The founders of GWC have been involved in angel investing for some years and have participated in a number of EIS investments alongside 24 Haymarket syndicate and others. This was an informal arrangement and it occurred to us that there would be many others who would be interested in the excess deal flow from these syndicates. Hence the idea for GWC.
Greenwood Way Capital, previously known as Haymarket Angel Investors was founded with the express purpose of enabling high net worth individuals to participate in leading UK EIS early stage companies. These opportunities are usually entities which have innovative ideas or unique disruptive technologies and are led by highly entrepreneurial management but, most importantly, they have already received the backing and investment from experienced professional private capital syndicates.
Our aim is to allow our members, who like us do not pursue these opportunities on a full time basis, access to opportunities selected, vetted and invested in by leading syndicates we have come to know and trust.
To date GWC members have co-invested in a number of deals with syndicates such as 24 Haymarket, Parkwalk Advisers etc. These groups of private individuals and funds have extensive private equity and other experience as a result of holding senior positions within industry. The also invest their own personal money in these early stage companies which is a most reassuring sign. Many investment opportunities are examined by partners but only companies with truly innovative ideas or disruptive technologies led by a strong management team are selected for investment. For example the 24 H syndicate has a combined experience of some 300 years in private equity and financial markets, and has invested in over 23 companies, totalling some £23m. See www.24haymarket.com for more detail and a list of previous deals. 24H was shortlisted for Best Syndicate of the Year at the 2014 UK Business Angels Association Awards Dinner. Parkwalk manage the University of Oxford Innovation Funds and the University of Cambridge Enterprise Funds. Parkwalk won the Investment Week ‘Best EIS Fund‘, Growth Investor ‘Best Exit 2015‘ and the EIS Association ‘Best Exit of 2014‘ awards, and has been named by both Crunchbase and Ascendant as one of the UK’s top 10 most active technology investors in both 2014 and 2015.
Many of our target companies have been university backed ventures that were ready for transition from the lab to a small company and required external capital. Often the capital required is larger than the aggregate investment capacity of the lead syndicate. This creates an opportunity for GWC’s members to invest in the balance and, in doing so, co-invest with seasoned individuals. The benefits to GWC members of this unique access to early-stage companies include robust shareholder/founder agreements negotiated by the lead syndicate and the knowledge that a cornerstone investor has active participation in the company which usually includes board representation. GWC participation will allow lead syndicates to consider larger deals and have more support for board positions.
Greenwood Way Capital will be co-investing with other syndicates but there is no common ownership or formal link. However, GWC intends to reimburse partner syndicates for a portion of their documentation and research costs.