SWAN provides follow-on funding to CURB

SWAN made a first investment in CURB in 2019, and is pleased to announce a significant follow-on investment that will assist the company in its rapid revenue growth.

CURB provides an interactive energy efficiency solution that enables homeowners to reduce electricity consumption by up to 20%.  CURB uncovers home energy trends, pinpoints power hogs, and gives users control over their electric bill.

SWAN has invested in ClearFlame Engine Technologies, Inc

The heavy-duty engine industry is approaching a time when the rising cost of petroleum-based diesel fuel—and continued government regulation of CO2 and diesel criteria pollutants (NOx and particulates)—are leading to the decline of diesel-fueled engines. Heavy-duty engine manufacturers are aggressively seeking viable alternative technologies. ClearFlame Engine Technologies is introducing a disruptive, patented engine technology that easily integrates into existing compression ignition engine manufacturing which delivers uncompromising engine performance at a lower cost.

ClearFlame Engine Technology has the potential to reduce well over five gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Our network’s investment was part of the company’s $3M funding round.

Angel Investing in Challenging Times

Please see this helpful article. The article points out that “three of our [Lauchpad’s] highest return investments were made during the depths of the 2008-2009 recession. More modest valuations, less competition for talent, and strong positioning for economic recovery were a rare combination to drive outsized portfolio returns”.

A Perspective on Prospering in Uncertain Economic Times

I have been around startup companies for 35 years and have experienced both good and bad economic cycles. We have  now entered uncertain times.

That said, from a company’s point of view, a financial down turn can be a good time to create an early-stage  start-up.

  1. There will be fewer competitors of your same vintage, which can help lesson competition in the marketplace and with investors. This advantage persists over time. As the economy recovers from a downturn, companies will see fewer other companies at their specific stage of fund-raising. Said another way, when your company becomes a teenager, there will not be many teenagers around vying for attention.
  2. Operating costs often get more reasonable (e.g., lower cost of office space)
  3. It can be easier to bring on early employees (who may have been laid off)

And from personal experience, I know that a down turn is a really difficult time to for a company to raise a many million-dollar, later-stage VC round. During the 2008 recession, I had to sell my company at a loss to the investors because I could not raise a $12M series C round.

For investors, capital-efficient, pre-seed companies who can get by for a few years on minimal dollars suddenly looking pretty interesting. And the current environment means that pre-money valuations and valuation caps will be more attractive. The balance of power has shifted somewhat toward investors.

Announcing an Investment in SpeechVive

The Southwest Angel Network is pleased and excited to announce an investment in SpeechVive. SpeechVive offers a proven device that allows the majority of Parkinson’s patients to the recover the ability to carry on a conversation. This patented technology was created by co-founder Dr. Jessica Huber. The company has revenue and is poised for rapid growth.

Portfolio company Acadeum closes a $7M funding round

Acadeum was founded by 2016 and the Southwest Angel Network was one of the early investors in 2017. Acadeum, previously known as College Consortium, offers a software platform that allows universities  to share online courses. Students today can face challenges with earning a degree on a timely basis because the students are burdened by a lack of access to needed classes at the needed time. Making classes more available can increase graduation rates and decrease the time to graduation.

Announcing an investment in Don’t Get Mad Get Paid

Don’t Get Mad Get Paid addresses the problem that 78% of divorced mothers don’t receive the child support that legally belongs to them – money that could be instrumental in improving the lives of their children. Long time child support expert, activist and author Simone Spence has been successful in helping moms collect their arrears for more than two decades. Her expertise is now Don’t Get Mad Get Paid.

Announcing funding in Harmonic Bionics and in Skyven

The Southwest Angel Network is pleased to announce that it has participated in the funding both Harmonic Bionics and in Skyven.

The mission of Harmonic Bionics is to innovate the rehabilitation process with robotic technology. The company was founded in 2016 as a spin-off of ReNeu Robotics Lab at The Univ. of Texas at Austin, and is actively developing a robotic platform for introduction into the clinical market. The company aims to revolutionize the fields of therapy for stroke and spinal cord injury. Their exoskeletons are already being tested in pilot clinical trials and are well known in the rehabilitation robotics research community.

Skyven recognizes that industrial process heat is the last bastion of fossil fuels. It accounts for 20% of all emissions worldwide. And it’s expensive. Skyven is taking over this carbon stronghold, by turning industrial plants into their own heat sources. The journey to low-cost carbon-free process heat starts with Thermal Energy Efficiency. Thermal RE-injection™ captures high-value low-temperature heat rejected from process equipment such as boilers and dryers and re-injects it back into the facility. Each BTU of heat recovered is one less BTU of new fuel burned. And Intelligent Mirror Array (IMA™) technology capture heat from the sun, raises its effective temperature (up to 400F), and injects it into the plant to further displace fossil fuels.

With these two investments, the Southwest Angel Network has now invested $4M in 20 companies since the network’s founding in 2016.

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