2020 saw a significant drop in early-stage investments in the MENA region due to the spread of COVID-19. The latest 2020 reports saw a 22% drop in the number of MENA investments from Q1 ’19 to Q1 ’20.
During these difficult times, MENA angel networks face unprecedented challenges in connecting companies to investors.
As face to face communication and travel have become increasingly difficult, networking in the early-stage sector has many times been conducted online, albeit with some less than favorable results.
However, many angel networks have registered support from investors they wouldn’t have otherwise interacted with.
They’re the ones that adapted to the new normal with a digital investment platform.
Why a digital platform?
Studies show that 98% of High Net Worth Individuals use the internet daily, and a large part of those spend 3 hours a day browsing online.
“All purchasing decisions, whether you’re buying a pair of jeans, a new car or building your investment portfolio, start online with browsing and initial research,” explains Oliver Woolley, CEO of Envestors. Despite this, many angel networks have yet to offer an online environment to facilitate investment.
Networks can improve their odds at securing investment and promote deals to investors directly with a secure, branded digital platform.
What is a digital investment platform?
With an online platform, angel investment networks can publish investment opportunities and start promoting deals to investors in days, while supporting their companies to attract investment and improving their chances at an exit later on.
Every deal is hosted on your own secure online platform, giving entrepreneurs time to catch the eye of an investor. It takes time to find the ‘right’ investor, and some investors need a bit of convincing.
They might not be on board during a pitch day, but would be swayed once they receive updates on a company – a big contract, unexpected publicity or a key hire.
With an online platform, investors can track companies and ask for business plans and key documents at their leisure.
Many platforms, like Envestors’ own Envestry for Networks, offer the option of deal syndication in which discrete networks share deals. This increases the number of investors looking at a given deal, while giving networks control over whom they want to share with.
“Without platforms such as Envestors we would not have been able to raise the £15m required to expand our business. The 51 private investors who invested through Envestors shared a profit of £48m when we sold the company to BP – proof the model works,” David Martell, Founder of Chargemaster says.
Total control with your own branded platform
With a digital investment platform like Envestry, you have control over every deal you publish, when you close rounds, and who you share deals with.
Easy customisation features allow you to make your platform unique to your business and 100% tailored to the way you want it to look.
The platform comes with a secure data room, meaning you can decide on a case by case basis who has access to confidential company information.
With advanced analytics, you’ll know exactly which investors registered and viewed deals, and who came back for updates.
Keep investors engaged
Operating our own investment network in the UK, we spoke to thousands of angels and high-net-worths and we couldn’t have closed any deals without constant investor engagement.
Many angel network websites do not include an investors communication feature. With your own platform you have a built-in portal, so that your investors can be kept up to speed with all company updates.
With Envestry, we offer a suite of investor engagement tools including custom messaging, email updates, filtered search and investor pledging and payment. Once a deal is done, our investor relations features allow one time investors to become repeat investors.
Choosing the right partner is key to the success of your platform. Your best bet is choosing a partner that not only provides the technology you need to set up your site, but can offer guidance and support throughout.
With more than 15 years of experience, the team at Envestors has built a constantly evolving platform that shares learning from all its partners.