Indian business angels to make first UK investment

Posted on 27 Feb 2014 by Tim Brown

India’s largest business angels group is set to make its first investment in a UK start-up.

The Indian Angel Network (IAN) is Asia’s largest angel network of over 250 investors comprising a who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and CEOs, spread across 10 countries.

The successful London-based company, SwiftShift, has invented a software solution that allows companies to quickly fill short notice shifts using their own staff through SMS, email, and mobile technology.

The announcement, which is subject to due diligence, follows a reception for the IAN investor group at Number 10 on Tuesday attended by the Prime Minister, Vince Cable, Matthew Hancock and Oliver Letwin.

In November the Prime Minister met the IAN Network in India where they agreed to set up a UK base to invest in British start-ups.

Minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin said: “The UK consistently ranks in the top three places for global investors due, in part, to the dynamism and innovation of our start-up companies.

“There is a wealth of British talent and potential that needs the right investment and bringing the Indian Angel Network to this country forms part of our efforts to ease access to finance for start ups and attract foreign capital.

“I am thrilled that they are set to make their first investment and hope that this will be the first of many.”

Indian firms are now the 5th largest investors in the UK and more than 50% of Indian investment into Europe goes to the UK.

Today’s announcement was facilitated by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) as part of its strategy to target investment from high-growth markets such as India and China.

The Network has already invested in start-ups in countries including the USA, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India.

IAN has a portfolio of 100 plus companies across multiple sectors like IT, Mobile, Healthcare and Education, Gaming, Hospitality, Semiconductor, and social media, and has made several successful exits, the best one returning 22 times capital.

Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder of IAN, who is leading the initiative said:

“The UK is home to some of the best innovation and R&D in the world. IAN, is a rare and possibly the only angel group in the world that has global membership and invests globally, with nimble yet robust, standardised, transparent processes that operate across geographies.

“We are thankful to the UK government for their support and are excited about supporting innovative UK startups, going global, fostering UK India collaboration in the early stage arena and driving economic growth in the region.

“We are delighted to have decided on our first UK investment and we believe that SwiftShift’s product will be sold around the world.”

The Indian Angel Network decided to invest in SwiftShift following a pitching session in London organised by UKTI where seven companies presented to the investors. The network was also impressed by three of the other companies and has agreed to continue talks with them.

The Indian Angel Network invests in start-ups and early stage ventures, has an investor base of over 250 angels from India and 10 other countries around the world.

The audit and tax advisory firm KPMG also announced today that it is supporting this initiative by becoming a corporate partner for the IAN network, which will see them provide support services for the IAN in the UK.