I made 65 Angel investments in 2021 and I’m ‘doubling down’ on Fintech entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • Four of my angel investments are now ‘Unicorns’ and a further four have been valued >$500m. I was a first/early investor in all of these companies.
  • I made 65 investments in 2021 up from 17 in 2020 and have made 190 investments since I committed to re-invest half my net proceeds from selling my company in 2014.
  • I had 6 exits this year. Mainly ‘singles’ and ‘doubles’….and the home-runs continue to grow!
  • My portfolio companies now employ in excess of 3500 people ( of which c. 2500 are in the UK).
  • I continue to mentor dozens of founders and, where appropriate, help them make the United Kingdom their home — the best place to establish global Fintech companies:-)!

Enter the Unicorns (and ‘Soonicorns’!)

I made 1.25 direct angel investments PER WEEK in 2021

Payments

Prince, Geri, and Ren. Three of the 13 Payments founders I backed in 2021.

Crypto

Blake, Clarisse and Adam. Three of the ten crypto founders I backed in 2021.

Insurance-tech

Meghan, Lizhen, and Guillermo, three of the seven insurance-tech founders I backed this year.
Izhar, Ali, and Ope — three amazing BaaS founders from Israel, UAE, and Nigeria.
Ben from Shares, Marco from Raindrop and Tunji from Awahbah.

I had 6 Exits this year!

3500+ jobs created!

Final thoughts

  1. Home working gave me the extra time to do more: This post took a long time to craft. It made me realise how many meetings I took with founders, investors, mentors, and fellow angels in 2021 in order to invest in 65 amazing entrepreneurs. I honestly don’t think I could have done it if I hadn’t been working from home 98% of the year. I estimate I had over 1500 calls with companies and investors this year.
  2. International diversity of founders: I try to identify and back the best fintech founders in the world. This year, this has led me to back CEO/founders from: Singapore, UK, Greece, Portugal, Albania, USA, France, Australia, UAE, Ghana, Germany, Austria, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Ghana, Spain, South Africa, Russia, Kenya and Ireland. Although many of these founders established their business in the UK, 68% of the CEO’s I backed this year were not born in the UK.
  3. 34% of the CEO’s I backed were female, minority, or LGBTQ+. This is higher than 2019, but a lower percentage than 2020. Industry data indicates that only 6% of Fintech CEO’s are women (I backed 15%).
  4. Venture investing is a game of patience. It’s taken me 7+ years from the year I started investing to get some serious exits. I’ll be sure to let you know if the pace of exits continues into 2022! I hope it does. It will allow me to continue what I love doing.
  5. I’ve had surprisingly few companies wind-down since I began investing. This is something I’m tracking closely and, as time passes, I’ll share this with you. I hope it’s because I’m backing more winners. Time will tell. I clearly want every investment to be a ‘100-bagger’, but realise most investors success comes from one or two investments while many companies they back go to zero. I’d love to get my share of ‘fund-returners’ AND a greater percentage of solid returners. I’m sure the founders would like that too! Curious to see how this evolves.
  6. #GiveFirst. I only invest in a small percentage of the companies I meet, but I try to make every meeting count and often will refer a founder to someone in my network if I think that they can help. Platforms such as Bridge help me to make connections (and I’m also an investor in Bridge….of course!)

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