Most Active Angel Networks in the UK

Sarah Cheesman, 21 December 2023

Angel networks, also known as angel groups, have emerged as a significant funding avenue for early-stage entrepreneurs in the startup phase. They serve as a valuable complement to, or even a viable substitute for, conventional venture capital firms. In this article, we’re taking a look at the most active angel networks in the UK between 2011 and 2022.

What are angel networks?

An angel, typically a high-net-worth individual (HNWI), is someone who invests in high-growth companies. Unlike venture capital (VC) funds, which receive financial support from large institutional or corporate investors, angel investing is a more personalised approach. Many angels have grown their wealth through successful exits from their own startups, making them a valuable source of experience and support for early-stage companies.

Angel networks consist of angel investors who collaborate to identify and introduce early-stage investment opportunities. They frequently pool their resources into a shared fund to make collective investments.

In all three cases, ‘research and development’ is defined as a scientific and technological project that either creates a new process, product, or service, or enhances an existing one.

Which deals do angel networks typically invest in?

Between 2011 and 2022, we tracked 2,398 fundraisings of UK companies that involved participation from angel networks. Altogether, these rounds had a combined worth of £3.31b.

Of the 1,333 companies that received investment from angel networks during this time, 114 of them (9%) have since exited the private market, either through an IPO or an acquisition.

At the time of investment, 43% of businesses were operating at the seed stage, while 47% were categorised as venture-stage companies. Whereas, just 9% were at the growth stage and 2% established, reflecting a strong preference by angel networks for investing in early-stage businesses with considerable growth potential.

Most of the UK’s most active angel networks have roots in either London or Edinburgh, but there are several other hubs for angel investors across the UK, including Glasgow, Cambridge, Oxford, and Bristol. Whilst many of these groups consider opportunities from all over the country, most prefer to focus funding on their local areas.

Around 44% of the companies that have received angel network investment since 2011 were technology or IP-based businesses. Angel groups invest across a wide range of industries, however, and several of the networks listed in this article specialise in niches such as social impact investments.

Commenting on how the ecosystem has evolved in recent years, Roderick Beer (Managing Director at UKBAA) tells us that ‘angel groups are growing up—not only are they increasing the amount of investment that they deploy but also they’re becoming more professionalised, with many groups now operating sidecar investment funds.’

How has angel investing changed over time?

The number of equity deals involving angel networks in the UK has increased fairly steadily since 2011, with a spike in 2022, at 320 fundraisings. Angel investing dropped slightly in 2020, likely due to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, to 218 fundraisings, and increased in 2022 to 297.

The real number of fundraisings may be significantly higher; we identify angel participation through press releases and tip-offs from funds, but angel groups typically hold their cards close to their chest and keep their activity on the down low. One thing’s for certain though—angel networks are becoming an increasingly active and important part of the UK’s high-growth ecosystem.

We’ve drawn up a list of the 10 most active UK business angel investment networks. This list is based on the number of deals completed and UK companies backed between 2011 and 2022, where investors have been publicly announced in the press, or where they’ve privately disclosed their activity to Beauhurst.

The UK's most active angel networks


Kelvin Capital

Number of investments 2011-2022:
100 rounds
33 companies

Founded in 2009, Kelvin Capital is a Glasgow-based investment syndicate and Scottish Enterprise Co-Investment Fund partner. It has a primary focus on high-growth tech companies and, to qualify for investment, businesses must be post-revenue, with a maximum of £1m.

Kelvin Capital emphasises its commitment to supporting the growth and development of its portfolio companies outside of the investment process. The angel group has so far participated in 100 fundraisings, into 33 companies.


TRI Capital

Number of investments 2011-2022:
118 rounds
37 companies

TRI Capital is an experienced business angel syndicate, headquartered in Scotland. The group’s investment portfolio focuses on high-growth SMEs based in—or relocating to—Scotland and the North of England. They typically invest between £150k and £2m.

TRI Capital is primarily an early-stage investor, but is open to opportunities at most stages of growth. It mainly focuses on the following sectors: IT, biomedical, optoelectronics, engineering, and textiles. To date, the angel group has participated in at least 118 fundraisings, into 37 companies.


Wealth Club

Number of investments 2011-2022:
136 rounds
66 companies

Based in Bristol, Wealth Club is the UK’s largest investment service for high-net-worth and experienced investors. They focus on a variety of different sized companies, from micro to large, with no restriction on the sector. Whilst they do not advertise their investment range, our research indicates that it typically invests between £500k and £2m.

