- The association now has 102 members, 25% more than at the start of the year
- 230 start-ups were screened, with 64 of those invited to pitch
- 14 new start-ups were selected for investments.
Bucharest, July 13, 2021 – TechAngels investors earmarked an aggregate EUR 3 million for investments in the first half of 2021, with Q2 funding doubling versus the first three months. The association grew 25% in the first six months of the year, looked at 230 companies, met with 64 of them in pitches, and expanded its portfolio by 14 up to 189 start-ups (portfolio under observation in the last 2 years).
Another 48 start-ups are on the list of potential investments, undergoing a scrutiny process by the group of investors in view of a new development stage.
“Our ecosystem continues to grow. New opportunities arise and new start-ups emerge more than ever. The demand for digitalization in almost all industries has helped create new intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial initiatives and better understand the product design process, and has given rise to competences we did not have in sales and marketing. Corporations are starting to want to get increasingly closer to the start-up ecosystem, by getting involved in mentorship, funding, and new product integration. We expect to soon see new investment firms carrying on the stories that were initiated by start-ups and supported by business angels. Business angels are now also supporting entrepreneurship schools and start-up associations, besides accelerators and events, or are even joining partnerships with corporate funds. Furthermore, TechAngels has a very good relationship with regional and European business angel organizations,”says Malin Iulian Stefanescu, President, TechAngels.
Business solutions were prevalent in the first half of 2021, with 24% of the start-ups selected for pitches presenting solutions aimed at increasing business efficiency, platforms integrating business process automations, and complex organization data analysis. Many of the solutions selected for pitching combined robots and machine learning, and focused on simplifying company operations in diverse industries. Another witnessed trend involved no-code and low-code solutions, enabling companies to more easily customize their software.
The star industry of the period, which saw a quick climb in the ranking of pitches (approx. 10% of the total number), was the automotive and transport sector, particularly urban mobility management solutions, including ride sharing, personal vehicle management, repair shops, parking places, transport availability, etc. Health tech and individual recreational preference management solutions – audio books, exercising, personal task management, leisure time partners, styling, etc. – were equally popular, accounting for 11% of the pitches.
“Our expectations for the second half of the year are that investment volume will increase, and the annual average will likely exceed last year’s average. It is very easy for a start-up to get to pitch with TechAngels – they only have to fill in a form, which is available on our website, and we see all Romanian tech start-ups in the order of their applications – and, so, we have noticed more registrations for pitches. Towards the end of the year, investors typically assess their personal portfolios and make investment decisions more quickly. We have seen this seasonality in the previous years as well,”reckons Malin Stefanescu.
At TechAngels, investors act individually, but also team up for investment alliances when the pitched projects appeal to multiple investors. The funds invested following individual decisions by the TechAngels members come bundled with the investors’ business experience, who want to increase their chances of success by helping when able and needed. Most of the times, when multiple investors are involved, they are represented by a lead investor, which simplifies the communication between the start-up founders and the investors.
“Specifically in the case of start-ups in the early stages, the venture capital invested by the association members, bundled up with their business experience, will reach a significant aggregate value to make the difference between success and failure. This combination enables start-ups to materialize their ideas and find their first clients. Most of these alliances between founders and TechAngels members manage to gain traction and draw even greater funding for acceleration in the next phases, both from other angel investors and from larger private-capital venture funds,”believes Mihai Guran, vice president with the association.
TechAngels will continue holding collective pitch sessions until August, and will resume them in September 2021. The organization will continue focusing on three directions: supporting start-ups in need of advice and resources, supporting investors wishing to take the step towards angel investing, and expanding collaborative networks within the ecosystem regionally.