Three venture capital reports out this week include good news for startups and investors in the Triangle and North Carolina. WRAL TechWire reached out to some key players for their reaction. One of the most active angel investors around, Mark Easley, likes what he sees but wants more.
“It looks like all the stats on capital raising are moving in the right direction for us,” said Easley, who also is a big advocate for pending crowdfunding legislation in the state. He believes passage of a new law would provide even more impetus for state startups.
“There is much more capital flowing into angel funds, VCs, private equity, and investment crowdfunding platforms like AngelList,” he noted. Three reports out this week allo documented a huge increase in investment capital – as well as valuations for startups, which is good news for entrepreneurs.
Eight deals of under $5 million were part of the 19 fourth-quarter N.C. deals, reflecting the money startups can find these days. Easley sees more reasons than just plenty of cash.
“A big part of that is because of the better transparency and access to deal flow that is provided by the new SEC rules allowing solicitation over the Internet,” Easley explained
“This in turn is activating a whole new crop of angel investors, and allowing institutional investors and even non-accredited investors to participate in more segments of the capital food chain through sites like Groundfloor [A Raleigh startup with headquarters now in Atlanta] and Lending Club.
“All of this is enabling North Carolina entrepreneurs to make better and quicker connections with outside investors as we have seen with Wedpics and others recently.”
But Easley also expects North Carolina to do better.
“I think North Carolina is number 9 or 10 as a state in both population and economic output, so the new startup funding numbers seem to correlate well,” he said.
Easley is especially excited about the Triangle.
“I rate the Triangle as one of the top 6 metros nationally for an effective startup echosystem, along with Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, Austin, and Seattle. The key ingredient we need as compared to these other metros is more investor money.
“As we saw from the investor panels [at the Entrepreneur’s Series event], the Triangle and North Carolina are becoming more attractive to invest some of their capital. Investment crowdfunding and online solicitation will enable that to happen even faster going forward.”