Professor Yipeng Liu shares findings of research into angel investment during and post COVID-19 to Henley Business Angels members
The research centred around a survey, written by Professor Liu and contributed to by Jurek Sikorski (Executive Director of HBA and Director of Henley Business Angels) and Denis Bidinost (HBA member). The survey ran between 15 June 2020 to 20 July 2020 and more than 30 experienced investors submitted responses, which Professor Liu broke down to provide some illuminating insights into how angel investing has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
In his report to the HBA members, Professor Liu outlined that rather than withdrawing from investing completely, caution was the recurring theme. In the current climate 62% of respondents were not investing, with 25% investing in their existing portfolio and 13% still investing in new deals. Additionally, 50% of those that completed the survey stated that COVID-19 had negatively impacted on their investment opportunities, but the consensus was that COVID-19's impact was low or short-term. Whilst 56% of respondents stated they are investing less than before the pandemic first hit, angel investors are still actively looking for companies that have an experienced management team, a realistic business model and offer a sustainable and differentiated solution to a problem.
Once Professor Liu had presented the results of the survey, the discussion in the webinar turned HBA members recounting their personal experiences of investment during the ongoing lockdown. The discussions centred around comparing investment in different sectors, the differences in investing time or money into a business and the importance of government support and loans.
Summarising his findings at the end of the event, Professor Liu said:
"Overall, the human factors such as the passion, business savviness and preparedness of the entrepreneur, as well as trust building, are important for angel investors. We plan to carry out a second phase of this research project by collecting more qualitative data to examine the role played by human factors in the judgement and decision making of business angel investors post COVID-19."