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Angel network’s investment in first half of this year is highest by far in its 21-year history

IRVINE, Calif. – July 31, 2019Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today announced that it had invested a total of $13.7 M in 28 total deals in the first half of 2019 — its best 1H since its inception in 1997. The amount is over double the investment in the same period in 2018 ($6.4 M) and an increase of 183% over the first half of 2017 ($4.8 M). Moreover, this first half total in 2019 is more than the annual total for 16 of TCA’s 21 years, including more than the investment total of $10.8 M for all of 2018. TCA also recently reported its membership is at an all-time high with over 400 members.

TCA’s investment portfolio for the period includes innovative, early-stage companies over a wide span of industries, with 11 follow-on companies and 17 new companies funded. The average total TCA investment in these companies, including with TCA’s ACE Fund in 1H 2019 was $490 K. The median company valuation of $10 M was larger than 2018 ($6.0 M) and 2017 ($4.5 M), and 1H 2019’s average company valuation was $14.3 M, higher than any previous year – sending some warning signals since valuation tends to peak just before markets crash and the investment cycle heads down.

New companies added to TCA’s portfolio of companies included:

  • Advekit — marketplace that matches patients with mental health professionals
  • Atlazo — continuous health data monitoring, aggregation and analytics
  • Ceresti — support family caregivers for multi-chronic patients
  • Cloudkeyz — secured access management replacing call-box intercom
  • Elemeno Health — transforms client healthcare with actionable guides at point of need
  • Elysium Therapeutics — new class of Rx painkillers that replace addictive opioids
  • GoSite — most complete end-to-end software suite for local businesses
  • GroGuru — precision soil and irrigation monitoring system
  • Grolltex — industrializable and sustainable method to make graphene
  • Healionics — improved means of dialysis access in patients with kidney failure
  • Industry Jump — marketplace for producers and film crew to find, hire and pay
  • KettleSpace — transforms hospitality assets into a network of on-demand work space
  • Lennd — event operations platform for modern event teams
  • Mechandodontics — alternative to braces that moves the teeth independently
  • Paradigm Diagnostics — finds best comprehensive treatment approaches for cancer
  • Spiral Genetics — make large-scale genomic data mining possible
  • Turn Technologies — solutions for the 1099 labor supply side of the gig economy

Existing portfolio companies receiving additional investment included:

  • Actuate Therapeutics — GSK — 3β inhibitor into clinic for oncology and fibrotic diseases
  • Aquacycl — distributed wastewater treatment to reduce sludge & recover energy
  • BeTheBeast — online community for scholastic athletes recruiting
  • Buy It Installed — button integrated into retailer ecommerce site to include installation
  • Curb — integrated system for visualizing and managing energy consumption
  • DTx Pharma — oligonucleotide therapeutic for efficient delivery of nucleic acid drugs
  • Groupize — cloud-based systems to help meeting planners find available meeting spaces
  • Midas Education — SAAS that integrates the 17 “siloed” data analytics systems in school
  • Neural Analytics — non-invasively measure intracranial pressure
  • NextPro — produce & distribute over 50K youth sports games per year
  • Outsite — co-working and co-living for location independent millennial professionals

The jump in dollars invested was partly driven by a few large deals; TCA investment was $2 million or more for three companies (Atlazo, Buy-It-Installed, and Neural Analytics) and over $1 million for DTx Pharma. There was also a small but noticeable shift to more geographic diversity: of the 17 new investments, five were outside of southern California which is greater than TCA’s historical range of 15-20% non-local. 

“We continue to see quality and scope of exciting young companies seeking funding from us,” said Grant Van Cleve, chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “We are proud to contribute to this important engine of growth in our economy – new companies are where all the net job growth has occurred in the past couple of decades. Innovation is alive and well, and the enthusiasm of the companies who come to us for funding reinforces our goal of being the best place for the best companies to find funding and succeed.”