Editor’s note: Local Tech Wire features a profile of a venture capital or investment firm daily. Matthew Burns and Daniel Pearson compiled the series. Formed in 1988 as an investment vehicle for drywall baron and former University of North Carolina President C.D. Spangler, Wakefield Group now has $100 million under management in an “evergreen” fund that the Spangler family can replenish whenever needed.
The firm is one of the few in the region with offices in both Charlotte and the Triangle.
Wakefield also is one of the rare venture firms led by a woman: former New York investment banker Anna Spangler Nelson. Its management team includes former West Coast entrepreneurs and others with banking backgrounds as well. The firm uses these connections to help its portfolio companies find business partners, attract top managers and arrange additional funding.
Focusing on technology, health care and media firms in the Southeast, Wakefield typically invests $1 million to $5 million in early funding rounds. Its portfolio has included SciQuest, Relativity Technologies, Bloodhound, A4 Health Systems, Applied Analytical Industries and Biolex.
Here’s the skinny:
Featured Firm: Wakefield Group
2530 Meridian Parkway
Durham, North Carolina 27713
Phone number: In Charlotte, (704) 372-0355
Web site: www.wakefieldgroup.com
Anna Spangler Nelson, partner
Tom Nelson, partner
Steve Nelson, partner
David Gilroy, vice president
George Mackie, entrepreneur in residence
Focus of firm: Technology, health and media and services companies
Money under management: More than $100 million
Companies funded over the last five years (amount and round for each co.):
Click Tactics, Inc.
OpenSite Technologies, Inc.
Pinpoint Networks, Inc.
Digital Optics, Inc.
Relativity Technologies, Inc.
Medic Computer Systems
A4 Health Systems
Cogent Neuroscience, Inc.
Applied Analytical Industries, Inc.
How many new deals do you expect to fund in 2002: Undetermined
In what size range: Initial investments range from $1 million to $5 million
Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Wakefield seeks early stage companies with strong growth potential in the technology, health care and media fields.
Most important attributes for companies seeking funding:
Companies must have a proven management team in place and have the drive to change the world.
What differentiates you: Wakefield Group’s diverse group of investment professionals with vast industry knowledge and hands-on experience building successful companies, and its collective experience in operations, finance, and strategic consulting spans 70 years
Thursday’s profile: Frontier
Previous profiles can be found by searching Venture Watch category. The series thus far:
Feb. 11: Academy Venture Funds
Feb. 12: Atlantic Group
Feb. 13: Aurora Fund
Feb. 14: Capital Investment Partners
Feb. 15: Carolina Financial Group
Feb. 18: Carousel Capital
Feb. 19: Catalysta Partners
Feb. 20: Charlotte Angel
Feb. 21: Draper Atlantic
Feb. 22: Eno River
Feb. 25: Halifax Group
Feb. 26: Intersouth Partners
Feb. 27: Kitty Hawk Capital
Feb. 28: NC Enterprise Corp.
March 1: NC Technological Development Authority
March 4: Oberlin Capital
March 5: A.M. Pappas
March 6: Piedmont
March 7: RBC Centura
March 8: Redleaf Group
March 11: Remington Capital
March 12: River Cities
March 13: Research Triangle Ventures
March 14: Southeast Interactive
March 15: Tri-State Investment Group
March 18: Trelys
March 19: truePilot