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Tech Coast Angels–SD Rebrands as NuFund

Tech Coast Angels–San Diego is changing its name to NuFund Venture Group. The rebranding, announced last week, is meant to better represent the group’s “national reach and fund-first model,” said Ashok Kamal, NuFund’s executive director and co-fund manager.

“NuFund has invested in not only San Diego-based companies, but also other high-performing portfolio companies including Casana, a New York-based connected device for measuring heart health that just closed a $30 million Series B round after NuFund’s investment in the seed round,” Kamal added, explaining that the COVID pandemic also accelerated a strategy to implement a more “virtual, expansive model” for the investor group.

 

“The pandemic forced us to re-examine and adjust our culture and operations in a way that reached a larger scope of investors and founders in order to not only continue our business but also thrive by investing in the best startups around the country,” he said.

 

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Annual Fund Model

 

As the area’s only licensee of the Tech Coast Angels brand, Tech Coast Angels–San Diego had always operated as an independent fund with a different approach to angel investing. Most angel investors write checks directly to companies, whereas TCA-SD – now NuFund – pools investor money in an annual fund.

 

“We raise the money once a year from the membership, then we deploy it over the course of the year in a rolling fashion until it’s fully invested and then we do it again the next year and that’s the next vintage,” Kamal said. 

 

The group’s first vintage in the annual fund was $2.2 million and now in its fourth vintage, that number has grown to $6.9 million for an accumulated $17 million in assets under management.

 

Last year, the group invested over $13 million.

Membership in TCA-SD – now NuFund – has nearly tripled over the last three years to over 350 investors, according to release from the group.

“We have a unique position in the early-stage investor market with a leading fund and member-managed culture that is diverse, inclusive, engaging, rewarding and fun all at the same time,” said Caitlin Wege, NuFund’s board chair and president, who is also a partner at MoosDoos Investments.

 

San Diego Roots

 

NuFund plans to continue to work closely with the Tech Coast Angels sharing deals, community and best practices in the SoCal startup ecosystem.

 

“Our roots are firmly in San Diego, but we have expanded into a national group that can rapidly fund a startup company with up to $500,000 of capital,” Wege said. “This has helped us access some of the best people and investments everywhere.”

 

Some of the group’s “best investments” recently have included exits like Doctible (an 8x return on investment), Discover Echo (5x), Companion Medical (58x), Zentalis Pharmaceuticals (6x), Insight Medical Systems (4x) and Portfolium (6x).

NuFund Venture Group

Founded: 2001

Headquarters: San Diego

Executive Director: Ashok Kamal

Business: Venture capital

Investments: $47.5 million invested in 106 companies since 2017

Website: www.nufund.com 

Notable: Before becoming NuFund, Tech Coast Angels–San Diego had the largest membership of the Tech Coast Angels Network. 

About Tech Coast Angels

Tech Coast Angels (TCA) – the organization NuFund was a licensee of under the moniker Tech Coast Angels-San Diego – is a not-for-profit organization with more than 425 members.

The organization has been recognized as a top angel investment group in the U.S. Since TCA’s founding in 1997, members have invested more than $250 million in more than 500 companies and have helped attract more than $2.1 billion in additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. 

TCA invests in companies from a wide range of industries including biotech, pharma, medtech, consumer products, Internet, IT, media, software and environmental, among others.

TCA consists of four regional chapters in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange County, Pasadena, and the Inland Empire. TCA also has three funds in the Los Angeles, Orange County and now former San Diego networks which invest alongside individual sidecar investments. The funds help members diversify and reduce risk. 

All investments are made under a common term sheet. TCA also has relationships with more than 50 angel groups, incubators and accelerators and receives numerous investment opportunities for review from angel groups across the U.S.

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