GAS Membership: Diversified Investors Taking Collective Action

 

After 5 successful years at the forefront of Angel Investing in the green start-up space, Green Angel Syndicate has welcomed a wide variety of members, now totalling to over 330. Not only has GAS become the UK’s largest network of specialist investors fighting climate change, but it makes waves in the diversity of that membership and the range of opportunities members can leverage as a result of joining. 

Green Angel Syndicate welcomes members who are themselves specialists in their fields but most of all, we welcome members from any walk of life who want to roll up their sleeves and get involved. This means seeking to recruit members from a wide range of experience and various walks of life as the impacts of the climate crisis affect us all. Through different perspectives and insights we open ourselves up to a wider range of opportunities, all with one integral thing in common – the shared belief that we must take collective action in the fight against climate change, now. 

Diverse opinions and sectors

Perhaps one of the most powerful characteristics of the Green Angel Syndicate network is the diversity in specialism, industry and background, not only of investee companies but also of the investors and members.

Associate director and long-standing GAS Member,Caroline Halliday recently reflected on the key value she has gained since joining GAS: “It’s incredible the number of interesting people I’ve met through working with Green Angel Syndicate, I’ve learnt a lot as an investor and a lot in my space, the green space. There are definite benefits to being a member of Green Angel Syndicate because of that diversity of interest.” CEO Cam Ross described the syndicate as a “diverse range of professionals contributing to the fight against climate change”. Through a range of both in person and virtual events, bringing together investors and companies from across the UK, members can have in-depth conversations with CEOs of innovative start ups and with other members. 

In the video below, Caroline shares some insights on what GAS membership has to offer, watch the video below to learn more about these membership benefits.

“It’s a big network of people who are all interested in the green space and are all trying to identify these exciting new companies and help them to grow.’ – Caroline Halliday, Associate Director.

An environment for all to thrive

A recent study from the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) entitled Women Angel Insights: The impact of female angels on the UK economy, gives the first comprehensive view of female angel investment in the UK. Results revealed that more than £2bn has been invested by female angels helping to create over 10,000 jobs and backing over 4,000 businesses across the UK. Figures show that only 14% of angel investors are women, igniting a drive to attract fresh investment. However, within Green Angel Syndicate 23% of investors are women. 

A key benefit of GAS membership, highlighted by Associate Director Member Caroline Halliday, is our higher than industry average female to male investor ratio. Caroline expanded upon how this environment affects her role and experience: “I feel supported by the fact there are usually a couple of women in each meeting, I also feel that it is a very open, encouraging and constructive environment.”

Additionally, Caroline explained that this support extends not only to female investors but also to any investors of diverse backgrounds: “I try to make sure I’m supporting other women and other people of diverse backgrounds within the syndicate meetings and within the investment meetings.” To encourage this further, we have hosted diverse founder events, one for female founders and one to give advice to diverse founders and entrepreneurs looking for investment. Following their success, we hope to host another in the new year.

Watch what Caroline had to say about membership diversity in the interview clip below. 

 

“I feel supported by the fact there are usually a couple of women in each meeting… it is a very open, encouraging and constructive environment.” – Caroline Halliday, Associate 

A part of the action

Membership with GAS provides investors with the opportunity, should they want it, to get hands-on experience in working with startups and other investors in the green space. You are not only making your own investment decisions but you can gain value from the collective experience of the group. GAS maintains close ties with investee companies, even post-investment, this in turn provides good opportunities for members to get involved with startups and some have gone on to even join the board. GAS CEO Cam Ross explains how investors can directly engage in company processes and make a lasting impact: “There is the opportunity to be directly involved in the due diligence process, and to bring your specialist skills to add value to the group’s input.” – Cam Ross.

A prime example of this is GAS member John Waters, a successful Greentech Investor and Non Executive director. John has invested in half of the GAS portfolio companies and is Non Executive Director on two of these. He’s been on the board of Swytch Technology since November 2018 and StormHarvester since September 2020.

I like to be actively involved in the due diligence and deal pipeline process, offering my insight where needed as well as working with other GAS members who can fill in the gaps. Other syndicates are nowhere near as robust in post pitch due diligence.” – John Waters, GAS Member.

Membership growth 

Over the past 5 years, membership has grown from 20 – 30 members to 330. We are always looking for new investors and investees to help us expand our reach and make more progress in taking collective climate action. To become a Green Angel Syndicate member you must be a High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) or Certified Sophisticated Investor as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom. Apply for membership.

However our investors choose to involve themselves with Green Angel Syndicate, whether by investing in our Climate Change Fund or joining the Syndicate as members (some do both), they are making a difference by investing in innovations desperately needed in the fight against climate change. Interested in joining our specialist network? Contact me on olivia@greenangelsyndicate.co.uk

*Risk Disclaimer*

Investment in early-stage companies involves risk such as illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution. Even when diversified within a fund, investing in early stage companies carries a higher risk than investing in more established companies. Investment in EIS and SEIS funds should be considered as part of a diversified portfolio. 

Olivia has a degree in Film and Media and worked in the film industry for 6 years as a freelance Assistant Director. She undertook a Psychology Masters with a view to change careers, before deciding to embark on a career in which she can make a positive contribution to the most important issue we face today; climate change. She has spent the last year working for the renewable energy company Bulb as an Energy Specialist before joining GAS as a Membership Manager.

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