Alliance of Angels Reaches Historic Heights with 2009 Investment Activity
AoA investors inject $9.1 million into Northwest start-up community, setting new group record
SEATTLE, WA – February 25, 2010 — The Alliance of Angels, the Northwest’s premier angel investor organization, today released its investment figures for 2009, offering strong evidence that angel investors remain an active source of support for early stage companies despite the weak economy. The group, which has been investing in technology and other high-growth sectors since 1997, racked up the highest investment total in its history last year, directing a combined $9.1 million to 29 early stage companies in Washington and the surrounding area.
“We experienced our strongest year ever in terms of dollars flowing to entrepreneurs, even in the midst of a severe downturn,” observed Alliance of Angels Chair Dan Rosen, CEO of Dan Rosen & Associates. “Our members, who have a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as capital, understand that active involvement can create successful companies, especially during slowdowns in economic activity.”
“Our angels continue to write checks, investing in the next wave of great companies with innovative products and services, thereby creating jobs in our region and bolstering the entire startup ecosystem.”
The majority of the total – $8.5 million – came directly from individual AoA members. The balance was supplied by the Alliance of Angels Seed Fund, which was established last spring to invest alongside the AoA membership and provide a vehicle for investors to further diversify their portfolios. Nine of the companies received investment for the first time in 2009, while 20 of the companies received follow-on investment after having previously secured capital from members.
“Returning companies outnumbered new deals, with our members keen to support those in our existing portfolio that are demonstrating they can navigate present economic conditions and position themselves for future growth,” noted AoA Managing Director Greg Huey. “That we had so many members willing to re-up in AoA companies, while bringing in new investment from fellow members, in a very challenging year for fund-raising is a testament to the quality of our screening process as well as the stewardship capabilities and commitment of our members to entrepreneurs.”
“With the Seed Fund providing an additional infusion of capital to companies that gained extensive traction with our members, I would say 2009 was a great year for investors and entrepreneurs who participated in AoA.”
Software accounted for the largest portion of both dollars (33 percent) and deals (13, equivalent to 45 percent of the total number of companies funded). Clean technology attracted the second-highest dollar amount, with two companies capturing 28 percent of the total. The second-highest number of deals was found in the retail and consumer products category, with 6 companies securing 12 percent of total dollars invested. The balance of funding was spread among internet (3 companies), mobile (2), and biotechnology and medical devices (2).
In addition to direct investment, AoA helped facilitate another $8.3 million in capital from other sources to companies that participated in its process, bringing its total impact in 2009 to $17.5 million.
Having reached a new milestone with its investment activity, AoA has embarked on an effort to refresh its brand and expand its outreach. The group recently redesigned its logo, and it is currently working toward the launch of a new web site that will be more accessible and user-friendly for investors, entrepreneurs and the broader community.
“The AoA is one of the most active angel groups in the nation, and it’s right here in the Northwest. In the past three years alone, local companies have received more than $19 million directly through us, and our investors celebrated five successful exits,” said Rosen. “We are ramping up our efforts to spread the word about the value we create for investors and how our angels are helping young companies find the funding and assistance they need to grow and succeed.”
“Investors and entrepreneurs, you definitely want to work with us.”
AoA’s previous investment record was set in 2005, when members directed a combined $7 million to 20 companies.