Keiretsu Forum, Capital Top Q3 Angel Investors

Pitchbook

Keiretsu Forum and Keiretsu Capital were the top two most active venture investors in the world this quarter by deal flow, according to the Venture Monitor Q3 Report.

About the Venture Monitor:

Fresh off their new partnership, PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association have partnered to produce the Venture Monitor, a comprehensive review of venture capital activity within the US. The report features extensive datasets on venture financing by stage and sector, plus detailed analysis of venture-backed exits and fundraising.

Keiretsu Forum’s 23rd Bi-Annual Expo for Entrepreneurs and Investors: Call For Applications

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – September 08, 2016) - Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest private equity angel investment network, announces its 23rd bi-annual Northern California Angel Capital Expo on Thursday, November 17, 2016 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Microsoft, 1065 La Avenida Street in Mountain View, California.

Angel Capital Expo is known as a premier gathering of angel investors and entrepreneurs seeking funding capital to grow their businesses. More than 500 of the Bay Area’s most active and respected angel investors will attend the Expo. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply to present their business proposals.

“Angel Capital Expo provides a unique opportunity for active collaboration between our angel investors and other northern California angel investor communities,” said Randy Williams, Founder and CEO of Keiretsu Forum. “We are proud to play a seminal role in the growth of start-up businesses and job creation at a local, national and international level.”

Angel Capital Expo will feature 15-18 high-quality, diverse investment opportunities in technology, healthcare/life sciences, consumer products, real estate and funds. Companies that apply to Keiretsu Forum are typically in their A or B rounds having secured initial funding of $500k to $1.5 million from founders, individual angels, friends, and family. Companies are pre-screened by a select committee of Keiretsu Forum members, and selected entrepreneurs receive presentation coaching in advance of the event. During the day, entrepreneurs will make an individual, on-stage presentation to the more than 500 attendees, and will be available at their exhibitor booths for additional discussions.

Apply to Present
Companies interested in presenting at the November 17, 2016 Angel Capital Expo may complete the online application and contact Lauren Anderson, Entrepreneur Director, at landerson@keiretsuforum.com or call (415) 573-0755.

Register to Attend
Accredited investors are invited to register here to take advantage of the early bird special, price will be $295 thereafter! For more information, contact Carla Selby, Membership & Finance Director, at carla@keiretsuforum.com or call (415) 573-0753.

Become a Sponsor
If your company is interested in being a sponsor at the Angel Capital Expo, please contact Kate Murphy at kate@keiretsuforum.com or call (415) 573-0751.

About Keiretsu Forum

Keiretsu Forum was founded in 2000 by Randy Williams in the San Francisco Bay Area. With 46 chapters and 2,500 accredited investor members, Keiretsu Forum is the world’s largest by invitation only angel investor network. Keiretsu Forum members provide early stage capital in the range of $250k – 2 million in high quality, diverse investment opportunities and collaborate in due-diligence, but make their own individual investment decisions. Through the Keiretsu Forum, more than $800 million of capital has been invested into technology, consumer products, Internet, healthcare, life sciences and real estate companies. For more information, visit www.keiretsuforum.com.

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Keiretsu Forum Northwest Announces Winner of the Angel Capital Expo 2016 “Most Valued Company” Award

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Seattle, WA – September 8th, 2016 – Keiretsu Forum Northwest, a fast growing region of the world’s largest angel investing group, hosted its Angel Capital Expo last August the 18th at Microsoft. The Expo hosted over 350 Angel Investors, 34 community partners, and featured presentations from 18 start-up companies who came from all over the United States and Canada. Keiretsu has announced that the companies, varied from funds to new technologies, received a total of 822 explicit expressions of interest from potential investors, 38% higher than past year.

“This is another astounding year for our Portfolio Companies that are just shooting to the top” said Northwest Region Chairman, Nathan McDonald. McDonald is also the CEO of Keiretsu Capital, LLC, which manages a series of Co-Investment & Opportunity Funds affiliated with Keiretsu Forum that have already backed seven of the companies that presented at last month’s Expo. The fund announced the Launch of its Real Estate Access Fund with a first closing of $1.6 million. The fund invests in Real Estate Income Funds and Opportunities that are being backed by Keiretsu Forum and other leading investing groups around the world.

