Indianapolis-based VisionTech says it invested more than $3 million in startups in 2020. The organization says the large number of investments was driven by a decision early in the pandemic to move its bimonthly pitch week events to a virtual format.
VisionTech’s first virtual pitch week in April featured two startups, Indianapolis-based MITO Materials and Kentucky-based Hippo Manager. The organization says Angel members invested $178,000 in Hippo Manager, a cloud-based SaaS solution for veterinary practices, and $157,500 in MITO Materials, maker of high-performance, advanced-material additives.
“Last year ended on a high note,” said VisionTech Executive Director Ben Pidgeon. “We had no idea what would happen to our deal flow, if our investors would stay engaged, let alone write checks in the face of uncertainty. Our deal flow remained strong, our investors liked what they saw, continued to invest, and were rewarded with three positive exits in 2020 with returns that ranged from 1.8–5x MOIC.”
The company says shifting to virtual, livestreamed pitch events “proved judicious and surprisingly fruitful.” By the end of 2020, VisionTech Angels had made more than $3 million in seed investments to 15 companies.
VisionTech Angels returned $4.3 million in capital to members who had invested in three portfolio companies that exited in 2020. Financial terms of the exits were not disclosed.
“The initial investments on two of the exited companies were made in 2010 and 2016 respectively,” said Pidgeon. “Only one delivered a quick return; our initial investment in the third company was made in 2019. Regardless, we are quite happy to return capital to investors. Angel investing is filled with peaks and valleys and requires investors to build a diversified portfolio of privately held companies over many years to be successful.”
Since its founding in 2009, VisionTech Angels has deployed $21 million in capital, investing in 46 companies from around the country. The group’s next pitch events are scheduled for February 23 and 25.