Portfolio Company Aperia Technologies Raises New Round of 16M

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Aperia, who we invested in during 2011, has raised a new round of $16M. The funding was co-led by Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) of Michigan and eLab Ventures. eLab Ventures has a strong focus on transportation and mobility.  Aperia markets a revolutionary automatic tire inflation system for trucks & trailers that bolts-on in minutes. It provides increased fuel efficiency & extended tire life. Funds will be used primarily to invest in sales and marketing infrastructure and expansion of customer support operations in response to continued customer adoption across industry segments. You can see the press release here.

Data from Kauffman Foundation on Startups

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Raising money

Inc. Magazine published some interesting data summarized as:

1. Companies started by entrepreneurs in their 20s are more likely to close.
2. Companies founded by Asian leaders have a significantly higher rate of survival
3. The amount of startup capital doesn’t signiicantly alter a company’s chance of survival.
4. Patents or Copyrights have little impact on startup survival or closure rates.

Note that the data didn’t define what a ‘survival’ outcome meant, only that a company was merged/acquired or still ongoing.

Here’s the link.

Portfolio Company CustomerLink Acquired By Intuit Subsidary

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Exits, Portfolio

CustomerLinkAngel money is often called “patient money”. The Roseville based CustomerLink exit is a great example; the investment was made in 2001 so the investors’ money was tied up for 13 years before the investment became liquid. Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed but we know the members who invested in CustomerLink were happy with their returns.

You can read  more about the acquisition and the company in the article in the Business Journal and in the company blog.

Sacramento Angels Invest in Bicycle Lighting Innovator Revolights

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Revolights_LogoRevolights, makers of next-generation bike lights, raised $1 million of Series A funding in a round led by Sierra Angels with the Sacramento Angels as co-lead. Other investors included The Herjavec Group (as a result of a Shark Tank presentation), San Joaquin Angels, Berkeley Angel Network, and two funds, Augment Ventures, and Northern California Investment Fund LLC.

The company’s first product is the patented and award winning Revolights bike lighting system. It consists of “smart” rings of LEDs which attach to a bike’s wheels and synchronize to the bike’s speed to provide: forward path illumination, an actual brake light (it blinks when you decelerate), and a huge increase in bright 360-degree visibility. That is a key bike safety differentiator. The addressable market in the USA and EU is estimated to be ~$1,500M+

Portfolio Company iSnap raises Series A and appoints CEO

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iSnap SocialWe first invested in iSnap in 2012. The company has just announced the closing of its Series A round and the hiring of Bob Whitson as CEO. Bob is well known locally as a seasoned industry executive who has held senior management roles with both Fortune 500 and start-up technology companies. Prior to joining iSnap, Whitson was a co-founder and CEO of Sierra Logic, where he led the company through its formation and growth stage, and then managed its profitable acquisition by Emulex.

Portfolio Company Aperia Technologies Launches Halo Tire Inflator

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Portfolio

Aperia TechnologiesWe invested in Aperia in 2011 as part of a syndicated all Angel round led by the Sierra Angels. The company subsequently raised a VC round and now has launched its first product, the Halo Tire Inflator. The product is an easily installed, all mechanical, automatic tire inflator. The initial market is trucking companies and their fleets. Read the full press release.

Portfolio Company Glue Networks Raises New Round

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Glue Networks -- Intelligent Cloud NetworkingEarly this year, Glue Networks raised a new round of funding.  The $12.4 million raised is from private investors to boost its product portfolio and marketing as the company steps up its ability to go after the SDN wide area networking (WAN) market.

The new round of financing is in addition to a $4.5 million angel financing round (including the Sacramento Angels) the company announced in December 2010, bringing its total funding up to $16.9 million. According to Glue Networks, the financing is being used to “address growing user interest in bringing agility, speed and price performance” to the branch WAN.

Kickstarting Revolights — Company with Local UCD Origins

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Raising money, UC Davis

We like to keep track of the entrepreneurial endeavors at UC Davis (see the Angels on Campus program we started) and recently saw this about a new bicycle accessory company. Adam Pettler switched gears (no pun intended) to be become an entrepreneur after getting his MBA at UCD.

He started Revolights with co-founder Kent Frankovich to revolutionize bicycle safety. Adam has been contributing the business skills he learned at UCD to be the guy behind much of the promotion the company has done since founding. Here is a list of accompaniments so far:

Marrone Bio Innovations — An IPO for a Portfolio Company

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Exits, Investments, Portfolio

Marrone Bioinnovations -- make natural, effective, safe, environmentally friendly products the mainstream future of pest managementToday Marrone Bio Innovations (Symbol: MBII) of Davis had their initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange. It was priced at $12/share and ended the day at $13.75.

SacAngel members first invested in the company in 2006 as part of MBI’s first round of funding (Series A). It is estimated from the company S-1/A filing with the SEC that those investors had a return in the range of 6.4x based on the closing price today (i.e., for every dollar invested, their return today, if they sold their stock, would be $6.4). Similarly, those that invested in subsequent Series B (2008) and Series C (2010-11)  financing rounds got returns of 3.9x and 3.6x, respectively.

SacAngels Invest in Eco-Friendly Utensil Company, EcoTensil

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investments, Portfolio

EcoTensil_logoThe group invested in EcoTensil earlier this year along numerous other angel groups in a syndicated deal for $850K. There are a number of press releases on the web like this one, and below is a press release we received from the company.


EcoTensil, Inc., maker of the most eco-friendly paperboard utensils available, announced that it has over-subscribed and closed its Series A round of financing, having raised in excess of $850,000.  The successful capital raise complements some other important business milestones, such as the shipment of the company’s first SpoonLidz on-package product, and the move into a new, larger office.

LARKSPUR, CA — May 9, 2013. Today, Peggy Cross, Founder & CEO, announced that the company has closed its Series A Preferred stock round.