Within our caseload, there have been 4 investment deals closed so far this financial year, totalling just under £0.5m. Two larger £1m+ deals are in discussions right now with one of those in particular expected to close imminently. Two pre-seed deals that looked very strong fell through at the last minute with investors choosing to focus on existing portfolio rather than take on new risk.
Together with this and other anecdotal evidence we are aware of, there is reason to believe that smaller investors (Angels, Smaller Managed Funds) are starting to tighten and look for lower risk propositions or defend existing positions and we are putting this down to wider macro-economic concerns.
Whilst this is not great news for the emerging early stage investment scene locally, we continue to support efforts by NorthInvest to pull together more Angel activity in the area and are actively supporting Giles Moore’s efforts in this regard. We will be coming to the event at Kollider on 11th Oct and have promoted it to contacts.
Also, despite this, sentiment across the board in our caseload is generally good – inflation/energy worries are less of a concern to these tech businesses, for whom access to finance, recruitment, sales and general systems/processes are the main operational challenge. Naturally there is a subset of tech companies who are directly impacted by energy pricing in particular – so this could be a problem for them – but equally there are many for whom rising energy costs are actually a good business opportunity e.g. increasing demand for their productivity tech, making carbon efficiencies or switching to new sources of energy.
We have seen an uptick in enquiries originating within the University of Sheffield and would like to thank Andy Hogben and co for work they are doing to raise awareness of our support.
We have been very actively signposting potential customers to TEAM SY accelerators and really welcome the new Startup Calendar. We would welcome a conversation on referrals back the other way and are arranging this now.
We will be putting on a Business Sheffield Workshop on ‘Building a Business Around Software or Apps’ on Oct 4th as a repeat of a previously successful workshop. We don’t know whether there is still a market for these with so many other options available in the locality, so will review the ongoing need after the event.
We look forward to two other upcoming events – launch of Indielab Games Accelerator on 4th Oct and Business Sheffield Networking on Oct 13th.