We recently took a deep dive into the data underneath this year’s FinTech50 to see which were the most successful VC funds investing into fintech and now it’s time to do the same for Angel Investors.
To look at the data, we teamed up with Financial Times’ backed publication, Sifted, to dig through the cap tables of FinTech50 and determine who are the best fintech angel investors, according to data.
About the FinTech50
First drawn up eight years ago, the FinTech50 recognises the hottest European fintech startups out there. The ranking is drawn from more than 2,000 fintech startups across Europe by a panel of experts from banks, venture funds and industry.
This years’ FinTech50 is led by startups that have become household names like Revolut, Raisin and WeFox (and future household names, like Cledara - we made it too!). It represents more than $7 billion of investment into the fintech industry by 277 funds from across Europe and the world.
Over to the Data
The data was compiled from a combination of Crunchbase and Companies House data. We noticed that most startups are not particularly diligent about disclosing their angel investors on Crunchbase, and so if we missed you, please do let us know and we’ll happily update it. For angels in UK companies, Companies House data has you well covered, but for investors in companies from elsewhere in Europe, you might want to get your portfolios to check Crunchbase is up to date. Also, if you’re an angel that invests through a nominee structure (e.g. Crowdcube or Seedrs) your data is not publicly available and therefore you were not included.
There were an incredible 1,228 angel investors that had backed the companies on the FinTech 50 2020. This year's FinTech 50 list is actually 70 companies long, which means the average company has 17 individuals other than the founders on the cap table. The investors are predominantly male, with Genderize.io reporting that 82.2% of the investors were men.
The FinTech50 represents the most successful fintech companies in Europe. An angel investor active in fintech ideally would be a shareholder of several of the companies on the list. Surprisingly, that’s not the case. Of the 1,228 angel investors invested in the 2020 FinTech50, only 23 have invested in more than one of the companies on the list, equivalent to just 1.9% of all the investors. The gender balance among these high performing investors doesn’t get any better with only two of the 23 being women.
Drilling into the portfolios of these high performing 23 Angel Investors, they’ve invested in just 25 of the 70 companies. If successful investors make for successful companies, some companies have done a great job of getting lots of these top tier of investors. The companies that have the most of these investors are:
- 6 — Credit Kudos
- 5 — Railsbank, Farewill, Habito
- 3 — Monzo, Revolut, Onfido, PensionBee and Sharegain
- 2 — Fluidly, ComplyAdvantage, Cleo and Previse
- 1 — Cledara, Everledger, Monese, Raisin, CloudMargin, Datamaran, Form3, Qonto, Tessian, Tractable, Primer, Starling
Who Are The Best Angel Investors in Fintech According to the FinTech50?
Power laws continue to apply once you drill down to the top 23 Angel Investors in fintech. Of the 23 investors that had multiple investments in FinTech50 companies, 18 (78%) of them held investments in only 2 companies. The top investor had 50% more investments (6) in FinTech50 companies than the second best investor (4).
And now on to the winners...
1st place: Chris Adelsbach
The reigning UKBAA Angel Investor of the year takes first spot as the top angel investor in fintech according to the FinTech50. Chris has invested in 6 companies on this year’s list - Cledara, Railsbank, Everledger, Monese, Datamaran and Sharegain. The data supports Chris’ award from the UKBAA, with more than 50% more FinTech50 companies in his portfolio than the investors in second place.
Chris is a former fintech entrepreneur, former Managing Director of Barclays Techstars London and now the founding partner of newly formed Outrun Ventures, a specialist fintech venture fund that will surely feature on future FinTech50 cap tables in years to come.
2nd place (joint): Taavet Hinrikus
Continuing with our theme of founders leading the way as investors, Taavet makes second place on our list. You will know Taavet as one of the founders of Transferwise, one of the most successful fintech startups in the world, but you may not know that Taavet is a prolific angel investor with more than 100 companies in his portfolio. With four portfolio companies from this year’s FinTech50 in his portfolio being Farewill, Qonto, Onfido and Primer, and Transferwise and Skype on his CV, Taavet certainly knows how to pick great startups.
