Largest American Angel Network Demonstrates the Value of Angel Investing: Turning $100 Million into $1 Billion of Invested Capital
IRVINE, Calif., May 19, 2009 — Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investment network in the U.S. and the number one source of start-up funding in Southern California, today announced that its members have invested a total of $100 million in promising Southern California companies since the group’s inception in 1997. The network continues to actively invest in Southern California-based companies and encourages entrepreneurs seeking financing to apply through its website at www.techcoastangels.com.
Companies receiving first-time investments or follow-on rounds from TCAmost recently include Bikestation, MicroPower and eGuardian.
The $100 million total represents funding, as well as mentoring, expertise and industry contacts, provided by TCA members over the last 12 years to more than 150 young California-based companies in a range of fields including life sciences, software, Internet, biotechnology, media, business services, and consumer products. TCA’s contributions to these companies subsequently helped attract more than $1 billion in additional capital.
“This milestone demonstrates the value and staying power of angel investors, even in more challenging economies,” said Ralph Mayer, chairman of the board for Tech Coast Angels. “Receiving funding and guidance from TCA not only enables promising companies to grow, but also provides a huge dose of credibility. This, in turn, results in further investment from private investors as well as TCA’s venture partners. By filling this critical early funding gap and providing the support of successful executives, TCA helps these companies make a leap they otherwise couldn’t have made.”
In an era when banks have significantly curtailed lending — and investment capital is hard to find — angel investing can be a critical lifeline for young, innovative companies. As investment from traditional funding sources declined during 2008, TCA provided 15 first-time financings and 16 follow-on rounds, compared with 12 first-time financings and 14 follow-on rounds in 2007.
“Studies have shown that start-up companies, in addition to being important sources of technical and societal innovation, are critical sources of jobs, particularly during economic downturns,” said Mayer. “These companies play an essential role both in propping a sagging economy, and eventually, contributing to turnaround. We’re proud to play a part in their growth.”
TCA has more than 250 members in five chapters across Southern California: Los Angeles; Orange County; San Diego; Westlake/Santa Barbara; and the Inland Empire.
One of the many TCA investment success stories is Airsis™, an innovator in remote asset management with a position in the maritime industry. Airsis is the developer of PortVision, a maritime tracking system that now is used by virtually every oil company in the world. TCA provided the company with a first round of financing in 2005 and a second round in 2007.
“Airsis is a poster child for all the benefits of angel investment,” said Dean Rosenberg, CEO of Airsis. “The money TCA members invested in our company became a benchmark for other investors. Equally important, continual access to experienced TCA members with contacts in our targeted industry has allowed us to operate extremely efficiently and hit the ground running. We really hit traction in 2008 and since then have been experiencing quarter over quarter growth despite the economy.”
More recently, TCA provided a first round of financing for Bikestation, a company that plans, designs and operates bike-transit centers, enabling bicycling and other alternatives to be an integral part of the transportation system. “Bikestation had a backlog of demand for alternative transportation facilities that we were struggling to meet as a non-profit. With TCA’s guidance and their investment, we created a for-profit company with a non-profit arm,” said Andréa White-Kjoss, CEO of Bikestation. “To date, there are 12 facilities in place and we’re racing ahead to get many more built. Plus, we continue our education and outreach regarding alternative transportation through our non-profit.”
“Despite the downturn in the economy, TCA continues to look for exciting new companies in which to invest both money and expertise,” said Mayer. “We believe that many of the novel technologies and new ideas that will improve the quality our lives and the strength of our businesses will originate in these companies.”
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor network in the United States and the leading source of funding to early-stage companies in Southern California. Since its inception in 1997, TCA members have focused on building valuable companies, personally invested nearly $100 million, and helped portfolio companies attract more than $1 billion in additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com or at twitter.com/techcoastangels.com.