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European Group Recognizes Angel-Funding Platform

More than 400 early-stage investment leaders from 37 countries attended Europe's annual startup financing summit, the 11th EBAN Business Angel Network Congress. At the event, held in Warsaw, Poland, EBAN awarded the Breakthrough Service/Tool of the Year prize to Angelsoft, a multinational platform for coordinating early-stage business angel investments.

Over 35,000 professional early-stage investors from more than 650 business angel networks in 65 countries are on the Angelsoft collaboration-tools platform. Nearly a dozen national business angel federations, including those in France, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada, also use the platform.

The award from EBAN--the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds, and Other Early-Stage Market Players--was announced by an international jury of leading business angels, including Anna Hejka (Polish Private Equity Association), Frank van Beuningen (SOCAP/Europe), Brigitte Baumann (President of the Board of EBAN), Micha? Olszewski (Business Angel Seedfund) and Bill Payne (international business angel investing expert). The criteria for the prize included the novelty of the platform, its efficiency compared to previous methods, and the possibility of replicating the best practice in other networks around the world.

Greylock Ups Early-Stage Fund to $1 Billion

Greylock Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, has expanded its early-stage Greylock XIII fund to US $1 billion. The expansion capital was raised entirely with existing limited partners and was oversubscribed. In addition, Greylock announced the formation of Greylock Growth, a fund focused on later-stage financings in breakout consumer Internet and enterprise companies. The firm also operates the Greylock Discovery Fund for angel deals.

Greylock partner David Sze, leader of the growth initiative, said that continuous product innovation is critical to a company’s success. Greylock Growth will invest from US $25 million to $200 million at a time to help companies maintain their dominant positions while they continue to grow and expand.

Since Greylock’s initial Facebook investment in early 2006, about 40 percent of the firm’s dollars have gone toward later-stage companies. Greylock's portfolio includes companies such as Constant Contact, Groupon, Pandora, Redfin, and Zipcar. Pandora and Zipcar are currently in registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Greylock Partners initially closed $575 million for Greylock XIII in November 2009. The firm is an investor in a number of early-stage companies through this fund, including Airbnb, One Kings Lane, Pure Storage, Rally Software and Shopkick.

Greylock Discovery Fund has completed 20 seed-stage investments since it was launched in September 2010. Investments from this fund range between $25,000 and $500,000.

Angel Investment Group Reports More Deals

Southern California-based Tech Coast Angels, a national angel investment network, funded 31 investments in 2010, including 12 new deals and 19 follow-on investments in a broad range of startup businesses. TCA raised over $40 million for its entrepreneurial companies, including over $6 million through direct TCA investment and about $33.9 million through other sources of venture and angel capital.

The total number of investments was up significantly from 2009 when 24 deals were completed. In addition, 2010 marked a year of profitable exits for TCA portfolio companies, including an IPO for Green Dot Corp. that yielded 100x return for early investors, the acquisition of Language Weaver Inc. by SDL for $42.5 million, and an IPO for Trius Therapeutics.

"Coming out of an economic recession, we turned the tide and invested in more innovative, game-changing entrepreneurial companies and experienced several profitable exits. This is the result of our commitment to making the angel funding process faster, easier, and more accessible to entrepreneurs to generate more investment," said Mike Napoli, chairman of Tech Coast Angels.

The 2010 investment portfolio represented companies in technology, biotech and pharmaceutical, social media, financial services, consumer products, and green technologies, among others. The companies funded by Tech Coast Angels in 2010 included: Cyber-Rain; Benchmark Revenue; Allylix; Outside Labs; Vigilistics; H2Scan; Mobile XL; Continental Windpower; Amplyx Pharmaceuticals; OlFactor; Vokle; MicroPower Technologies; HitFix; Ranker; CardioCreate; MyShape; Bikestation; MasherMedia; Brand America; Intrastage; YouMail; Glassbeam; LaughStub; Ondax; Cosnet; Solulink; and Cognition Therapeutics.

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