At the Expo, the winner of the “Most Valued Company” award, given to the company that received the most imaginary “funds” by Expo attendees, was Woven Orthopedic Technologies, which designs and develops specialized orthopedic solutions for the aging population (Orthogeriatric patients), and whose premiere product is a bio-textile device, for use in fracture repair surgery, to directly address the risk of losing implant fixation in patients with compromised bone.

Keiretsu’s northwest region is also celebrating its eleven year anniversary this month. The region announced funding of $232 million for 381 companies by northwest members since it began in 2005. McDonald announced that the region has totaled 59 individual investments totaling in $24.0 million in funding for companies through June so far this year.

About Keiretsu
Keiretsu Forum is the largest global investment network with 46 chapters and over 2,500 accredited private equity investors, venture capitalists and corporate/institutional investors. Forum members invest in high-quality, diverse investment opportunities. The community is strengthened through its involvement in social and charitable activities.

Contact: Sherry Zins Calvert, President, Keiretsu Forum Northwest / sherry@keiretsuforum.com

Disrupter Bouxtie launches in Canada with Keiretsu

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Earlier this year, plastic card industry disrupter, Bouxtie (Bow-tie) launched their app in Canada, making it available in both Apple and Android formats. In tandom, they came to Toronto to meet with Keiretsu investors as the first stop on their global tour. Heading on a 40 day, 12 city and 3 continent tour is a strategy to “boldly go where no start-up has gone before”, says Renato Libric, Founder & CEO of Bouxite, quoting Captain Kirk. It’s a huge effort in a short time frame to explore new markets, seek out new partnerships and obtain strategic investors.

Libric understands that the plastic card industry is not just big business, but business on a galactic scale. In the US alone, it’s a $175 billion industry and in Asia $200 billion. Moreover, Bouxtie’s 3-pillar segmentation model (consumers, employees and appeasement) clearly classifies the company as more than just a plastic cards company, but as a digital currency company. And that provides almost overwhelming possibilities.

“We’re very excited to introduce Bouxtie to some key retailers and investors in Canada,” says Kevin Sterling, president of the Toronto Chapter of the Keiretsu Forum. “They’ve done a great job of securing hundreds of great partnerships with retailers and brand names in the US, and we want to help them get a quick foothold into the Canadian market as well.” That means signing up key Canadian retailers quickly in order to offer a more robust experience when using the app. Retailers in the US have found working with Bouxtie to be a win-win. Their normal 45 day payment process is dramatically shortened to under 24 hours, they have access to consumer ‘big data’ like buying trends and they have the ability to monetize social media followers into shoppers. All this coupled with the average 30%-overspend of the gift card value that happens in store, makes Bouxtie’s business model an easy sell.

For consumers, it’s the video messaging and the easy 3-step process that make the app stand out. And that interests investors. “For investors it’s very appealing,” says Ozan Isinak, President of Keiretsu Forum Central Canada Region. “This is one of those rare instances when the exit strategy may present itself even quicker than anyone believes possible. Bouxtie’s innovative applications, quick growth and global appeal are what our investment members look for.”

For more information on Bouxtie or Keiretsu Forum please connect with Susi Graf at susi@keiretsuforum.ca.

Keiretsu Forum Tri-State Changes Name and Expands Across the Midwest

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Keiretsu Forum Is the Number 1 US Funder of Startup Companies 

CINCINNATI, OH–(Marketwired – September 07, 2016) - Keiretsu Forum announces the expansion of the Tri-State region from Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana into Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri. The region is now called Keiretsu Forum Midwest.

“The Midwest offers tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to expand their markets, both with channel partners and customers,” says Sotiris Pagdadis, Keiretsu Forum Midwest Chapter President. “This expansion offers startups across the region further access to a vibrant angel community and the opportunity to be part of a well-recognized, international platform for investment.”

