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NFX named top investor in Silicon Valley

Despite the talk of doom and gloom in the Valley, there is plenty of money going into great companies. Many early stage deals are still getting done by savvy investors who see opportunity in the right spaces. So who should entrepreneurs go to to seek seed funding?

The list below is by no means comprehensive, but highlights some firms that are especially active, and have great deals they funded in early stages. The list was compiled based on primary research through talking directly to five Silicon Valley based entrepreneurs who raised seed financing and five Silicon Valley based venture capitalists.

Disclosure: Silicon Valley is a small world, so I do own equity in some of the companies that these firms also hold equity in. I also currently work for a Social Capital company.

NFX Guild: Run by valley legends James Currier, Stan Chudnovsky and Gigi Levy-Weiss, NFX demo days are attended by all of the top investors in the Silicon Valley. Success Stories include: Honeybook, Honor.

 

To see the full article, click here

Accelerator NFX Guild unveiled its second startup batch today: Here’s who just graduated

The year-old Bay Area accelerator NFX Guild presented 16 companies to a crowded room of 200 investors down on Sand Hill Road today, and the room was reportedly very energized.

Little wonder. NFX was founded by seasoned entrepreneurs and operators James Currier, Stan Chudnovsky and Gigi Levy Weiss. Its companies are referred to the outfit by a network of 42 scouts — some of them investors, many of them entrepreneurs, and a fair number who work double-time as angel investors. (No company can enter into the program without being routed through them.)

Even more attractive to investors, presumably: These startups are centered around fully formed ideas by the time they hit NFX. Indeed, fully 13 of the 16 companies that presented today had already raised funding, and some were started by pretty big wheels. Wheelwell, for example, a Houzz-like platform automotive parts, accessories and services, was cofounded by the person who established Apple’s Mac Genius service in Apple’s retail stores. Meanwhile, the CEO of Outdoorsy has already led two public companies.

Companies admitted by NFX are given $120,000, along with 30 hours of programming, mentoring, and introductions to investors. NFX in turn gets 7 percent of their company. (If they’ve already raised more than $750,000, NFX asks for 5 percent.)

Today’s batch represents NFX’s second class, and the companies are still meeting with VCs, so it’s probably not too late to kick the tires if you’re an investor — or check out your newest peers if you’re a founder. You can check them out in this slideshow.

 

To view the companies who participated in this batch, click here

 

iAngels Expands Investment Opportunities with NFX Guild Partnership

Among the new accelerator programs launching in 2015 in Silicon Valley was NFX Guild. Focused on marketplace and digital network startups, NFX Guild was founded by James Currier and Stan Chudnovsky who had previously worked together and invested in startups through their Ooga Labs venture. Also part of the founding team with NFX is Israeli angel investor, Gigi Levy-Weiss.

Among NFX’s differentiators is that it is an invite only accelerator, with company ‘scouts’ reviewing for possible candidates for the three month program. With the founder’s roots in both Israel and Silicon Valley, the program includes startups from both regions.

Having completed their Summer 2015 class earlier in the year, NFX is starting its Winter 2016 program. Participants are provided $120,000 in equity based funding. In addition, for the Winter 2016 round, NFX Guild has partnered with Israeli based equity crowdfunding platform, iAngels, to allow their customers to invest in the class.

Speaking with Mor Assia, Founding Partner at iAngels, she provided more information to Finance Magnates about the partnership. Assia explained that iAngels will be investing in the entire portfolio of companies participating in the round and use similar valuations to those of NFX when valuing the $120,000 in funding they provide. Open to their members, the minimum investment size to participate in the portfolio is $50,000.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision to open up investment opportunities beyond just those on their platform, Assia stated that iAngels believes it is “a unique opportunity for investors”, offering “access into deals that have been vetted by NFX partners” in one investment.

Speaking with Assia, she also addressed some of the transparency concerns brought up in a Fintech Spotlight column published earlier this month. Among the issues with the industry cited in the article are crowdfunding platforms that announce that their portfolio companies have achieved exits, but withhold details of the returns.

Assia explained that for them as well as other crowdfunding platforms, details of individual exits can be difficult to provide due to the companies involved requesting privacy in these matters. She added that the same applies when startups get funded, with very few firms ever publicizing the valuations of those deals.

In terms of their own platform, Assia explained that iAngels takes a portfolio approach, and marks to market their portfolio of companies that have raised money on the platform and provides updates of the overall valuation and return. Assia added that the goal is to be “a good investor” which is revealed through an entire portfolio and not individual exits.

 

This article was originally published on Finance Magnates

iAngels Partners With NFX Guild to Fund Top Startups

iAngels, the angel investing network that grants private investors access to exclusive early-stage Israeli technology companies alongside leading angels and venture funds, announced today that it will invest in NFX Guild’s Winter 2016 class of handpicked companies.  With this announcement, iAngels’ investment community members can each participate by investing a minimum of $50,000 into this unique portfolio of companies through http://www.iangels.co .
Choosing iAngels as its co-investor was an easy choice for NFX. “iAngels has a network of investors who appreciate early-stage deals and quickly close funding rounds,” said Gigi Levy-Weiss, one of Israel’s most successful angel investors. “Our accelerator prepares entrepreneurs to make the most of this funding opportunity so that once they graduate from the accelerator they are better positioned for a more significant round at iAngels and other VC groups.”
“One of iAngels unique differentiators is the ability to provide our investor community worldwide unparalleled access to some of the most exclusive investment opportunities in the world” said Mor Assia, Founding Partners at iAngels. “Investing with the NFX Guild in the stellar class of winter 2016 is a prime example”.
NFX Guild, founded by American and Israeli industry veterans James Currier, Stan Chudnovsky, and Gigi Levy-Weiss, is a by-invitation-only accelerator for digital networks and marketplaces focused on building the next generation of unicorns. NFX Guild runs a prestigious three-month program in the Bay Area twice per year for 15-20 companies, with Silicon Valley and Israeli entrepreneurs working side-by-side.
“After two years of bringing Israel’s exclusive early-stage deal flow to our global investment community, our investors will now gain access to a diversified and prestigious portfolio of Israeli and US early-stage technology companies that have passed through a rigorous screening process and received mentorship from some of the most respected entrepreneurs and investors in the world,” added Shelly Hod Moyal, Founding Partner at iAngels.
iAngels continues to expand as it approaches its second year anniversary with 15 employees and 25 investments in its portfolio. The company has enjoyed two exits to date, and has recently announced a $15 million strategic alliance with The Thorney Group in Australia.

This article originally appeared on PR Newswire