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It’s Dan here and I thought it would be a good time to do an update on the Angel Business Club after I attended their Global Convention last week in London.
I’ll start with the Convention and then move on to a wider update on how things are going.
The Convention was held at the Holiday Inn Kensington on 22nd June and it was a fantastic day. We got to hear a dozen presentations about all the promising companies that are part of the ABC platform and how they are progressing, which was very interesting. These included:
- – A drinks company that is making healthy, natural drinks and is hoping to get listed in all the major UK supermarkets.
- – A premium, high end dog-food company that looks set to break into America.
- – A payment app that has signed a big deal with one of the world’s biggest credit card companies and has a number of other deals lined up.
- – A breakthrough fire safety company that could revolutionise how fires are dealt with in the home and workplace
And there were so many more inspiring stories from companies that could not only be big successes but have a positive impact on the world.
It was also great to meet other members at the Convention and share their experiences of the Club. Not to mention we got lots of goodies, including (non-alcoholic) wine and soft drinks at our table and excellent food at the conference venue. Joao (the CEO of the ABC) and his team did a great job so hats off to them. It was such a success they have even booked in the event for next year already!
There hasn’t been much change in our portfolio since our last update. We currently have 13 companies in our portfolio (plus an extra investment in Britannia’s Gold – but more on that below). The total we have paid via membership fees is €2,592 and that is also pretty much the estimated value of our portfolio according to the strike price values.
In terms of the strike price values, we believe it would be beneficial for the Club to report how they arrive at their strike price valuations (with price/sales ratios etc) to increase transparency and accountability and have suggested this to them.
As we remarked last time though, in the grand scheme of things the strike price values of the companies are something of a moot point until a company can either float on the stock market or is bought out (what is called a “trade sale”).
You can sell shares via the ABC’s internal trading platform in the meantime if the companies are listed on the platform. Of the 13 companies in our portfolio, 11 are listed on the trading platform.
We stated in our last update that it is not always possible to sell shares on the platform. This is not quite correct – as long as the company is listed on the platform you can sell shares, although it will usually be at a significant discount to the strike price so is not advisable unless you really have to sell in order to release funds etc. It is better to wait for the exit events – an IPO or trade sale.
The IPOs That Weren’t
Talking of IPOs, one of the disappointing aspects of our time as a member has been that two IPOs were promised but then didn’t materialise, for one reason or another.
One of the companies in question had raised funds from members on the basis that it was about to IPO but then chose not to list on the stock market, for its own reasons. Whilst it is always of course up to the company to decide how to proceed in these matters and to act in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, there were complaints about this at the Global Convention and we can understand why.
In our view if a company raises money on the basis that it plans to shortly IPO and then pulls it (with no date given for when it may IPO in future), it is understandable if people are frustrated and we hope this is just a one-off and isn’t repeated by the ABC.
In terms of the other IPO, it is hoped this will proceed later this year.
We reported last time that Britannia’s Gold (BGL) was embarking on its third attempt to salvage gold from a Wold War Two shipwreck. Well sadly it wasn’t successful in that attempt.
We received an update from Philip Reid, Chairman of BGL, at the Global Convention and he gave a rather reflective summary of the situation, remarking that the whole project had turned out to be far more challenging than they had ever envisaged and it would require significant additional funds and time to complete the current salvage. It has been a salutary lesson for all involved in just how difficult such salvage operations are – as Mr Reid commented “that’s why no-one else has done this.” Well, er, yes indeed!
Whilst this was disappointing news for investors, there is something to be said for Mr Reid’s honesty and now at least they have more realistic expectations of the time and effort involved in not just completing this salvage operation but any potential ones in future.
All is not lost as they have the funds to head out to the vessel again and try to complete the salvage, whilst now having to split any proceeds 50% with another company. However, whilst there is still hope this could all turn out successfully, when taking into account the tone of Mr Reid’s update and a cold hard reflection on how difficult it has all been you can’t help feel like the dream may be slipping away. We will see anyway…
So how would we summarise our time as an ABC member after more than 18 months? Well our experience probably mirrors private equity investing generally. It is high risk and there will be many disappointments and setbacks along the way. Certainly we have experienced those so far with the aborted IPOs and Britannia’s Gold.
At the same time though I came away from the Convention feeling very positive about the opportunities of many companies in the portfolio. There were some great stories and promising developments reported, so hopefully at least one of the companies will go on to be a big success.
Only time will tell on that, so in the meantime we will just have to wait and see…and keep those fingers crossed!
Angel Business Club – Results Update
3rd April 2019
It’s been over a year since we started our review of the Angel Business Club, so it is more than high time for an update.
The strange thing however – and this is mainly why we have delayed doing an update for so long – is that we don’t really have any results to update!
Yes it may sound crazy, but even after having been a member of the Club for around 18 months, we haven’t been able to cash in any of our investments.