Pagdadis says recent announcements and awards speak to the vitality of the region: the smart cities award to Columbus; new medical start-ups in Ann Arbor; Chicago’s role as a center for financial innovation; Cincinnati’s reputation as a world class destination for branding and marketing; the rebirth of Detroit as a vibrant tech center; and the growth of award-winning accelerators and innovation centers in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Indianapolis, Louisville, Madison, St. Louis, Detroit, and Chicago. Pagdadis said it made sense to expand quickly across the upper Midwest to capitalize on its many benefits to entrepreneurs.

“With an affordable cost of living, great hospitals, some of the best primary and secondary schools in the country, world class universities, and research centers, the Midwest is attracting young families as a place to raise families,” says Randy Williams, Founder/CEO of Keiretsu Forum. “The Midwest is ramping up as an epicenter for innovation and investment,” he said. “We look forward to welcoming both investors and entrepreneurs from across the Midwest to our global network.”

Over the past 16 years, Keiretsu Forum members have invested over $800,000,000 in 780 companies using its chapter and funding syndication model. Founded in 2000 by Randy Williams, Keiretsu Forum today has 46 chapters in 30 cities and 2500 accredited investor members. Keiretsu Forum members provide early-stage capital in the range of $250k-$2 million to high quality, diverse investment opportunities. The chapters collaborate on Due Diligence but each member makes his/her own investment decisions.

 

Shelley Bays, President of Keiretsu Forum London/Paris Discusses Advantages of Keiretsu’s Global Presence

Shelley Bays, President of Keiretsu Forum London/Paris sits down with IntelligentCrowd TV to discuss the key merits of the Keiretsu Forum network and offers valuable insights into how companies are funded. Shelley delves into the one of the hallmarks of Keiretsu Forum, the due diligence process. See Shelley’s interview below where she offers her thoughts on the features of successful fundraising campaigns and how to use Keiretsu’s extensive network to receive funding.

IntelligentCrowd.TV

Startups in the Czech Republic find another path toward funding and exposure

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Original article can be found on www.ihned.cz.

Keiretsu Forum Prague connects start-ups with potential investors. The Prague chapter is targeting companies beyond the friend’s/family stage and that are seeking Series A and B rounds.

“I visited Prague five years ago, but I found that it was not yet the right time for our expansion into the Czech Republic,” said Keiretsu Forum International President Judith Iglehart. Since then, she says, the concept of angel investing has become more prevalent in Central Europe and it was time to open in Prague.

Keiretsu Forum Prague will also expand activities into the Polish, Slovak and Belarusian emerging entrepreneur markets as well.  They are aiming for 100 investors in Central Europe. Keiretsu Forum is a by-invitation only angel group that charges $3000 USD for membership. Members receive a regular overview of vetted startups looking for investors. Membership is global, and investors can choose every month from start-ups in San Francisco, Tel Aviv or any other of the 46 branches that showcase global companies.

The Keiretsu Forum network expands through licensing. “Over the past 16 years our original concept of people sitting around a table and discussing start-ups has evolved into an organization of licensed regions with 2500 plus members and nearly fifty locations. All are independently licensed and managed on the basis of the cultural and economic needs of the region,” says Iglehart.

One example of a successful project that through her organization received money for further growth was the Clarisonic skin cleansing system.  Investors received a 13x return on their individual investments when the company was sold to L’Oreal. “Not every project is so successful,” says Iglehart.

Angel investors are aware of the risks. Some angels contribute to the growth of start ups with mentoring and counseling. ”Angel investors use their own money, write checks on their own accounts, want to know when they will get their money back, and what is the exit plan for the company,” says Iglehart.  She says the amount of time from initial investment to exit differs between countries.  For example, in Israel it is an average of two plus years and in the US and Europe, it is usually five to seven years.

