The Triangle Tweener Fund made 10 new investments in the fourth quarter of 2023 for a total of $500,000.

The fund added six new companies to its portfolio.

“Prior to the fourth quarter of 2023, the Triangle early stage (seed/pre-seed/series A) ecosystem resisted the 2023 macro venture trends “, said Scot Wingo, Tweener Fund general partner. “However, we definitely saw and felt it in Q4, with a number of deals falling apart in the 11th hour or getting pushed 3 to 6 months. Based on this behavior, we decided to slow our pace for the quarter and preserve capital for 2024.”

“While this quarter was slower than usual, we did not lower our high-quality bar,” said Robbie Allen, Tweener Fund general partner. “Of our 6 new investments, 4 are Tweeners (over 1m ARR) and the other 2 are in the very hot categories of e-commerce international shipping and health data collection through a smart toilet, continuing to reflect the Triangles very wide diversity of startups.”

Here are the 6 Q4 new portfolio companies (in order of investment):
TrackX (Tweener) – TrackX is a Triangle biotech startup with ties to Duke that has a fluoroscopy (orthopedic/heart/intestine x-rays) tool that provides a real-time view of x-ray procedures that improves accuracy and decreasing number of xrays needed by 75%. TrackX is led by a serial entrepreneur.

Shipal (Pre-Tweener) – Shipal has built a comprehensive multi-lingual platform for global shipping with a focus on intra-South America (e.g. Colombia to Venezuela) and extra South America (shipping from South America to North America, commonly called Cross Border Trade in e-commerce).

SiteBridge Research (Tweener) – SiteBridge has created a marketplace for clinical trials that connects doctors/patients with critical clinical-trials. They have a big focus on getting information on these often lifesaving clinical-trials out to rural areas where the healthcare systems often aren’t attached to universities which makes them less likely to know about the various clinical-trials.

Pluto Health (Tweener) – Pluto Health was founded by Joy Bhosai, MD MPH based on a personal bad experience with the healthcare system. Pluto powers a modern patient portal, distributed through partners, that allows consumers to get a holistic, or 360-degree, view of all their health-related data, including current prescriptions, cross-system electronic health records, insurance details and more. 

Altis Biosystems (Tweener) – Altis is a Triangle biotech firm that provides a critical gut testing platform for drug discovery companies. This platform allows them to validate that drugs in development do not negatively impact the increasingly critical gut-health.

Coprata (Pre-Tweener) – Coprata is developing a smart toilet that provides health feedback on liquid/solid waste such as key digestive health indicators. While their first version is focused executing a patented gut-health test, they are working on future features that included early detection of colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, and colitis.

In Q4, Tweener Fund also made 4 follow-on investments in these existing portfolio companies:
Adwerx (Tweener) – Long-time Triangle startup, Adwerx was founded in 2013 as a spinout of Reverb Nation. Adwerx helps real-estate and mortgage professionals create personalized and targeted digital experiences that helps them build new audiences and nurture existing relationships.
Impact Karma (Tweener) – Founded by serial founder Jayant Khadikar, Impact Karma’s first product is Karma Wallet – a sustainable awareness and affiliate solution that lets consumers connect and see how sustainable their online purchases are and earn cash back from sustainable merchants. Now they are on the cusp of releasing a reloadable pre-paid visa debit card that has cash back
with over 1000 sustainable vendors. Tweener fund participated in a $5.5m round.
Blue Co (Pre-Tweener) – Blue Co. is bringing the concept of co-working to warehousing. The existing co-working and commercial real estate industry structure do not fit modern rapidly growing service or e-commerce businesses. Blue Co. is providing fractional warehouse on a shorter-term basis for a wide variety of companies.
Belongly (Pre-Tweener) – We have a mental health crisis in the US. Belongly was founded by serial entrepreneur Dr. Doug Kaufman, to address this problem. Belongly provides mental health professionals a professional network/community solution, on-line referrals and much more.

Tweener Fund 2023 Summary

For 2023, Tweener Fund made 59 investments representing $3m invested with an average investment of $50,000. The average round size was $3.6m with a valuation of $22.8m.

The Triangle Tweener Fund was founded in January 2022. It is a rolling fund that has a very narrow focus:

  1. Companies must be headquartered in the Triangle
  2. The fund invests 70%+ in early-stage, high-tech, ‘Tweener’ companies (10 people or $1m ARR)
  3.  The fund is building an index of Triangle Tweeners, so favors writing more ‘small’ checks vs. the traditional venture model of fewer large checks
  4. Our accredited investors (LPs) are top entrepreneurs, service providers and other participants in our startup ecosystem and are not only looking for great returns, but also see the opportunity to accelerate the Triangle startup ecosystem flywheel.

Triangle Tweener Fund is managed by two serial entrepreneurs who are the General Partners (GPs): Scot Wingo and Robbie Allen. The minimum investment is $20,000 (4 quarterly investments of $5k for the first year) and then ‘rolling’ (quarter-to-quarter) thereafter. In its first two years, Tweener fund invested over $6m across 114 investments in Triangle HQ’d hightech early-stage startups.