BeAngels Celebrates 25 Years under the Theme of Private Savings Liberation

BeAngels Celebrates 25 Years under the Theme of Private Savings Liberation

In the beautiful setting of the Brussels City Hall, BeAngels, Belgium’s premier network of private investors, celebrated a quarter-century of development and impact. The event, largely themed around mobilizing private savings for the financing of entrepreneurship and innovation, provided an opportunity to reflect on the organization's journey from an informal network to a unique investment platform in the market.

Over 80 million euros have been invested by BeAngels investors into nearly 400 companies. Notably, as much money has been invested in the last four years as in the previous decade. 78% of the companies BeAngels has invested in over the past five years are active, with each euro invested leveraging an average of four additional euros for target companies. Nearly 2,500 jobs have been created by companies initially supported by BeAngels.

Distinctive Features in Belgium

  • Investment Services Development**: Ranging from pre-seed to pre-Series A, adapting to investors' goals, wealth, and available time. Some services offer a learning approach combined with building an investment portfolio.
  • BeAngels Academy: Eight modules of best practice exchanges led by experienced business angels for new BAs.
  • National Presence: Significant growth in Flanders in 2023, where nearly 35% of new members were recruited, and the launch of a first investment group called NXT.
  • Cross-Border Expansion: Presence in Luxembourg since 2022 and exclusive partnerships like with Swiss Verve Ventures.

These initiatives have professionalized the approach to investing in startups while maintaining a strong community spirit. Before 2014 and the launch of SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles), most investors had portfolios of 1-5 deals. This percentage has dropped to less than 50%, with the other half managing portfolios with dozens of investments, a key profitability factor in venture capital.

Profitability and Impact

BeAngels highlights that its previous study indicated an average gross portfolio return of around 199% IRR, excluding the potential impact of the startup tax shelter. A study conducted for this event on SPV investments made before 2017 shows an annual return of 16%, demonstrating that it is possible to have an impact while also achieving profitability.

The event also discussed various levers to significantly increase the contribution of private savings to financing the real economy. Successful entrepreneurs, women business angels, and NextGen youth are among the new investor profiles encouraged to get involved. Notably, ABN Amro was the main event partner, showing the growing interest of the banking and institutional world in venture capital and the demand from clients to diversify their wealth while having a positive impact, such as supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.

BeAngels announces its future ambition: to become the leading venture capital investment platform in Belgium, with a unique dual positioning of wealth diversification and a skills enhancement hub within a community of over 500 members.

This ambition will be supported by the arrival of three new profiles on the company’s Board of Directors:

  • Lode Peeters: Founder of Tobania and President of Agoria
  • Emmanuelle Ghislain: CEO of the Pulse Foundation
  • Sophie Stegen: Head of Listing for Euronext Belgium and Luxembourg

These experts will bring their experience and strategic vision to guide BeAngels to new heights.