Indian Business Angels Make First British Investment

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

Indian business angels are fulfilling a pledge to Prime Minister David Cameron to invest in British start-ups.

The Indian Angel Network promised Cameron that they would set up a British base in talks last year – and now, the network is set to make the first investment.

Technology company SwiftShift, from London, will receive an undisclosed cash injection from the group, subject to a successful due diligence process.

The company has developed specialist software that lets businesses fill shifts that become available at short notice from a bank of staff using a combination of texts, emails and mobile apps.

The company won backing from the network after pitching their proposal to the group alongside seven other companies in London.

Investing in a wealth of talent

Three of the other companies are also negotiating investment deals with the network.

Minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin said: “Britain ranks as one of the most places for global investors because of the dynamism and innovation of our start-up companies.

“Britain has a wealth of talent and potential that needs capital and the Indian Angel Network is an important part of efforts to ease access to finance for start-up companies.”

The Indian Angel Network (IAN) is Asia’s largest group of business investors with more than 250 investors, entrepreneurs and business people from across 10 countries.

Indian firms are now rank as the fifth biggest investors in Britain and more than half of all Indian investment in Europe comes to Britain.

Britain leaders in world innovation

Saurabh Srivastava, a co-founder of the network, said: “Britain is home to some of the world’s leading innovators. Our angel network is probably the only international group in the world that has the skills, financial resources and the processes to invest in different countries.

“We appreciate the support of the British government and are excited about backing more innovative UK start-ups and driving economic growth.”

The network has money in start-ups across the world, including the USA, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India.

The members have a portfolio of more than 100 start-up companies across technology, healthcare and education, gaming, hospitality and social media markets.

“We are proud that we are making our first investment in Britain and we believe that SwiftShift’s software solution will be sold around the world as a must-have application for many businesses,” said Srivastava.

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