We have previously written about the significance of TiE Angels in light of the many start-ups today that are under the radar of the larger VC firms. (Early Stage Startups Get Wings from TiE Angels). TiE Angels was formed in the summer of 2010 as a platform for angel investors to work together to evaluate, and potentially invest in, entrepreneurial companies. In addition to funding four start-up companies (more on this later), TiE Angels encouraged over 70 companies to apply to present at its monthly meetings. That’s a pretty good track record for an organization that’s only been in existence for a little over 4 months!
“TiE Angels has proved to be a rousing success by all measures!”, says TiE Silicon Valley President Vish Mishra. “We extended the (candidate) companies our utmost courtesy and gave them valuable advice as we critically evaluated their potential. This process led us to pick the four most promising companies for investment. The TiE Angels organization takes deep pride in putting them on the first-rung of the success ladder. This is really a great boon to our venture capitalist sponsors, who get well-developed and supported startups with TiE Angels “Seal of Approval” for growth funding,” Vish added.
At its January 17, 2011 meeting, TiE Angels Chairman Venk Shukla said that four start up companies have or will receive funding from TiE Angel investors. The average funding level is about $500k per company from TiE Angel investors. Approximately 25 separate angel investors participated in these funding rounds. The four companies being funded are: Glassbeam (provides a software-as-a-service solution for product analytics), Vyycore (a U.S.-Israeli company that makes a dual mode WiFi/WiMax, single Chip CMOS Transceiver IC capable of delivering 24 dBm using a custom “predistorter core”), Federspiel Controls (the subjet of our earlier referenced article), and Action Run (funding not yet closed at press time).
The three companies presenting at the January 17th TiE Angels meeting all offered intriquing and compelling value propositions for investors and customers. However, none of the companies wanted extensive publicity at this early stage of product development. Here is a thumbnail description of each:
- EnerSave: Is developing residential and small commercial energy efficiency solution that leverages utilities’ investment into Smart Meters and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). EnerSave solution provides appliance level itemization of consumer electric bills that has been researched to bring 7%-12% reduction in energy consumption on average.
- High Tide: Brings portable power to mobile devices via a fast charge, pocket sized battery pack.
- Inlogy – Chooses to not disclose their product plans or deliverable at this time.
How it works: The very timely presentations made by start-up company entrepreneurs at TiE Angels meetings are intended for serious angel investors. Those in attendence, complete an “interest sheet” to express their interest in one or more of the companies they’ve heard speak. TiE Angels steering committee then compiles the interest sheets and one individual takes the lead to coordinate all future due diligence meetings leading up to an investment, if any.
Here’s a summary of the last TiE-Silicon Valley meeting I attended: