535 Middlefield Road Suite 190, Menlo Park, CA 94025
|Glen McLaughlin, Ian Sobieski, J. C. Hans Severiens, Wayne Tamarelli, Matthew Le Merle|
The Band of Angels is the oldest and most active angel investment group in the United States, with more than 120 members who provide counsel and capital to high tech startup companies. Band members have founded companies such as Cirrus Logic, Symantec, SunPower, National Semiconductor and Logitech, and have been senior executive officers at top Silicon Valley companies including Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, Intel, 3Com and Intuit. Numerous articles have been written about the Band, appearing in periodicals such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Upside, Red Herring, Der Spiegel, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes. The Band has also been featured in two Harvard Business School case studies.
Band members invest in deals directly; there is no pooling of resources or voting. Since 1994, Band members have invested over $186 million into over 200 startup companies. Nine deals that presented to the Band as seed investments became public companies; these alone returned $160M in cash to Band members and 47 other companies in the Band's portfolio have been acquired for a gain, including two in 2009 to date. Assuming an exit at lock-up expiration, this corresponds to a 53% annualized internal rate of return (IRR).
The Band of Angels is active, investing in 6 to 12 deals per year as well as another 10-15 follow-on investments. It consistently ranks among the top 10 most active VCs in the annual listing of the top 100 by Entrepreneur Magazine. The Band specializes in diverse, early-stage venture investing. The portfolio is distributed among biotech, semiconductor, networking, telecom, medical device, enterprise software, Internet, high-tech services, and even industrial, companies. Every investment receives active post-deal participation from a Band member, including joining the board of directors where possible.
Securing funding from the Band is competitive. Approximately 50 deals submit each month for funding from the group. Every deal that submits is reviewed and analyzed by 6 domain experts; the top ten companies that apply each month are invited in to an in person interview and the best three from this group are then invited to present at the next available Band dinner. Typically, the odds of being funded after presenting to the Band is 1/3.
The Band was founded by J. C. Hans Severiens. Sensing that the growth of VC firms had created a vacuum at the seed financing stage, the group held their first organizational meeting late in 1994. The organizers drew up a list of about 25 senior executives, invited them to a dinner and 12 showed up. The Band came to call this group the twelve apostles, in keeping with their angel orientation. Today the Band is managed by small team of full-time employees and the volunteer contributions of a substantial plurality of Band members. Ian Sobieski has taken over the role of coordinator from his longtime business partner Hans.
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