IRVINE, Calif. – May 11, 2017 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today announced that it had invested a total of $3.8 million in 17 total deals for the quarter ending March 31, 2017—its best Q1 in the angel network’s 20-year history both in dollars and number of companies invested. Southern California companies received 99% of the investment dollars, which reinforces TCA’s commitment to its local startup ecosystem. All but one of the investments for the quarter were early stage: Seed Equity, Series A or bridge to Series A funding, and with 93% of total dollars invested into nine new companies.
The nine new companies were Buy It Installed, Carepoynt, Cherryvale Farms, Conectric, Echo Laboratories Inc., InvestED, Mobilize Solutions, OnRamp, and Tot Squad.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the dollars invested went into companies already in revenue, reflecting the trend of angel investments in companies with an already-developed minimum viable product and showing evidence of traction with customers.
“Today’s information shows the strength of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem and of TCA as a group,” said Jeff Draa, Chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “Unlike other angel networks who’ve reported a shift towards follow-on investing, and unlike our experience in 2014 and 2015 when the majority of our investments were in follow-on rounds, our Q1 2017 investments show a tremendous upsurge in new deals, reflecting strong excitement by our members about new opportunities.”
TCA also realized three exits in Q1 2017:
“TCA members are investing in early-stage businesses that they can help to succeed with far more than just financial support,” continued Mr. Draa. “Our members offer guidance, direction and connections in addition to investment capital.”
During its 20th Year, Angel Network also Launched Angel Syndication Network to Share Deals with over 20 Other Angel Groups
IRVINE, Calif. – April 25, 2017 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) invested $14.1 million in a total of 55 companies in a diverse mix of industries in 2016. TCA’s total investment for the year was its fourth highest since the network’s inception in 1997, and its two largest deals in 2016 were Echo Labs and Movocash – each at over $1 million from TCA. TCA had six exits including five acquisitions (Retrosense Therapeutics, WeGoLook, Clearcare, Hipmunk, and HitFix) and one optional exit (grandPad) upon receiving strategic investment from Acer. This brings the total exits to 68 in the angel network’s history.
Ninety-one percent (91%) of the deals were seed or Series A rounds. Sixty-two percent (62%) of the companies in which TCA invested were initial investments by TCA, up from 35% in 2015. The investment increase in new and early stage companies reflected a wide berth of opportunities in 2016, however the report cautions that such investment activity may be similar to “experiencing an Indian Summer,” as this cycle seems to be drawing to a close.
These investments were across a broad range of industries, but the largest investments in dollars were in life sciences (35%), internet/apps (20%), software (15%) and financial services (16%).
“Although the year started slowly for investments, TCA finished strong in 2016. Additionally, we started a new syndication network to build better deals with great companies regardless of geography,” said Jeff Draa, 2017 Chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “While the diverse experience of our over 300 members helps us as a network to invest with confidence in a wide range of industries, the amount of solid expertise and knowledge also greatly benefits the companies in which we invest, guide and mentor. Together, that formula has helped us achieve results in liquidity events that surpass the averages for other angel groups.”
TCA also participated, along with CommonAngels from Boston, in research that was published in a joint study by Harvard Business School and MIT last calendar year, which may be the first quantitative analysis showing that companies receiving angel funding achieve greater success in many areas (including employees, survival, patents granted, etc.) than companies who did not receive angel funding.
Access TCA’s full 2016 year-end report for more details. The report includes a summarization of 2016, the investment outlook for 2017, the list of companies added to our portfolio, and various infographics.
Angel Fund realizes an annual 400% IRR with WeGoLook; acknowledges the “wisdom of the crowd” in angel networks
IRVINE, Calif. – February 16, 2017 – Tech Coast Angels’ (TCA) ACE Fund II recently announced a very successful exit that was unique in three ways: the time to exit was very short (two years); the exit had a very high return (7.8x); and the company was based in the heart of flyover country: Oklahoma.
The West Coast and the East Coast US are known around the world as ecosystems for innovators: entrepreneurs, incubators, and unicorns abound–from Seattle to San Diego, from Boston to Boca Raton. Both coasts are where a disproportionate amount of risk capital–such as angel and pre-seed investing—goes into small businesses and startups.
But landlocked, flyover states also have terrific small businesses very worthy of private investment. Great companies and great deals can be found anywhere, say Dave Berkus and Raymond Chan, active investors in TCA’s ACE Fund.
Berkus, superangel and author, met with the founders of WeGoLook when he was in Oklahoma to deliver a keynote speech to over 400 entrepreneurs at the invitation of the Oklahoma Angels and Oklahoma’s venture fund, I2e. He was asked by the venture fund to review five companies, and within ten minutes of his meeting with WeGoLook’s founders, he said, “I want to invest.” The founders told him they were already fully invested and had closed the round.
But they were willing to listen, and by the end of the day, WeGoLook’s founders liked what they heard from Berkus, and re-opened the round to accept another $100,000 investment from Tech Coast Angels’ ACE Fund II. Within a year, the angel network had more than doubled its investment in the company.
WeGoLook is a platform or value exchange that connects individuals and companies with on-demand investigators or “lookers” to inspect or verify conditions in remote or inconvenient locations. Some examples are property inspections, auction item verifications and notary services. One major insurance company now uses WeGoLook’s agents for accidents in areas far from a claims department.
Because investment opportunities between the east and west coasts are more rare and not inflated, WeGoLook had a very low pre-money valuation. In just over two years, the company was sold for over $42.5 million, and TCA’s ACE Fund II members received a 7.8x return on their over $200,000 investment.
“WeGoLook’s platform struck me as being so different and on target,” said Berkus. “The attraction was so obvious; undervalued and yet very attractive. On the West Coast, this kind of deal would have been prevalued so much higher, and the exit would have taken so much longer.”
Chan, managing partner of TCA’s ACE Fund I, II and III agrees. “It is all too common on the two coasts, due to pressure and expectations for every startup to be the next ‘unicorn,’ for both a company and its investors to hold out for a longer time to offset a higher purchase price. Entrepreneurs and private investors in flyover states don’t have the need—or the huge pressure—to have to hit a home run every time; they are satisfied with a base hit. And that means quicker exits for angel investors.”
“Although one of our tenets in the ACE Fund is that we prefer deals that are quick to return, WeGoLook is very rare,” continued Berkus. “Most angel investments take years. Seven years is what’s considered an average amount of time to achieve liquidity. WeGoLook had an extremely successful exit in an extremely short period of time – just over two years.”
“Becoming a member of an angel network helps an angel do the things you might not be able to do on your own,” concluded Chan. “There truly is a wisdom in the crowd. Our members have expertise in so many fields and therefore, as a whole, our group can seek better opportunities—from syndicated deals with other angel networks and shared due diligence to expanding reach and discovering a great startup in a flyover state.”
Southern California Angel Network Surpasses Previous Records for Both Investments and Activity
IRVINE, Calif. January 29, 2015 Tech Coast Angels (TCA) invested a total of $16,373,337 in 61 total deals in Calendar Year 2014. The angel network announced that 2014 was the most active year since the networks inception in 1997 for number of deals funded, and capital raised was also the largest ever. TCAs five networks throughout Southern California invested in a variety of industries last year, including consumer goods, healthcare, biotechnology, HIPAA-compliant data storage, social networking, organic agriculture, and automobile technology.In 1H 2014, TCA investments totaled $6,321,874 in 27 total deals. 2H 2014 saw a nearly 60% increase in the amount of total investment from the first half of the year, with $10,051,463 in 34 total deals. Compared to 2013, the angel network increased its total investment portfolio by nearly 12%, from $14,639,612 million in 2013 to $16,373,337 in 2014.After four successful exits in 2013 (Cognition Technologies, Green Dot, Lend Amend and Trius Therapeutics), 2014 brought five more positive exits with AIRSIS, Allylix, Bluebeam Software, Hookit (formerly Loopd Networks), and Mindbody Software. TCAs portfolio of new deals for 2014 include: Aggregage, Apeel Sciences, Ascendant Spirits, Beacon Healthcare, Edufii, Fusion Brake, GoBookIt, ImmunoGum, iPourIt, LeaseLock, Neural Analytics, Parcel Pending, Perfectna, Portfolium, Respiratory Motion, RetroSense Therapeutics, Ring Router, Schlep & Fetch, Soma Bar, Spine Innovation, The Influential Network, TrueVault, Unlicensed Chimp Technology, and WeGoLook. “We are excited by the quality and unique breadth and scope of these great, young, mostly Southern Californian companies that we can support through our experience and capital, said Michael Green, TCA incoming chairman. “We look forward to continuing to find, hone and cultivate the many outstanding early-stage companies in our community in 2015.