickens, Fund Manager at Rivers Capital Partners, added: “The North East Angel Fund is recognised as the flexible fund for growing innovation. It offers a tailored investment solution, whether it be pure equity, pure loan, or anything in-between, to best suit the needs of the business. This flexibility is very attractive and allows a large breadth of early stage and established companies in a variety of different sectors and stages to apply to the Fund.
“The continued surge of interest in the Angel Fund, despite economic difficulty is evidence of the determination of North East entrepreneurs. Would-be entrepreneurs and established businesspeople are showing more confidence, and willingness to take risks starting a new venture.
"This confidence has resulted in more entrepreneurs investing their own money in their ventures - thereby coming to investors like Rivers with a better, more rounded proposition which is ready to go to market.”