Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In 2012, as Frank would say, it was a very good year. It was a very good year for Angel Groups, of independent means, to grow in size, to syndicate their deals, .....

Angel groups, the investor category that provides the highest returns in seed stage investing, have been growing steadily and have dramatically increased the size of their investments.  Marianne Hudson, Executive Director of the Angel Capital Association, just sent along this note. “I wanted to share our good news, all of which happened in the last few days:

- ACA has its largest membership ever - 200 member organizations, with 8500 individual accredited investors.

- More than 600 people have registered for the 2013 ACA Summit next week, a 10% increase over our largest ever event.

- ACA was asked to testify to the House Small Business Committee about the JOBS Act. Jean Peters will ably represent us on Thursday, April 11th.”

What we have today are more angel groups, investing more. 

For example: Tech Coast Angels, a Southern California group, just announced their largest single funding ever , investing $3.2 million in Savara Pharmaceuticals’ second round.

In all, Savara, based in Austin, Texas, raised $16 million. Three other angel networks -- Keiretsu Forum, the Central Texas Angel Network and the North Texas Angel Network – also participated.

 “Completing a Series B of this size with 100 percent angel money is a major accomplishment,” said Sergio Gurrieri, who helped orchestrate Tech Coast Angels evaluation of Savara. “It demonstrates Tech Coast Angels’ increasing effectiveness at syndicating deals with other angel networks to raise larger rounds and drive innovation.”

Here in New England, we’ve managed a  $2 Million syndication, but we’ll have to reach higher to follow the example of our colleagues out West.

And what of the 300,000 active angel investors who are not in these groups?  We won’t know for certain until the Center for Venture Research at UNH releases their annual survey results in a couple of weeks, but the smart money bets it shows more angels investing more money than ever before.

And what should we say to all the bloggers, pundits, analysts, acceleratorists, and journalists who last year besieged us with cries of “irrelevant” angel groups, “moron angel investors,” and the “Series A crunch.”  Perhaps what General McAuliffe, surrounded at Bastogne, replied when demanded to surrender.  “NUTS,” he said!

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