Dallas’s Naya Ventures Targets Investments in Telecom Startups
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that some of our current investors, they increased their commitment. They see the progress we have made. It’s not that easy, to be honest with you, when we first started. But we believe there is a market.
X: What is going on in the North Texas telecom startup scene? What is the legacy from the days of the “Telecom Corridor?”
DP: In Dallas, we have a lot of big companies, a lot of people with experience. We just have to see how they can take a chance and start a company. Next year, we definitely want to see a lot more companies from Dallas in mobile, cloud, and big data. We are definitely seeing activity—people are willing to leave big companies like Pepsi, Sabre, Verizon. It’s been a big difference than from 2011 to 2013 when we could not find companies locally. That’s the reason why we invested in Bay Area [startups].
Now we have Dallas angel groups, and they will start investing in some of these companies. That will help us. And we are starting a network within TiE, called TiE Angels Dallas, and within that we are starting mentorships. I am co-chairing this. We will allocate some time for entrepreneurs to come on Saturdays or Sundays for free, for two or three hours, and ask any question. [The financing climate] is not where it should be, but we have excellent technical talent for a startup company.
X: What has been your best investment so far?
DP: They are all good investments! Four of them already are in their Series B round. Some of them are getting strategic calls from people who would like to see these companies as part of bigger companies. The Dallas companies are doing really well. Motivity Labs, has grown from 20 to 140 people and $5 million revenue.
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