Tech Coast Angels, an angel investment group with five chapters across Southern California, invested $10.8 million into 58 startups last year. The total amount invested decreased slightly from 2017, when the group invested $14.2 million into 43 companies.
For 2018, the largest sectors for investment were life sciences and software. The majority of investments, 76 percent, went to new companies rather than repeat investments.
Last year, Tech Coast Angels invested in companies with higher valuations, bolstered by a rising investment market. The median valuation for its companies was $6 million in 2018, compared with $4.5 million in 2016 and 2017.
“2018 shows us that there is a strong pipeline of new companies and new ideas seeking angel investment,” Tech Coast Angels Chairman Grant Van Cleve said in a news release. “We recognize that we could well be facing an investment cycle nearing its end. So, we advise entrepreneurs to seek investors with experience and contacts who can help you navigate challenges, and to raise as much as you can in a current round without worrying about dilution.”
Tech Coast Angels’ largest investment last year went to San Diego-based software company, Tourmaline Labs. The group invested $1.6 million into Tourmaline Labs, which closed a $2 million seed round in September.
Other San Diego investments included:
- Fabric8 Labs
- Fantasy Sports
- Tega Therapeutics
- Trust and Will
Tech Coast Angels also saw six exits last year. Escondido-based One Stop systems went public last year, and Tech Coast Angels saw a twelvefold return from when it first invested in 2000. San Diego-based Envision Solar saw a private placement since going public. The group also saw exits from CaseStack, Ondax and Ring Router.