Before we explain fully, here is a quick reminder of what the Angel Business Club (or ABC for short) is all about: when you join up as an active member, you pay a monthly fee and you may receive free monthly share entitlements at the Club’s discretion and in proportion to your membership level in companies at all stages of development, from start-ups to pre-IPO and even listed companies.
It is kind of like Dragons’ Den apart from you don’t get to choose which companies you get shares in, the Club does that for you on a monthly basis.
The problem is that you need to wait for an “exit event” like an IPO (a flotation on the stock market) or a trade sale (a company being bought out by a much larger company) for your investment to be realised and some profit (or loss) to be made.
There is the option of trading internally on the ABC’s website, but we have tried this a few times and even when putting in the lowest price allowed, we still haven’t found any buyers for our shares. There just isn’t the liquidity available compared to trading on a platform like Hargreaves Lansdown for example. That isn’t surprising as the ABC has around 1100 paying members compared to hundreds of thousands or even millions of traders on a platform like Hargreaves (plus HL have market makers, but that’s a different story altogether).
Anyway, the overall picture is that so far we have paid €2,325 in membership fees and our shares are estimated to be worth around €2,860.
However, this estimated value is the “strike price” attributed to the shares by ABC, which has to be taken with a pinch of salt as it just their internal valuation and as they used to say on those property programmes, an item “is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.”
So you will only know what those shares are really worth once there is an exit event and you can actually sell them.
In summary then all we can say so far is that the Club is definitely for the long-term investor rather than the short-term one. If you are looking to make a “quick buck” then this isn’t for you. In many cases you will have to wait 3-5 years for an investment to come to fruition, so patience is of the essence.
There are a couple of companies due to have IPOs later this year and Britannia’s Gold – one of the the ABC’s flagship projects – is currently embarking on their third crack at retrieving some gold from WW1 and WW2 shipwrecks, so it may be that we have some concrete results to report in the coming months.
For the moment though, it’s very much a case of “wait and see…”
Angel Business Club – New Review
10th January 2018
If you are a long-term follower of ours you will know that we like to look into a wide-variety of money-making opportunities and not just betting systems.
We like to test out trading systems, forex strategies, cryptocurrencies and really any investment opportunity that we think has the potential to be profitable.
The latest opportunity represents something new again and is called the Angel Business Club.
I attended a seminar they held just before Christmas and was impressed enough by it that I decided to join up as a paying member.
What is the Angel Business Club All About?
In essence the Club provides the chance to be invested in a range of start-up companies.
Normally this is something that is closed off to the vast majority of people and only venture capitalists like the guys you see on “Dragons Den” would have the chance to become involved in start-up companies.
For a lot of investors this is very frustrating because investing in new start-ups can be one of the most profitable forms of investment possible.
Think of the early investors in Facebook, Uber, Airbnb and the like and the vast fortunes they have amassed from being able to invest at the earliest stages of those companies, well before they floated on the stock market.
Venture capitalists who were able to do this have apparently made hundred-fold, or even thousand-fold, their original investment.
There is even a story of a cleaner at the Google offices in the very early days of the company who was given a few hundred shares to thank them for their hard work, and now those shares are worth millions!
Whether it is true or not, the story gives you an idea of the incredible value that can be obtained from being an early investor in a company.
This is where the Angel Business Club comes in. When you join up as an active member, you pay a monthly fee and you may receive free monthly share entitlements at the Club’s discretion and in proportion to your membership level in companies at all stages of development, from start-ups to pre-IPO and even listed companies.
It is all completely legal and legit and has been running for a couple of years now and has:
- – Become Europe’s largest community of business angels with over 10,000 members
- – Developed 10 Companies and driven 2 IPOs with more to come in 2018
- – Built a complex and scalable financial e-platform
The Angel Business Club has an experienced professional team with decades of business and financial experience behind them who vet the potential companies to invest in and then help nurture them.
The beauty of it as an investor is that you don’t have to do anything, just let the team do all the work and sit back and receive the shares.
Of course the big question you are probably eager to know the answer to is what their track record is like in terms of returns.
Well apparently gains on the portfolio have ranged from 40-70% per year for members to date, which comfortably beats the stock market average and certainly any savings account.
A notable success includes Wide Cells Group, a stem cell company which the Angel Business Club (ABC) took from an early stage company to float on the stockmarket and the IPO price represented a doubling in value to the price ABC members received shares at (8p to 16p).
Gains will of course vary and all investments in early-stage companies are high-risk, but the track record so far looks very good
There are currently over 20 companies currently on the ABC books. You can read more about them on the ABC website.
I have recently joined up and will do a full review of the Club here, including the return on investment of my subscription over the course of the year.
This could be a great chance to invest in the next big companies of tomorrow, whilst also becoming involved in an investment community with regular meet-ups, online forums and webinars.