By Kristy Dorsey

Archangels has reported a record £7.3 million of direct investment during the first half of 2021, the highest six-month figure in the group’s 29-year history.

The money included funds for one new business and follow-on capital for seven existing portfolio companies. Co-investment of £3.1m from Scottish Enterprise and £2m from a range of other investors took the total value of deals led by Archangels during the period to £12.4m.

Originally formed in 1992, the Edinburgh-based syndicate currently has about 100 members and is led by joint managing directors Niki McKenzie and David Ovens. It focuses on providing initial funding of between £50,000 and £2m to Scottish technology and life sciences companies.

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“While the pandemic has had an inevitable impact on areas of the economy such as retail and hospitality, Scotland has a world-renowned tech and life sciences community that supports many thousands of high-quality jobs and is making an increasingly important contribution to the economy,” Mr Ovens said.

“At Archangels, we are committed to providing the growth capital and access to networks that support our portfolio companies, based here in Scotland, as they scale up to become truly international success stories.”

The syndicate was lead investor in the £1m fundraising announced in April by BioCaptiva, a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh that has developed “liquid biopsy” technology for the early diagnosis and monitoring of difficult-to-detect cancers. The funding will allow BioCaptiva to license the technology from the university and carry out its first trials to prove it is safe for use in humans.

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Among the group’s follow-on investments was Edinburgh-based Administrate, which has developed a platform that allows organisations to plan, deliver and scale training to match their business objectives. That money is being used to help Administrate accelerate its growth.

Archangels also led a further round of investment in Optoscribe, a supplier of glass-based integrated photonics products. Its technology produces optical components at a wafer level for applications such as optical transceivers used in data centres, or precision fibre alignment structures for high-density fibre optic connections.