In November 2022, Wealth Club won “Best Investment Platform” at the Growth Investor Awards, following similar wins in 2018, 2019, and 2021. To date, this angel group has participated in at least 136 fundraisings, into 68 companies.



Number of investments 2011-2022:
157 rounds
69 companies

Made up of over 100 private investors, 24Haymarket is a sector-agnostic angel network, headquartered in London, with a regional office in Edinburgh. Whilst the fund does not publish its investment range, our research indicates that it typically invests between £1m and £5m.

We tracked 157 funding rounds between 2011 and 2022 that saw participation from 24Haymarket, into 69 companies. The network generally seeks a seat on the board of its portfolio companies, combined with an involved post-investment model.



Number of investments 2011-2022:
189 rounds
133 companies

Based in Southwark, the Envestors network of over 4k sophisticated investors typically invests between £5k and £10m in equity funding. Envestors Private Investment Club (EPIC) offers screened opportunities to angel investors, many of which use the UK Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).

Between 2011 and 2022, we tracked 189 fundraisings by Envestors, into 133 companies, most commonly in online platforms and high-potential SaaS companies. Notable exits include electric vehicle charging company Chargemaster, which was acquired by BP in 2018 for £130m, and recipe kit business SimplyCook, which was acquired by Nestle in 2021.


Equity Gap

Number of investments 2011-2022:
178 rounds
45 companies

Also based in Edinburgh, Equity Gap is an angel network which invests in high-growth companies across the UK, but primarily in Scotland. The network typically invests between £100k and £500k, in a broad range of industries and verticals, excluding property or traditional retail.

It has participated in at least 178 funding rounds for 45 companies. Alongside startup capital, Equity Gap provides support for its portfolio companies throughout the investment cycle, including pitch coaching, mentoring, board-level input and exit planning.



Number of investments 2011-2022:
187 rounds
34 companies

Headquartered in Edinburgh and formed in 1992, investor network Archangels is the world’s oldest continuously-operating business angel syndicate. Investing between £250k and £2m (but typically £250k–£1m), the group invests exclusively in Scottish companies that qualify for the SEIS and EIS tax relief schemes.

Archangels focuses on the technology and life sciences sectors, including green energy companies, biopharmaceuticals, and bionics. Between 2011 and 2022, we identified 187 funding rounds into 34 small businesses that included participation from the network.


Minerva Business Angel Network

Number of investments 2011-2022:
195 rounds
106 companies

Formed in 1994, Minerva is based in Coventry and managed by the University of Warwick Science Park. The group has a not-for-profit objective, typically investing between £25k and £1m, and focusing on high-growth technology companies.

In order to receive funding, Minerva investees must be based in the West Midlands, or have persuasive evidence of an intention to locate there. To date, the angel network has participated in at least 195 funding rounds, into 106 companies.


Cambridge Angels

Number of investments 2011-2022:
203 rounds
129 companies

The Cambridge Angels network invests throughout the UK, but gives primary consideration to opportunities in the Cambridge area. To date, the group has invested in at least 129 startup and scaleup companies, across 203 funding rounds.

Cambridge Angels has a particular focus on the cleantech and biotech sectors. It typically invests between £150k and £1.5m, and has an exit horizon of seven years. As well as providing funding, ‘Cambridge Angels prides itself on the fact that around three-quarters of its members are exited entrepreneurs’, giving them ‘real-world experience of building and scaling businesses’.


Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity Network (OION)

Number of investments 2011-2022:
256 rounds
190 companies

Oxford Innovation Finance is the home of OION, one of the oldest and largest angel investment networks in the UK, and the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund. OION was established in 1994 as one of the UK’s first business angel networks and today links carefully selected investment opportunities from Oxford and across the country with investors through regular Showcase events.

The future of angel networks in the UK

The landscape of angel investing in the UK has seen remarkable growth and dynamism over the past decade. This list alone represents a thriving ecosystem of support for early-stage entrepreneurs, with networks using their collective expertise and financial backing to play a pivotal role in nurturing innovation and fostering the growth of innovative startups.

Their dedication to providing a more personal and hands-on approach to funding sets them apart from traditional venture capital firms. As we look ahead to the future, it is clear that these angel networks will continue to be instrumental in driving innovation, encouraging entrepreneurship, and shaping the next generation of successful businesses in the UK.

If you’d like to find out more about the information that Beauhurst can provide, get in touch with us today, or book a demo.

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