Projects that are currently offered to investors in Prague who are looking for a so-called “EXIT” plan still have a long way to go. Yet they are all  in the phase of finding investors. Some of them are well primed, said the Executive Director of the Czech branch of the Keiretsu Forum Petr Lemoch.  Money for further development is sought for Czech diverse companies such as one  managing security cameras and one developing a shrimp farm.  The shrimp farm  wants to build near Rakovníka, said American/Czech entrepreneur Mark Chavez.

140 interested investors and members of the startup community were in attendance last week in Prague at the Angel Capital Expo Europe including the startup Socifi. “It is an IT start-up, focusing on how to get the most money out of Wi-Fi and LTE networks. Their solution is usable and prevents global security risks. In the United States the company works with the Federal Agency for Crisis Management (FEMA),” says Peter Lemoch. According to him, companies do not go to angel investors always just for the money. Some companies are looking for marketing and distribution channels, or experienced people who will work with them in management.

Best Time For Angel Investors in India

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Keiretsu Capital, the co-investment fund of global angel network Keiretsu Forum, raised around $6.5 million for its first angel-investor fund in 2015. It is now planning to start a seed fund in India. Last week, during his visit to India, Matthew Le Merle, a managing partner at the fund, said it was contemplating an India-focused fund in 2017.

The US-based cross-border network’s Chennai chapter, its first in India, has invested a little over $1 million in early-stage startups, finishing its first year with around a dozen deals.

In this interview with VCCircle, Le Merle, whose firm, Fifth Era, advises countries and companies on growing the digital economy, outlines the investment goals for Keiretsu Capital’s funds and the opportunities for angel investors in India. Edited excerpts:

How do you see angel investing evolving in India?

This is the best of times to become an angel investor in India. The Indian government has been clear that it expects a major proportion of future economic growth and expansion – and gains in jobs and well-being – to be driven by technology focused companies. It expects the digital economy to be a very important force in India’s future. And it is creating incentives and policies to stimulate this.

Angel investors back local Indian technology entrepreneurs when they first form their companies and get started. It is critical to India’s success that more local investors are encouraged to become angel investors in digital economy companies.

At Keiretsu Forum in Bangalore, Chennai and, now, Mumbai, our goal is to educate and orientate investors to what it means to be an active angel investor. We welcome new members and ensure that they have the time and resources to see if this is a good personal fit.

For the full article please visit VCCircle.com

Call for Applications: Keiretsu Forum Angel Capital Expo April 28, 2016

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22nd Bi-Annual Expo for Entrepreneurs and Investors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA –(Marketwired – March 08, 2016) - Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest private equity angel investment network, announces its 22nd bi-annual Northern California Angel Capital Expo on Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Microsoft, 1065 La Avenida Street in Mountain View, California.

Angel Capital Expo is known as a premier gathering of angel investors and entrepreneurs seeking funding capital to grow their businesses. More than 500 of the Bay Area’s most active and respected angel investors will attend the Expo. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply to present their business proposals.

“Angel Capital Expo provides a unique opportunity for active collaboration between our angel investors and other northern California angel investor communities,” said Randy Williams, Founder and CEO of Keiretsu Forum. “We are proud to play a seminal role in the growth of start-up businesses and job creation at a local, national and international level.”

Angel Capital Expo will feature 15-18 high-quality, diverse investment opportunities in technology, healthcare/life sciences, consumer products, real estate and funds. Companies that apply to Keiretsu Forum are typically in their A or B rounds having secured initial funding of $500k to $1.5 million from founders, individual angels, friends, and family. Companies are pre-screened by a select committee of Keiretsu Forum members, and selected entrepreneurs receive presentation coaching in advance of the event. During the day, entrepreneurs will make an individual, on-stage presentation to the more than 500 attendees, and will be available at their exhibitor booths for additional discussions. Keiretsu Forum is pleased to welcome BNY Mellon Wealth Management and A Family Friend Group as a platinum sponsors at this year’s Angel Capital Expo.

