Published in Breaking News

Grand Angels invested $3.5M in 12 deals last year, closes on $7M venture fund

BY Tuesday, February 02, 2016 12:21pm

Grand Angels had its best year yet in 2015, putting $3.5 million into 12 deals during the year.

The investment volume lifted the amount invested by the Holland-based angel group to $19.6 million since 2004, an increase of 20 percent from a year earlier. Two pending new investments that should close in the first quarter should elevate that total to more than $20 million, executives said.

The past year included the formation of Grand Angels Venture Fund II, a small venture fund investing in early-stage companies in life sciences, advanced manufacturing and materials, software with a focus on business-to-business uses, and advanced agriculture and food science. The new fund will make follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies and invest in new companies and closed five deals in 2015.

President Jody Vanderwel expects Grand Angels to make 10 to 12 deals in 2016 between the angel group and Grand Angels Fund II.

The venture fund raised about $7 million, well below an ambitious target of $20 million identified more than a year ago in a regulatory filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Grand Angels wanted to close the fundraising by the end of 2015, rather than continue it for a prolonged period. The amount raised from existing members and new investors was within its range and tripled what Grand Angels previously generated for a co-investment fund that was used to complement angel investments initially made by members, Vanderwel said.

“We set a goal of getting the work done within the 12 months and pretty much accomplished that, so we decided to hold the file closed and go forward,” Vanderwel said.

Most of the investors in Fund II are from West Michigan and across the state, with a few from outside of Michigan, Managing Director Paul D’Amato said. He expects the new fund to invest in 15 companies in the first few years of its 10-year life.

A number of Grand Angels’ existing portfolio companies made progress in 2015. They included ProNAI Therapeutics Inc. that closed on a $158 million IPO last summer, and mobile delivery Zipments Corp. that was acquired in November by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Deliv.

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