2nd place (joint): Charlie Songhurst
Charlie is the first non-founder to make our list, having started his career at McKinsey before moving on to hold senior positions at Microsoft. Charlie is also the first US-based angel on our list. His investments in this year’s FinTech50, Fluidly, Credit Kudos, Tractable and Onfido, live in a portfolio of 483 angel (!!!) investments alongside unicorns like Convoy and ClassPass.
You can find Charlie on LinkedIn.
3rd place (joint): Tom Stafford
Hailing from Goldman Sachs, Tom is now a Managing Partner of Yuri Milner’s DST Global, a global late-stage technology investor that has invested in companies like RobinHood, Chime, Instacart and Revolut. Tom isn’t as prolific as other angels on this list, but his portfolio is super impressive, with FinTech50 companies Credit Kudos, Habito and Raisin joining other prominent European startups like Travelperk and Citymapper.
You can find Tom on LinkedIn.
3rd place (joint): Perry Blacher
Perry is one of the OG of fintech, investing in fintech before fintech was a word. His first big hit was an investment in Betfair back in 2001, before switching sides to found Covestor, an online asset manager that went on to be acquired by Interactive Brokers in 2015. Perry is now a partner at Augmentum Fintech, a fintech-focused investor (with several FinTech50 members in its portfolio) and has personally invested in Railsbank, Farewill and Fluidly.
Best Female Angel Investor (joint): Tanya Carus Blacher
Tanya started her career in media, where she pioneered the use of interactivity in television, running projects like the X Factor, before becoming the Creative Head for Virgin Media’s Digital business. Tanya is now based in Cape Town where she is a Digital Marketing Strategist and angel investor. Among this year’s FinTech50, she has invested in Railsbank and Farewill.
Find Tanya on LinkedIn.
Best Female Angel Investor (joint): Baroness Denise Kingsmill
Denise was the Founding Chairperson of Monzo, where she remains on the cap table today. Monzo is joined in her portfolio by Starling Bank, where she also holds shares. She was formerly Deputy Chair of the UK Competition Commission (CMA) and is now on the board of mega-retailer Inditex (owner of Zara and other fast fashion brands).
Find Denise on LinkedIn.
Other investors with more than one investment in the FinTech50
An Angel Investor having just one portfolio company inside the FinTech50 could be a portfolio-maker for an investor, and so having two is a massive achievement. If you’re looking to raise capital from a fintech Angel Investor, these investors with 2 FinTech50 investments are in the top 1.9% of angel investors.
- Yoma James Kukor - ex compliance officer, turned serial investor.
- Tim Jackson - Founder of QXL, Europe's first online auction company, eventually acquired by Naspers for nearly $2 biillion.
- Serge Chiaramonte - Ex-fixed income banker and Credit Suisse executive turned serial investor.
- Sam Morgan - Long time Partner at Goldman Sachs.
- Richard Williams
- Paul Willmott - Former software engineer, turned founder and Managing Partner of McKinsey Digital. Now the Chief Digital Officer of Lego.
- Matteo Gamba - Berlin-based product manager, formerly of Transferwise, now at NYSE-listed online retailer Wayfair.
- Marcus Rule
- Ian Hogarth - Founder and former and CEO of YCombinator-backed concert discovery platform Songkick, which was acquired by Warner Music in 2017.
- George Davies - Former Associate Partner at McKinsey, now Partner at Hambro Perks, a London-based VC Fund.
- Errol Damelin - Former founder and CEO of Wonga.
- Cliff Hinrichs - Former Head of UK Partnerships for Google, serial angel investor and Founder and Managing Partner of Steele Ventures, a London-based micro VC fund.
- Christian Faes - The only Australian on the list. Christian is the CEO and founder of LendInvest, a marketplace for property finance that has raised more than £3 billion of equity and debt.
- Chris Boehringer - Long-time Managing Director of Oaktree Capital Management, specialised in Private equity and distressed assets.
- Anthony Gutman - Co-Head of Global Investment Banking Services for Goldman Sachs.
- Alex Chesterman - Serial founder, having founded Cazoo (just raised £240 million from General Catalyst and others) and before that Zoopla and Lovefilm.