Helping create opportunity
Gabriel Investors is a group of business women running successful enterprises and who use their funds, connections and expertise to help entrepreneurs take their business up a gear.
We focus on helping small and fledgling companies grow. Financial help can take the form of equity investments or loans and range from £10k to £150k. Alongside investments, we use our years of combined knowledge, experience and connections to support you with practical business advice.
Our track record
With a demonstrable track record and many years of starting, growing and running big businesses behind us, we understand the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and we approach your investment proposal with practicality, professionalism and integrity.
Many of those we invest in come to us direct, but we work equally successfully alongside business advisors seeking financial backing for their clients.
If you think a Gabriel business angel might be right for you, email us to arrange a chat about how we can help your business get to the next stage.
“Having been through the mill with other financiers, it was refreshing to find out that Gabriel operates with straightforward processes that start with a conversation. Although we were a young business at that point, they took us seriously, recognising both our potential and our ambition and offering us the ‘no strings’ loan we were looking for. Two years on from our initial meeting, we are now a global business holding its own in a highly competitive market, and with some ambitious expansion plans for the next few years. Gabriel has played a pivotal part in our success.”
If you have tried other traditional sources of funding you will find us refreshingly different in our approach.
As a group of individuals, with no specific tie-ins, we can be so much more flexible than the banks. We have a no-nonsense style, we make our own decisions and we respond quickly.
Although we take a keen interest in your balance sheet, that’s not the only criteria we are interested in. Factors such as your passion and dedication to your business also matter to us. We aim to get underneath your business and its prospects. We invest in people as much as businesses, so honesty and respect are key factors in a successful investment.
We are great believers in making sure the business chemistry is right. That’s not a phrase you will often hear uttered by the big banks and lending institutions but it is a great illustration of why the Gabriel Investors approach is so successful.
Contact us via our Apply Online page to hear more about our unique approach and how we can help your business to the next stage.
Gabriel Investors’ members run highly successful businesses in a range of sectors and have proven expertise ranging from law and business consultancy to product development and manufacturing.
In the last decade our business angels have invested over £10 million, been directors of 32 businesses and mentored over 50 others.
As well as steering their own multi-million pound businesses, several of them sit as non-exec directors and have played key roles in influencing regional and national economic policy.
Our group of almost a dozen angels have been hand selected to join Gabriel Investors based on their skill set, wealth of experience and moral compass. You may recognise some of our faces, some of our others members prefer to remain anonymous and that’s fine by us. Gabriel investors is a collective offering not about individuals.
How we can help
We are open to a range of scenarios, from fledgling kitchen table businesses with burning ambitions through to established family businesses looking for a buy-in, a buy-out or a cash injection.
If you have a customer base you want to expand, and you have the potential and the drive to achieve it, we have the financial backing and the experience to support you.
The result is that you benefit from having a collective of successful business people in your corner and we have the satisfaction of helping someone else succeed in creating a high value business.
If you are a small business owner whose growth is being hampered by red tape and suits, contact us via our Apply Online page to talk about how we can help your business grow.
D-Line specialises in the design and manufacture of cable management solutions where appearance matters. Its products are manufactured in the UK and available worldwide through a distributor network.
The business was awarded an investment of £300,000, made up of £180,000 equity and a £120,000 loan. Other local investors and a local Private Equity Company invested similar amounts.
The cash injection was to help grow the business. D-Line’s objective was to become a supplier to a large, household name retail business, but this can be a very slow process. At the time of investment sales were low and the business was losing significant amounts of money on a monthly basis. But the investors believed in the product and crucially, in the individual behind it, and as well as making the investment they attended board meetings in an advisory capacity.
The investment allowed D-Line to sustain a loss making period while they worked towards developing a relationship with retail giant B&Q, with the ultimate aim of getting on the supplier list. When this was achieved it was a major breakthrough and game-changer for the business, underpinning further growth and allowing D-Line to gain a foothold in Europe and the USA.
In 2005 when the investment was made, the business was turning over £70k and was losing more than £160K a year.
This year the company is on target to turn over £3.5m with a net profit of £650K.
Since 2005, sales have increased 50-fold and a £160K loss has been turned around to a £650K profit. The business now exports to most European countries as well as the USA and Australia.
