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19 February, 2012 - 22:43 By News Desk

Angels close in on 11 new investments

Peter Cowley

A fresh surge of investments is about to be unveiled by Martlet, the Cambridge angel investment group founded nine months ago by UK industrial giant, The Marshall Group.

Martlet’s investment director Peter Cowley reveals that the pipeline for 2012 is looking good, with three investments committed which should close within a few weeks and another eight on the near-field radar.

In its first nine months of operation, Martlet significantly exceeded its target and achieved a total of nine investments, making the company one of Cambridge's most prolific investors of 2011.

Cowley says he has reviewed well over 120 quality propositions for Martlet and rejected many more on top of that.

The successes are in a wide variety of areas including cleantech, medtech, aerospace, instrumentation, mobile data and software.

Cowley said: “All investments show strong defensibility whether it is patents or speed/agility to market. Geographically, six are in the immediate Cambridge area, two in London and one in the East Midlands. The earliest are pre-revenue and range up to sales of around £1M.

“Three investments are into teams that have a previous successful entrepreneurial exit. Several have been awarded grants to support initial research and development.

“All are growing at various rates, and although it is very early days, none is showing any signs of failure.”

Martlet’s four most recently closed deals, as reported previously in Business Weekly, were Plumis, Phase Vision, Arachnys and Cambridge Communication Systems.

• Arachnys, a Springboard graduate mining overseas public data for financial analysts

• Cambridge Communication Systems has a small cell backhaul technology

• London-based Plumis, developer of a low cost mist-based sprinkler system won Dyson product of the year in 2009

• Loughborough's Phase Vision specialises in 3D Optical Inspection for metrology, which may be of particular relevance to the Marshall group

To contact Peter Cowley and Martlet, go to www.martlet.org.uk

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Peter Cowley

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