Chief executive says it is ’heartening to see the government acknowledging the pivotal role angel investors play’

The government’s decision to reverse changes made to angel investing rules will help ”increase the diversity of founders” across the insurtech sector.

That was according to Jodi Cartwright, chief commercial officer of fintech Tint Financial, who said that “any policy changes that help startups get access to angel investment are welcomed”.

On 31 January 2024, the UK government changed the definition of a high net worth (HNW) individual investor, raising the salary threshold to £170,000 per year – up from £100,000 a year previously.

Although the government introduced this change to increase the protection for investors following an increase in the use of retail investment platforms, only 72,500 women in the UK earn this salary, as reported by This is Money in February 2024.

In turn, the decision to raise the salary threshold caused disappointment across the insurtech sector – Katie Palencsar, partner at fintech investment firm Anthemis Group, said that female investors ”are two times more likely to invest in female founders”.

However, when announcing the Spring Budget yesterday (6 March 2024), chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed the threshold for income would return to £100,000 and £250,000 for net assets, which had increased to £430,000 under the previous rules.

”Angel investment is critical in early-stage businesses to help get ideas off the ground, Cartwright said.

”By lowering the threshold again, it will increase available capital.We know the percentage of female tech founders is very low at around 15%. Having a more diverse set of angel investors will increase the diversity of founders.”


Meanwhile, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, chief executive and founder of insurtech Tapoly, said that it was ”heartening to see the government acknowledging the pivotal role angel investors play in fuelling the UK’s innovation and tech sectors”.

”The initial change, which raised the income requirement to qualify as an HNW individual for investment protections, risked side-lining a significant portion of potential angel investors,” Kaenprakhamroy added. 

”This was particularly concerning for women, minority groups and entrepreneurs based outside of London, who traditionally face more significant challenges in accessing startup capital.”

Melissa Collett, chief executive of trade body Insurtech UK, said: ”The decision on angel investing rules is certainly most welcome. [This is] an area where many members have accessed finance to support their development.”

Led by campaign group, InvestHer, of which Dragon’s Den Deborah Meaden was involved, she said that ”having more female investors doesn’t solely provide a much needed boost to investment in women-led enterprises, but also results in more women hired”, fosters innovation in products created for women, and improves ”the state of play for female entrepreneurs”.

Nicholas Hyett, investment manager at investment platform Wealth Club, added that under the previous rules, a “lack of alignment with the FCA HNW tests made them difficult to implement and meant investors were being treated differently”.

“It’s great to see the government responding to feedback and reversing recent changes to rules around HNW and sophisticated investor exemptions,” he said.

”The changes risked reducing investors’ ability to back small UK startups, very much the opposite of current government policy, and implementation has also been poor.”

Palenscar added: ”What we’ve learned from this reversal is the impact of the collective effort - angel investor groups, the startup community and journalists who brought attention to the issue, together impacted real change. I’m encouraged this is a spark for continued efforts for female founders.”