Surging investor interest in agriculture, fintech and medical startups, finds Angel Investment Network report

Funding | Reports

Angel Investment

Angel Investment Network (AIN), the online angel investment platform, has revealed its latest ‘State of the Angel Investment Nation’ findings. It is based on the data of more than 125,000 UK registered businesses looking for funding and 35,000 UK investors.

Technology remained the top category of interest for angel investors looking to back businesses in 2020. Meanwhile, finance closed the gap, climbing five places to become the second most popular category for searches. In the year of the pandemic, medical & science climbed two places with a surge in investors backing entrepreneurs focused on improving health outcomes.

There was also a huge growth in interest in agriculture which saw a rise of 63% in searches and climbed seven places to become the eighth most searched term.

For entrepreneurs, property is the most popular sector for pitch ideas. Entertainment and leisure is the second, followed by fashion and beauty. This highlights something of a mismatch between the sectors in need of funding and the sectors investors are interested in backing.

AIN has also revealed the UK’s top entrepreneurial hot spots. London’s share of all pitch ideas has fallen slightly, although it remains responsible for 36% of all pitch ideas. The South East is second in the list with the North West number three. Growth in both Wales and Scotland outperformed the rest of the UK seeing a rise in the number of pitches as the startup culture continues to flourish across the UK.

According to AIN co-founder Mike Lebus: “It has been an extraordinary year with so many lives and businesses impacted by the virus. However in the face of unprecedented challenges, we have witnessed the resilience and adaptability of UK startups working to bring solutions to the problems of our time. From innovations in finance, technology bringing people together during social distancing to the wonders of medicine and science. It’s no surprise these are the businesses gaining interest and investment from our investors.

“We are also seeing the nascent development of ag-tech and brilliant technological solutions tackling the very real challenges we face of feeding the population and maximising efficiencies and yields. The challenges of climate change are undimmed and this is a sector that is at the forefront of that battle.”

He continued: “While London has been dominant in the past we are now seeing the comparative growth of other nations and regions in the UK as our embedded startup culture takes further root. We can look forward to a continuing resurgence across the country as we emerge from this difficult period.”

Top 10 Sectors for Pitches:

  1.   Property
  2.   Entertainment & Leisure
  3.   Fashion & Beauty
  4.   Technology
  5.   Food & Beverage
  6.   Software
  7.   Retail
  8.   Hospitality, Restaurants & Bars
  9.   Finance
  10. Business Services

Top 10 Sectors for Investors:

  1.   Technology
  2.   Finance
  3.   Software
  4.   Medical & Sciences
  5.   Property
  6.   Food & Beverage
  7.   Energy & Natural Resources
  8.   Agriculture
  9.   Entertainment & Leisure
  10. Retail

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. Wales
  11. North East
  12. Northern Ireland

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