Apply to Present 
Companies interested in presenting at the April 28, 2015 Angel Capital Expo may complete the online application and contact Lauren Anderson, Entrepreneur Director, at landerson@keiretsuforum.com or call (415) 573-0755.

Register to Attend 
Accredited investors are invited to register here to take advantage of the early bird special, price will be $295 thereafter! For more information, contact Carla Selby, Membership & Finance Director, at carla@keiretsuforum.com or call (415) 573-0753.

 

Keiretsu Forum Helps Angels Take Wings

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“I think we have just dipped our toe in the ocean, not even in the river. There is so much more distance to go,” says Rajan Srikanth, co-President, Keiretsu Forum, Chennai & Singapore.

The Keiretsu Forum in Chennai has just completed a year and Srikanth, the driving force behind the US-headquartered global angel network starting operations here, says quite candidly that “we came much further than we feared.” The Chennai chapter of Keiretsu invested in 11 ventures – six of them foreign and five domestic – for a total of $972,000. It has on board over 25 members and gets a new member or two every month. He admits that the investment could have been more, but then he is happy that the Chennai chapter has committed investors who are now getting “more excited and drawing deeper into their pockets.” The more recent deals are bigger in size than the earlier ones, he adds.

In the first few months of launching the forum in Chennai, there were no investments by the members although at the monthly forum meetings, five to seven proposals would be put up before them. The members would attend the meetings, listen to the proposals but there would be no follow-up. Srikanth explains the reason: almost all the Keiretsu Forum members in Chennai were first time angel investors and almost all of them came from a non-tech background.

The members belonged to two categories. There were those like S Gopal, Biji Kurien and Chand Das who had retired from senior executive positions in large companies and there were others like C Sivakumar of Prabha Engineers and Manish Marlecha of Marlecha Interiors, all entrepreneurs themselves, who were getting into investing in start-ups.

Learning period

In the first six months, the members were trying to figure out what angel investing was all about, how do they evaluate the deal and what were the risks involved. But then they were only following the rule of thumb for angel investing. That is, in the initial period, do not invest; just observe and learn the process.

Srikanth draws an analogy with learning to swim. Initially, you are happy watching others splashing about in the pool. Then you tentatively dip your toes in the water, then gingerly step into the shallow end of the pool and after a few splashes and when you are comfortable, slowly venture into the deeper part. This is also what happened with the Chennai chapter. “Just like swimming, I am going to get into the pool myself, come with me. I will hold your hand. We did that,” he says. In almost all the first few investments, Srikanth or other office-bearers of the forum co-invested. This gave the other members the confidence they needed to invest.
Over the past year, says Srikanth, the members have become adept at doing due diligence – each one looking at one aspect of the whole process. Of the six US deals, nearly all of them had an India angle to it.

According to him, in the first few deals, individual investors were willing to put in about ₹5 lakh each. Now that is changing and there are quite a few members willing to invest up to ₹25 lakh in a venture. There is also cluster investing. That is, if a member wants to put in money in the names of family members, the forum is okay with it. That way the deal sizes also grow.

The investment is through convertible instruments. That is also Keiretsu philosophy, which is that companies in the early stages are hard to value. And, if a valuation is forced, it ends up being unfair to either the entrepreneur or the investor. “We have taken the view that convertibles are the best way to go. Convertibles with or without a coupon, but definitely with a discount on future institutional round of investment,” says Srikanth.

Lessons learnt

What lessons have they learnt in the first year? Our finding is that a good angel investor needs to be diversified, both in terms of the number of investments and in terms of the sector. Keiretsu and other research show that an angel investor should hold 15 companies in each sector and should have a portfolio of investments in at least three sectors, to be assured of a healthy return. This means a minimum of 45 companies in the portfolio.

Would the investors have the time to focus on so many companies? That is where they have to leverage a network like Keiretsu’s, says Srikanth.

As far as the Chennai chapter is concerned, the members have not invested in e-commerce. “We have not done any deals on e-commerce,” says Srikanth. One of the reasons is that all the members are from traditional industries and the other is that e-commerce valuations are way too high right now.