In the first quarter of 2020 Archangels, the Edinburgh-based business angel investment syndicate, has led investment of £6.2 million in early stage companies in Scotland.
The investees were four tech and life sciences businesses:
Blackford Analysis (www.blackfordanalysis.com) was spun out from Edinburgh University in 2010 and is a provider of a single radiology Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform which allows healthcare providers to quickly access and manage medical image analysis applications and AI algorithms that add clinical value.
Fios Genomics (www.fiosgenomics.com) helps pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology organisations and academia make sense of big data for drug research and development. It provides an extensive range of bioinformatic and statistical data analysis services (see investment deal report in YCF 254).
Optoscribe (www.optoscribe.com), formed as a spin-out in 2010 from the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot Watt University, has developed direct write technology for the optical communications market which will be central to many of the next generation of optical transceivers and optical interconnect products (see investment deal report in YCF 255).
Speech Graphics (www.speech-graphics.com) has developed software that produces high-quality facial animation from audio alone, with no need for motion capture. The technology is currently used in the entertainment industry, with clients including Warner Brothers and Def Jam Recordings.
£2.6 million of the investment came from Archangels members, with £1 million from Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, and the remaining £2.6 million from a range of other investors. All four companies are existing Archangels portfolio members.
Niki McKenzie, joint managing director at Archangels, said “Each of these businesses is a shining example of home-grown Scottish innovation that is succeeding on a worldwide stage. We are both proud and willing to offer our continued support to these businesses as they scale up.
“These are difficult and uncertain times for all of our portfolio companies, but we remain confident that businesses like these – led by change makers and entrepreneurs – will play an important role in driving the Scottish economy forward when the time comes. Archangels remains committed to supporting Scottish businesses and I would encourage any early stage companies in the technology and life sciences space to come and share their ideas and aspirations with us.”