Two Bournemouth based female entrepreneurs secured significant interest and a record number of investor interest at the recent Dorset Business Angels Pitch event. The dynamic duo launched an impressive pitch which quickly captured the attention of ‘would-be’ investors and stood up formidably to tricky questioning from the Angels. This subsequently led to 7 investors expressing their interest to carry on to the next stage of carrying out due diligence with the business.
The interior design company has built a platform that has proved to be very successful in appealing to customers seeking help and guidance when undertaking the often daunting task of renovating and furnishing their own home. The proud boast of the 6-year-old business is that they are ‘changing the world of interior design’.
Investors learned how the Company is now the most reviewed interior designer in the UK and has been rated the No.1 Design Professional, 3 years running, on the World’s leading platform for home renovations. Recent coverage has been secured on SKY News. One of the presenters described the market-place as “archaic and ready for disruption”
The business is scaling up rapidly with sales up 43% in the last financial year, and despite the current Covid-19 situation, sales to-date this year are up 80%. The platform has proved popular with both clients and suppliers, to the extent that a ‘white label’ version is to be launched to further increase both revenue and margin. Seeking £500,00, investors learned that £350,00 has already been raised, with £150,000 still being sought.
‘Making football dreams come alive!’
Next to the floor was another local entrepreneur who is one of the spearhead figures behind a football talent spotting AI platform which is being developed and seeks to ‘make dreams come alive!’
The business has recognised that although young talented footballers worldwide may be registered with FIFA, only 4% are ever likely to be viewed by a professional football club. In addition, there are no formal channels for these aspiring players to bring their skills to the attention of a professional club, to take part in selection games and/or receive feedback on their ability.
After meetings with top coaches and managers, the founders of this Company realised that the way football searches for new talent globally is ‘very narrow and archaic’. It is now in the process of building a platform, using AI technology, that it claims could provide some of these talented players with possible life-changing opportunities. The business claimed that some 146m players are in its target and will enable the hidden talent pool to ‘take a shot’ at the big time and, at a minimum understand their potential to become a professional and offer exposure to some of the top 500 clubs in the world. The Directors are seeking to raise £2.64M for a 20% stake, plus a 10% annual pre-dividend profit share.
Interest was shown by 1 investor to offer advice re pursuing further investment opportunities.
‘Classic car hire’
Other businesses pitching included a business offering classic car hire which acknowledges that the biggest challenges for the owner of a classic car is using it enough to justify the upkeep. Current research indicates that 57% of all historic vehicles are used less than 10 times per year. On the other hand, 5 times as many people aspire to drive a classic vehicle, without having to bear the costs of storage and maintenance. This Company bridges this gap and are the only provider of self-drive classic car hire, excluding chauffeur driven hire.
Having secured specialist insurance terms, the Company launched its platform 2 weeks before the CV-19 restrictions on travel were imposed but has already attracted over 100 cars and 400 users to the site. The Directors were seeking to raise £100K to scale up the business. Interest was express by 2 investors to support the business with their business development.
Dorset Business Angel, Frank Guinn who chaired the online event advised, “We were thrilled at the success of our latest event which took place online again. We had over 50 attendees, including delegates from the USA and India in attendance. Although very keen to move our pitch events back to a face to face format sometime during 2021, covid19 restrictions permitting, we have been extremely pleased with the interest our Zoom events have generated. We may well extend our program next year to include a combination of both.”
DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).
Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.
DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To find out more about Dorset Business Angels visit www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk