The IU Angel Network has announced the addition of its first portfolio company, Los Angeles-based digital marketplace Recess. Recess helps major brands such as Allstate, Lyft, KIND, and Nestlé connect with opportunities to sponsor live and digital events.
IU says the most recent investment round for Recess brought in $3.7 million from Founder Equity, Quake Capital and Full Tilt Capital along with angels including Mark Cuban, Ashish Patel, and Marc Simmons.
The IU Angel Network facilitates connections between startup companies and prospective investors among Indiana University’s global community of alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends. The university says the network aims to foster an entrepreneurial culture.
“Our nationwide engagements have given us an opportunity to search out the most promising IU alumni-founded startups in the country,” IU Angel Network Executive Director Jason Whitney said. “We met the team at Recess a year ago while speaking at an event in Los Angeles and have maintained a relationship with them ever since. When it was time for them to raise this current round, it was the perfect timing to present their opportunity to our angels.”
The Recess marketplace launched in 2017. The startup says it has helped hundreds of colleges and universities connect with sponsors and has provided brands a free opportunity to maximize sponsorship dollars while helping schools and other organizations provide programming.
“Our goal was to make the sponsorship process easier for event sponsors and event organizers in order to facilitate more partnerships for both sides,” said Recess Chief Executive Officer Jack Shannon. “In the past, brands have been somewhat limited to sponsoring large events, because it wasn’t possible to dedicate enough time to discovering and procuring a large number of event sponsorships at scale, especially on college campuses.”
Recess says its first investment came from Mark Cuban in 2013. Since then, the startup says several Hoosiers, including other graduates of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, have helped Recess find its product market fit and navigate different stages of growth and investment.
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