Prof Yipeng Liu Shares Findings of Survey on Angel Investment During and Post COVID-19 to Henley Business Angels Members

Prof Yipeng Liu Shares Findings of Survey on Angel Investment During and Post COVID-19 to Henley Business Angels Members

On 20 August 2020, an audience of Henley Business Angels members and guests gathered for an online webinar that explored the findings of a recent survey on business angel investing during and post COVID-19.

The survey was led by Prof Yipeng Liu, Director of the Centre for China Management and Global Business at Henley Business School, and was contributed to by HBA Director Jurek Sikorski and HBA member Denis Bidinost. It ran between 15 June 2020 to 20 July 2020 and more than 30 experienced investors submitted responses.

The results from the survey provided some illuminating insights into how angel investing has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic. In his report to the HBA members, Yipeng outlined that in the current climate 62% of respondents were not investing, with 25% investing in their existing portfolio and 13% still investing in new deals.

Rather than withdrawing from investing directly, caution was the recurring theme – 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 Prof Liu had presented the results of the survey, the discussion in the webinar turned HBA members recounting their personal experiences of investment during the 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, Prof 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.”

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