Launchpad Venture Group and Race Point Merge to Form New Angel Investor Group

12/8/10Follow @gthuang

There’s a new organization of angel investors in town. Well, sort of.

The new entity is being announced today as the merger of two existing Boston-area angel groups—Launchpad Venture Group and Race Point Capital Group, which are headed up by tech investors Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile, respectively.

Lord and Mirabile will co-lead the combined angel group, which will have more than 70 members, making it one of the largest in New England. (Nine-year-old Launchpad has about 60 members, while Race Point, which started in mid-2009, has 22.) The group will use Launchpad as its working name, but is also considering a new name.

Its investments will target early-stage tech (and some life sciences) companies, and will be made by individual members—Launchpad doesn’t have a fund, and Race Point’s fund (of undisclosed size) will continue to be managed by Mirabile. Launchpad’s portfolio includes a wide range of companies such as Boston Heart Lab, EveryScape, Localytics, Mobius Imaging, and TimeTrade, while Race Point’s includes such startups as Daily Grommet, Pixability, and Zyrra.

The move exemplifies area investors’ increasing focus on seed-stage startups that have progressed beyond the level of an incubator or accelerator program like TechStars or MassChallenge, but are not yet ready to raise a full-blown Series A venture round. Indeed, Launchpad plays in a crowded investor space that now includes angel groups such as CommonAngels (which has recently ramped up its seed investing) and Golden Seeds; “micro-VCs” and other seed-stage-focused firms like Project 11 Ventures, NextView Ventures, LaunchCapital, and Founder Collective; and more traditional venture firms.

The amount of Boston-area entrepreneurial activity “has really accelerated in the last couple years,” Lord says, and is moving “to a different stage.” Specifically, he says, there are now more seed-stage companies looking for financing, operational mentorship (including help with recruiting employees and acquiring customers), domain expertise, and contacts.

Which is exactly what Launchpad is looking to provide. The combined angel group will continue to focus on small startups in New England that, over time, will need less than $5-10 million in … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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