Tech Coast Angels’ Deals Increased, Dollars Decreased, in 2010

Adding up the deals and dollars invested during 2010, Southern California’s Tech Coast Angels says it funded 31 startups last year, nearly 30 percent more than the 24 deals the network of individual investors did in 2009. But the amount of total invested capital the group raised for startups dropped by more than a third, from $61.7 million in 2009 to almost $40.2 million in 2010.

The investment group, which includes more than 250 members in five regional chapters (San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Westlake/Santa Barbara, and Riverside/San Bernardino Counties), says its members directly invested over $6 million and helped attract another $33.9 million from venture capital investors and other sources of capital. In 2009, the Tech Coast Angels (TCA) made $4.7 million in direct investments and helped land an additional $57 million.

Of its 31 deals in 2010, the TCA says 12 were new investments and 19 were follow-on investments for the company.

The TCA also reported some profitable exits, including IPOs for San Diego’s Trius Therapeutics and Monrovia, CA-based Green Dot (which TCA says yielded a return of more than 100 times the initial investment of early investors), and SDL’s acquisition of Los Angeles-based Language Weaver for $42.5 million.

“Tech Coast Angels is committed to identifying the brightest, most innovative new companies and fostering their growth through both capital investment and mentoring leadership,” said Mike Napoli, TCA’s current chairman, in a statement. “Already, 2011 is shaping up to continue on this upward trend.”

The angel group, which is technically a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation, said the San Diego companies it funded last year included:

Benchmark Revenue, which develops financial management software to help hospitals handle billing and collection issues.

Allylix, which develops ways of getting yeast to produce complex hydrocarbon molecules called terpenes for use initially as flavor and fragrance enhancers.

MicroPower Technologies, which has developed technology for ultra-low power wireless video cameras.

CardioCreate, which develops cardiac stem cell therapies to repair and replace damaged heart tissue following a heart attack.

BrandAmerica, which provides U.S. companies with the information and resources to establish joint ventures, trade contracts, distribution, license, and franchise agreements in Asian markets.

IntraStage, which develops quality management software for companies that design and manufacture electronic products.

Solulink, which provides proprietary conjugation reagents and related supplies for use in life science research, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical markets.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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