Bure Valley Group is an investment brokerage business which links successful investors with exciting, innovative UK startups seeking funding. This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial or investment advice.
Sunday the 8th March marks International Women’s Day, so it only feels fitting here at Bure Valley Group to highlight the impact women are having in the UK startup and EIS scene.
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Women & angel investment
Encouragingly, the number of women who are angel investors is still rising. According to the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), in 2008 women represented 1/14 of angel investors, but today in 2020 they comprise 1/7. Although this is a positive trend, there is still clearly much more work to be done. The UK still lags behind other developed countries in this regard, such as the U.S. where 1/5 of angel investors are women.
As an aside, interestingly the UKBAA also notes that business angels in the UK are increasingly comprising younger investors. 75% of our business angels are now under-55, and just under half (44%) are under-45. Those younger than 35 comprise about 16%.
Women & investment decisions
In 2018, the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA) published their Women In Investment Report which highlighted that women made up 20% of the UK’s wealthiest 10%. Today, it is estimated to be over 28.2%. This is, again, is positive news yet there is still more progress to be made.
The aforementioned report highlights that 54% of investors believe a gender-diverse industry and company team helps to drive better investment performance. This is strongly backed up by evidence such as the 2015 McKinsey report, which shows that investment management boards with a healthy mix of men and women can lead to 15% outperformance compared to male-only boards. In 2020, long may the movement towards greater diversity (and performance) continue.
Women & EIS
One survey by the EISA suggests that at least 7m women in the UK want to invest in dynamic startup companies, even if they are not familiar with the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). Moreover, women are increasingly taking a leading role in pioneering these very companies. A great example is the growth of the “femtech” sector (a debated term), which categorises products, apps, hardware and services which are being developed to address women’s health. This growing industry should be of particular interest to many EIS investors, since it is predicted by Frost & Sullivan to potentially become a £40bn industry by 2025.
Here, it is clear to see how diversifying the UK’s investment landscape is likely to encourage more innovation and growth in this area. In the aforementioned BBC article, for instance, the story of Janica Alvarez was told, who in 2013 sought funding for a breast-pumping device. She encountered resistance to the idea from many investors, yet such femtech innovations have now become more mainstream and often quite profitable. In 2019, for instance, the 2019 Oscars’ swag bag featured a silent wearable breast-milk pump, and “personalised wellness” is now regarded as a top 5 investment area.
Here are just a few of the exciting areas where femtech and EIS are coming together in 2020:
- Women’s Oncology Diagnostics
- Breast Imaging Systems
- Maternal and Infant Digital Solutions
- Women’s Reproductive Health Diagnostics
Some success stories
It’s always good to hear some of the testimonies of UK female entrepreneurs, who have often disrupted the marketplace for good. Here are just a few to celebrate:
- Trinny London. Created in 2017 by Trinny Woodall, this company has developed a set of personalised and miniaturised beauty solutions which caught the eye of many keen investors. One of Trinny’s self-confessed big achievements has been her journey to secure funding from male investors who have not always understood the proposition. To start, she successfully secured £150,000 of initial funding through the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). Today, they have now raised at least £2.6 million in backing.
- myLotus. A proprietary product which helps to address the needs of women over 40 with fertility issues, myLotus struck a supply agreement with Boots in March 2019. The growing business ended the year with £740,000, supplemented by a further £2.2m raised at 3p a share in April.
- Marodyne LiV. Women are more at risk of developing osteoporosis after hysterectomy, menopause or 6+ months of absent periods. The Marodyne LiV is a new product distributed by LivMD UK which looks like a stand-on bathroom scale, and emits low intensity vibrations to help generate tissue. It is the result of 40 years of research, and also $70m of investment.
If you are a successful investor and would like to know more about our EIS opportunities here at Bure Valley Group, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team, and discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available:
+44 160 334 0827