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London Tech Week

10 conscious angels in the UK investing in ‘tech for good’ in 2023

Angel Investors

According to the latest report by the tech for good accelerator, Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV), angel investors in the UK invested £1.8B in 2022, up from £1.4B in 2021. Already, the UK is home to some of the most active and influential angel investors in Europe. These angels have backed some of the most successful and innovative startups in various sectors, such as fintech, healthtech, edtech, climate tech, and social impact. 

Also, the BGV survey revealed that 74% of angel investors are motivated by both impact and returns, although only 14% have actually invested in tech for good startups. Those who did said they expect the same, if not higher, returns from ‘tech for good’ investments as compared to non-impact ventures.

The ‘tech for good’ startups use digital technology to address environmental or social challenges. They provide more than just capital, they also offer valuable advice, feedback, connections, and support to entrepreneurs. This means angels are often in a position to impact the future of not only business and technology but society as a whole. In this TFN listicle today, we will highlight the 10 most active UK tech for good angel investors of 2023. We will also mention some of the startups they have backed and the sectors in which they are interested.

Sarah Drinkwater

Sarah Drinkwater
Picture credits: Sarah Drinkwater/LinkedIn

Sarah Drinkwater, a prolific angel investor and former Google executive, is making waves in the startup landscape for her £10m fund named Common Magic — strategically supporting early-stage European and US startups, primarily focusing on pre-seed and seed stages. 

Her proactive approach has already garnered several Limited Partners (LPs) for the fund, including prominent names like Atomico, Basecamp, and Stripe CTO David Singleton. Despite the challenging fundraising environment, Sarah Drinkwater’s investment journey spans more than 37 angel investments as per various reports, supporting diverse companies from Jennis led by Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill to micro-ticket investment platform Odin.

Chris Adelsbach

Chris Adelsbach
Picture credits: Chris Adelsbach/LinkedIn

A veteran of fintech angel investing, Chris Adelsbach has supported over hundreds of startups in this sector, such as Atom Bank, Monese, and Marshmallow, which have reached unicorn status. However, he has also diversified his portfolio by investing in several climate tech startups in 2022. Some of them are:

Minimum, a climate impact modelling system that helps businesses measure and reduce their carbon footprint.

Connect Earth, a data tool for sustainable financial products that helps investors align their portfolios with environmental goals.

Green Angel Ventures

Green Angel Syndicate President
Picture credits: Nick Lyth/LinkedIn

Founded in 2013, Green Angel Syndicate is an angel collective focusing on climate tech startups. It launched its EIS/SEIS Climate Change fund in 2020. This fund lets angel investors take a back seat and invest money without taking part in the selection of startups or due diligence process, focussing on clean energy, circular economy, smart mobility, and agritech. In the last 12 months, it has backed startups including:

Qualis Flow, a construction management platform that helps builders reduce waste and emissions.

Molymem, a water filtration company that uses nanotechnology to remove pollutants from water.

Amina Ahmad

Amina Ahmed
Picture credits: Amina Ahmad/LinkedIn

Amina Ahmad is an Ada Ventures Angel Investor and advises GPs and LPs on capital allocation strategies to strengthen future investments. She is Non-Executive Director at The Social Investment Business, and Advisory Board Member at Crisis Venture Studio. She is also an active angel investor who focuses on tech for good startups in the fields of healthtech, fintech, ed-tech, social impact, and diversity.

Vera Baker

Vera Baker
Picture credits: Vera Baker/LinkedIn

Vera Baker, a Venture Partner at Unconventional Ventures has over 15 years of experience in operations, strategic communications, and fundraising. As an active Atomico angel, she holds an investment portfolio of 30+ startups, focusing on sustainability and climate tech. Some of her investments include Planet FWD, Climate-X, Green-Got, Shellworks, and BettaFish.

Additionally, she invested in early-stage African startups for two years. As part of the Atomico Angel Programme she has backed a plant-based food company for dogs, Omni.

Oksana Stowe

Oksana Stowe
Picture credits: Oksana Stowe/LinkedIn

Oksana Stowe is the founder and host of ESG in VC, showcasing extensive expertise as a seasoned Venture Capital (VC) and angel investor. Her angel investment portfolio boasts strategic investments in notable ventures like Unmind, Localistico, and Rotaready, each of which has achieved significant milestones under her guidance.

Meganne Houghton-Berry

Meganne Houghton-Berry
Picture credits: Meganne Houghton-Berry/LinkedIn

Meganne Houghton-Berry, a seasoned figure with 25+ years in tech and consumer marketing, is an influential angel investor. Her diversified portfolio spans industries, from intelligent textiles to waterless toilets, med-tech, surplus farm produce, and craft brewing. With a penchant for nurturing seed-stage companies and adopting mentorship roles, Meganne’s reputation extends widely in the UK angel scene, solidified by her 2018 recognition as the Angel of the Year by the UK Business Angel Association. 

She epitomises the importance of female angels for founder diversity, with over half her portfolio featuring female co-founders. Her focus extends beyond financial gains to championing businesses committed to social impact. Her expertise was recently highlighted in a panel discussion on the topic.

Andrea Sinclair

Andrea Sinclair
Picture credits: Andrea Sinclair/LinkedIn

Sinclair, delved into angel investing in 2012 through groups like Addidi Angels and Wild Blue Cohort angel network. In 2019, Andrea joined Alma Angels and the Conduit Connect Platform, driven by her passion to support female founders and socially impactful ventures. She has reportedly backed more than 25 businesses, focusing on internet and tech platforms, notably EdTech, learning & development, food & drink, and travel. Notably, Andrea was honoured with the UKBAA Angel Investor of the Year award for 2022-23.

Scott Mackin

Scott Mackin
Picture credits: Scott Mackin/LinkedIn

Mackin serves as the Managing Partner at Denham Capital, leading the firm’s International Power team. Outside of his professional role, Mackin actively engages in angel investing during his free time, with a strong focus on supporting female founders. Notably, he has made significant investments in energy transition technology and various sectors, collaborating with diverse male founders.

To date, Mackin has made more than 13 angel investments, channelling support into startups such as The Shellworks, a seaweed plastic alternative initiative, health app Baobab Circle, and Matchable, a platform facilitating company-charity partnerships.

Andy Ayim MBE

Andy Ayim
Picture credits: Andy Ayim/LinkedIn

Andy Ayim MBE is a recognised figure renowned for his expert coaching, strategically guiding founders towards achieving product/market fit and excelling in the realm of angel investing. As a leading voice in Europe, he focuses on training the next generation of angel investors and supporting startups to scale responsibly. His angel training programs have empowered 400+ new angels, including the impactful Black Angel Group spun out of Google’s Black Network, which has invested over $3.5 million in 28+ startups.

Andy has personally funded more than 17 startups. Drawing from his robust experience, including co-founding Mixtape Madness and advancing in Product Management with startups such as WorldFirst (acquired for $700 million by Ant Financial) and Series C startup Zilch, he infuses his work in nurturing and fostering startups with a wealth of expertise and zeal.

These are just some of the top UK angel investors who currently invest in some of the most promising and innovative startups in various sectors. They have shown their commitment to removing the barriers these startups face and supporting entrepreneurs who are solving real problems and creating positive change in the world.

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