Angel Fund Closes Six Deals In Fourth Quarter

ANN ARBOR — The Michigan Angel Fund closed 2015 with $2.91 million of investment, including six deals totaling $1,578,000 in the last quarter.

“MAF investments in these Michigan companies not only directly support our entrepreneurial economy, but also attract outside investment to the state,” said Skip Simms, MAF manager and senior vice president at the economic development agency Ann Arbor Spark. “Angel activity continues to expand throughout the state, with a growing number of investors committing themselves to funding the next generation of startups in Michigan.”

MAF led a $750,000 Series A in Detroit-based BoostUp, a social savings site that helps people save for a down payment on their next car or home purchase.

Romulus-based Eco-Fueling raised MAF funding as part of a bridge financing round totaling $500,000. The funding will expand the market for its Eco-Fueling Injection System, developing a dual-fuel diesel combustion technology to mix E85 ethanol fuel based and diesel fuel in in the combustion chamber of a diesel engine.

MAF participated in a Series AA in Detroit-based FoodJunky.com, led by Midland-based Blue Water Angels. Foodjunky.com is the way businesses order food online. Its clients include Hewlett Packard, BDO, Quicken Loans, and General Motors.

MAF led a nearly $1 million round of investment in Ann Arbor-based Genomenon. The company’s software helps researchers better understand patient genomes for diagnosis an discovery. Other investors in this series seed round included Detroit-based Detroit Innovate, Denver, Colo.-based Three Leaf Ventures, Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Danmar Capital LLC, and Farmington Hills-based Invest Michigan.

Troy-based Levanto recently closed an oversubscribed $1.6 million seed round led by MAF, with participation from San Francisco-based Crosslink Capital, Commerce Ventures and Steelhead Ventures, Boston-based RockPoint Capital, and Toronto-based Gibraltar Ventures. Levanto combines mobile technology, data analytics and the advice of a financial expert to help households do a better job of financial planning, budgeting, spending and saving.

MAF’s investment in Ann Arbor based-SkySpecs pushed the company to a nearly $4 million raise, led by Ann Arbor-based Venture Investors and Huron River Ventures. SkySpecs’ drone technology can be operated by anyone in the field, and is focused on wind turbine inspection, with plans to expand to other inspection applications, like cell towers, power transmission, and civil structures.

In general, seed funding comes at the earliest stage of business formation. Series A is usually the first round of financing for a new venture after seed funding.

With 100 members, MAF is the largest angel organization in Michigan. There are currently 15 companies in the MAF portfolio.

MAF was established by Ann Arbor Spark, with administrative support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., to help finance early stage companies in Michigan and to attract additional angel investors.

As managing member, Ann Arbor Spark coordinates screenings of MAF applicants, conducts due diligence, and works with the Ann Arbor-based startup organization New Enterprise Forum to prepare companies for their investor presentations. Spark also works with business accelerator organizations around the state to identify quality companies for potential MAF investment.

MAF funds companies that are seeking early investments from $250,000 to $2,000,000. Businesses interested in applying for MAF investment should visit http://www.miangelfund.com/entrepreneurs/working-with-us.

Ann Arbor Spark is an economic development nonprofit with business, academic, government and community partners, including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, Washtenaw County Michigan Works, the city of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the MEDC. More at http://www.AnnArborUSA.org.

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