The applicant is a North East-based IT consultancy specialising in the area of SAP and Oracle, serving the fast-growing worldwide ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) market.
When the ambitious business was ripe to move up a gear, with a watertight contract worth almost a million Euros from one of the world’s largest motor manufacturers, it did not fit the rigid criteria necessary to attract funding from traditional sources in order to facilitate its growth.
“Having been through the mill with other financiers, it was refreshing to find out that Gabriel operates with straightforward processes that start with a conversation,” said the business owner.
“Gabriel was interested in our company values and the people behind it, just as much as our figures. The board are all experienced entrepreneurs and although we were a young business at that point, they took us seriously, recognising both our potential and our ambition and offering us the ‘no strings’ loan we were looking for.
The applicants’ business had an established customer base that was generating revenue, and Gabriel could see the passion the owners had for the business, and the prudent plans they had in place. They knew precisely what they wanted the money for and that it was an investment that would provide business dividends. The financial support Gabriel was able to offer acted as a platform for growth and transformed the business into a global player.
“We were delighted at the speed of decision making – our funding was through within a few days,” adds the client. “Two years on from our initial meeting, we are now a global business holding its own in a highly competitive market, and with some ambitious expansion plans for the next few years. Gabriel has played a pivotal part in our success.”
Blooie is an online chat and analytics tool designed to help brand owners to know, understand and help their users and customers. At its core is an intuitive platform that engages with prospects in real time, gathering actionable information and using analytics to convert conversations into sales.
Created by developers and entrepreneurs Christian Manson and Mark Ryan, Blooie has huge potential for brand owners looking to gather and use data to get closer to customers and their interests. By using online tools to mimic the experience of a bricks and mortar shop, businesses can understand user behaviour more effectively, and use that knowledge to create new opportunities.
The directors were looking for a cash injection to refine the product, take it to market and grow the team. They were also seeking someone with a successful business background to become a mentor.
Blooie was awarded £25,000 in total, and Gabriel investor and leading business figure Fiona Cruickshank stepped in to support the directors with strategic and practical advice on areas such as taking a new product to market, long term planning and structuring for steady growth.
Fiona explains her involvement: “I thought Christian and Mark’s idea had real potential, and I was impressed by their maturity and the fact they had both had experience of working in jobs at the same time as they developed Blooie. I could see they had a great idea and the right attitude to carry it through.
My background is primarily in creating and growing multi-million pound pharma enterprises rather than in the technology sector, so I was able to bring a fresh perspective to the business, helping Christian and Mark to identify potential flaws in their original product direction and avoid the pitfalls that many young entrepreneurs can fall into simply because it’s not a path they have trodden before.
Elements such as how to work with team dynamics and create a strong company structure, establishing good business practice and understanding the importance of strategy and planning are all areas where I knew I could add value.
In the early days of a business people tend to be passionate about it, and it becomes easy to let your life become all about work and pressure. Not only is this exhausting it can cloud your judgement too so I was pleased to be able to add some clarity to their thinking, and help them get a bit of their lives back at the same time as driving the business forward.”
Mark Ryan is clear about the benefits of Gabriel’s involvement: “One of the big advantages of having a mentor like Fiona is that she’s not afraid to be challenging and come at things from a different direction. She’s very direct and helps us sort out the wood from the trees. But at the same time her investment makes her part of the team, we trust each other and we want the same things so Christian and I know we can debate and offload in a safe environment.
Fiona’s mentorship has been invaluable. Not only could she give us the benefit of her years of business experience, her name brings people to the table that we could otherwise not have easily reached. We have become good friends during the process and we value both her support and her friendship enormously.”
Blooie has moved from being a kitchen table business to having its own offices, has grown staff numbers to seven full time and two part time staff, is widely tipped for success by the techno-marketing pundits and is on track to move into profit in 2015.
Founder Mark Ryan said: “Fiona Cruickshank’s mentorship was invaluable.
All investment requests will be considered on completion of the application form so if you’re ready to go then simply press the apply button below and get started. However, if you have a general query then tweet us or e-mail our archangel who will get back to you in between her angelic duties.