Leading Indian investment syndicate to make first UK start-up investment

‘Asia’s largest angel network’ to back software firm SwiftShift

The government has announced that India’s largest business angels syndicate, the Indian Angel Network (IAN) is set to make its first-ever UK investment, in London-based software start-up Swiftshift.

The IAN is Asia’s largest network of angel investors, comprising around 250 high net-worth individuals spread across 10 countries in the region.

It is set to back SwiftShift, a London-based start-up which sells a range of employee management software, including a tool to allow companies to quickly fill short-notice shifts. Its software can be managed over SMS, email and smartphones.

Founded by Dan Sandhu in 2012, Swiftshift gained the IAN’s backing following a pitching session at 10 Downing Street organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), held as part of the government’s strategy to target investment from high-growth markets such as India and China.

A total of seven companies presented their ideas to the investors, of which three other companies ‘impressed’ investors and have agreed to continue talks.

The meeting came about following the prime minister’s trade mission to India in November 2012, in which the IAN agreed to set up an investment base in the UK to back promising early-stage companies.

The syndicate has already invested in more than 100 companies across multiple sectors in countries including the USA, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India.

Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder of IAN and leader of the UK investment initiative, said: “The UK is home to some of the best innovation and R&D in the world. IAN, is a rare and possibly the only angel group in the world that has global membership and invests globally, with nimble yet robust, standardised, transparent processes that operate across geographies.

“We are thankful to the UK government for their support and are excited about supporting innovative UK startups, going global, fostering UK India collaboration in the early stage arena and driving economic growth in the region.

“We are delighted to have decided on our first UK investment and we believe that SwiftShift’s product will be sold around the world.”

Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy, added: “The UK consistently ranks in the top 3 places for global investors due, in part, to the dynamism and innovation of our start-up companies.

“There is a wealth of British talent and potential that needs the right investment and bringing the Indian Angel Network to this country forms part of our efforts to ease access to finance for start-ups and attract foreign capital.

 

“I am thrilled that they are set to make their first investment and hope that this will be the first of many.”

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