Timothy Armoo explains how he raised money from top angel investors to build his award-winning Gen Z marketing agency, Fanbytes. Read more in our UK 100 Angels report.
Timothy Armoo started and sold his first business at age 17. At 21, while still in his second year at university, he co-founded Fanbytes, joining Founders Factory to build the company before selling to Brainlabs in May 2022.
Fanbytes by Brainlabs helps brands reach Gen Z through social media and influencer marketing.
When he started out, Timothy had to find angel money to grow his burgeoning business. He secured funding from a number of top angel investors including Beauhurst’s Toby Austin, Charles Tyrwhitt’s Nicholas Wheeler, Privitar’s John Taysom, and experienced advertising exec, Nigel Morris.
Now, he’s also started angel investing, with ticket sizes of £25k-50k (for 1-5% equity), focused on pre-seed new media and ecommerce startups.
How Did You Find Your Angel Investors?
The first stage was about serendipity; putting yourself out there and making conversations. I met Nicholas Wheeler through a student program and our first bit of money came from Toby Austin of Beauhurst. I wanted to work for him during my gap year. He said I was too young, but if I ever started a company I should come back to him!
Founders Factory put me in touch with people and then it was about referrals. John Taysom saw the growth of the business and introduced other angels like Guy Phillipson.
Some people say that angel investing is like an old boys’ club and there’s some truth in that. As a black guy who’s done well in tech, I realise that the 21 year old me also had to cold email a bunch of people. Now, when I get a cold email from a promising founder, I make sure I engage with it.
Raising Money for Your Business: Your Top Tips?
20% of our angels were very useful; 80% couldn’t offer strategic advice. We had investors we knew wouldn’t be useful aside from their money – and I told them that! We updated them on our progress monthly and things were fine. The bad investor relationships are those where you don’t set clear expectations on both sides.
Go Beyond Business.
You need to be able to speak to your investors about more than just business. When times get tough, you want to be comfortable having long conversations with them.
Choose ‘No-Big-Deal’ Investors.
You want to find investors for whom most of the stuff you’re doing is no big deal. When Fanbytes sold we were 75 people; Nigel Morris, for example, has managed teams of 1,000. When I asked him about hiring a Head of Sales, that was no big deal for him! When you find investors who bring that level of support and clarity, it really changes things.
Download our UK Angels 100 report for a comprehensive guide to raising angel investment and our list of the 100 most active UK angel investors.