Launchpad Venture Group and Race Point Merge to Form New Angel Investor Group
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total financing. A pretty broad swath of sectors are fair game for investment: life sciences, information technology (both consumer and business-focused), mobile (including location-based services), Internet (including social technologies), and telecom.
What’s more, Mirabile says, Launchpad investors will not be passive financiers, but rather will serve as “player-coaches.”
This is not a new approach, of course. Mirabile and Lord freely admit their group has a lot of similarities with other angel groups. But one of its defining points, they say, is that it likes to step up and lead investment deals.
I asked why they wanted to consolidate into one group now. Could there be safety in numbers? “We each had the same kind of wish list to react to the market conditions,” Mirabile says. Yet each was getting bogged down in managing deal flow, meetings, and so forth, he explains. “If either of us was going to move the needle,” he says, “we were going to have to work together.”
Mirabile is a lawyer by training who previously served as general counsel and chief financial officer at Iona Technologies (now part of Progress Software). Lord comes from a software engineering and marketing background, having worked at Advanced Visual Systems, Stellar Computer, and Polygen. The two previously worked together to invest in and/or advise startups such as Copiun, Localytics, Pixability, and Zyrra.
Launchpad won’t commit to making a certain number of new investments, but the group plans to look at 30-odd companies a year. About a third of those will proceed to the due diligence stage, and about 20 to 25 percent of the companies that pass muster and are selected to present to the group will score investments. At the same time, Mirabile talked about avoiding being spread too thin and considering “how much can you give a company besides dollars?” But overall the investors sound pretty hopeful.
“We’re very bullish on Boston and the angel opportunity,” Mirabile says. “We’re reacting to where the market is going.”