757 Angels will partner with VentureSouth
757 Angels, a Hampton Roads angel investment group that matches venture capitalists with local entrepreneurs, is partnering with VentureSouth, one of the largest angel investment networks in the United States.
Effective in June, the partnership will provide more access to capital and investors to 757 Angels’ 140 members.
Established in 2015 and based in Greenville, South Carolina, VentureSouth has about 450 members and has invested more than $70 million in nearly 100 early-stage companies. It has markets in 19 cities across seven states, reaching from Virginia to Mississippi.
757 Angels also launched in 2015 and has invested more than $100 million in 49 companies, according to 757 Angels Executive Director Monique Adams. About 90% of 757 Angels’ member investors hail from Hampton Roads, and all the companies 757 Angels invests in are either Virginia-based or have significant operations in Virginia, Adams says.
“This is an evolution where our community is really going to get more,” Adams says, adding that 757 Angels will retain its brand and local board and continue to have a local market director. “We’re using this as a vehicle to grow and we can provide enhanced benefits to entrepreneurs and to investors.”
For entrepreneurs, that means providing broader access to capital and helping early-stage companies raise money faster. Entrepreneurs will present to VentureSouth’s network of 20 chapters across the Southeast. On the investor side, the partnership brings benefits such as diversification and diligence, increased deal flow and access to investments through VentureSouth’s funds. All will benefit from a larger professional staff — nine or 10 people instead of two — and more capacity and capability, Adams says.
“From a values alignment standpoint, I think we think about our role in the ecosystem similarly and that we are really focused on trying to bring capital to early-stage companies,” Matt Dunbar, managing director of VentureSouth, says. “Entrepreneurs historically have had a fairly hard time raising capital in this part of the world.”
Adams will assist with the transition and plans to step down from her role as 757 Angels’ executive director during the summer. A new director will be named at a later date.
“I think this reflects on the great organization we built,” Adams says, adding that “we’ve grown into something that’s exciting and offers incredible benefits to all the stakeholders in the ecosystem.”