Avonmore Developments is focused on investing in seed and early-stage businesses.
Since 2000 Avonmore has invested in over 29 UK businesses and over 70 funding rounds. Our Singapore office has been running for 4 years and made 8 investments to date.
Avonmore was founded by brothers Simon and Michael Blakey, two of the UK's first professional business angels. They were inspired by the developing market in the USA and thought there could be similar opportunities to support bright, talented and committed entrepreneurs in the, then still nascent, UK market.
Since then, Avonmore has been instrumental in the development of the UK angel ecosystem. This has been through wide ranging talks, conferences, government advice and mentoring - both of entrepreneurs seeking investment and new angel investors. Avonmore's approach to deals is hands-on: mobilising other angel investors, working actively with entrepreneurs post-deal, and coordinating further funding rounds.
Simon is in charge of Avonmore’s UK operations, deal negotiations and ongoing management of our UK investment interests.
He founded Avonmore Developments following several years working at Sainsbury's, and then as a management consultant specialising in financial services start-up projects. Simon is originally a biochemist and management accountant by training. He sits on the board of several of Avonmore’s portfolio companies as well as the Investment Committees of the government-backed £100m Angel Co-fund and that of UK seed-fund Playfair Capital.
As well has his business interests, Simon is on the management board of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, where he chairs the finance subcommittee, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.
Michael is based in Singapore where he now also runs Cocoon Capital. He is also very involved in our UK business investments and spends several months a year in the UK. Michael was awarded 2015 Angel Investor of the Year by the British Business Angel Association and was picked for the UK’s 2016 Maserati 100.
Michael began his career at Sainsbury’s, specialising in Human Resources and IT and then joined Avonmore in 2002. He spends a considerable amount of his time mentoring entrepreneurs, engaging with other business angels, family offices and VCs, and speaks extensively about early stage investing in UK and Asian markets.