Charlotte, aka Queen City, is attracting many tech companies because of its growing economy. According to the CBRE report of 2021, Charlotte ranks 5th out of 50 companies, adding 7,500 jobs in the IT industry.
Similarly, as the most populated city in North Carolina, Queen City has generated more than $200M only through 10 of its famous startups. Surprisingly, many of these thriving businesses once pitched to angel investors and secured funding at the right time.
That is why, in today's article, we will be discussing the list of top 5 angel investors in Charlotte and some tips about pitching to them.
Here is a list of some of the top-ranking venture capital firms in Charlotte.
Website: Defiance Ventures
Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: Tech, Healthcare, and Real Estate.
Defiance Ventures is a VC firm that funds tech-related startups. The network was founded in 2020 by a group of investors and has funded around 30 startups at Series A and Seed stages.
Since the firm is actively funding startups, their screening tests are relatively easier than other firms. However, the investors at Defiance Ventures still fund the startups with unique ideas and can solve real-time problems in the market. Startups that have a great pitch deck always have a higher chance of getting funded.
Moreover, the network also supports startups beyond financial investment. They have a network of mentors that guide the portfolio companies, especially those at the early stage.
Recently, Defiance Digital, a Managed Services provider under Defiance Ventures, has joined the Lacework Accelerate Partner Program as a Managed Security Services Provider. This program focuses on providers with expertise in both cloud security and Managed Security Services.
Other than this, Defiance Ventures is also launching new accelerator programs to help other startups meet with related investors.
The investment range of Defiance ventures ranges from $500,000 to $2M. Some of their recent investments are:
Tavve: Tavve is a company that provides solutions for network management and security.
Fraction: Fraction is a technology-based lending platform that focuses on making residential real estate affordable.
Rent Ready: Rent Ready is a services platform that uses a proprietary logistics platform to connect communities to skilled professionals.
Lucid Drone Technologies: Lucid Drone Technologies is a robotics company specializing in exterior spray drones.
Swyft: Swyft is a B2B marketplace offering same-day delivery for brands and retailers.
Website: Home | Fintech VC
Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: Fintech, SaaS, E-Commerce, and Stocks.
CFV Ventures is the most active venture capital firm that is located and operates in Charlotte. The network was founded in 2017 by Dan Roselli and Nathaniel Clarkson. It has funded 61 startups at the seed stage, most related to fintech.
As for screening tests, CFV Ventures is also actively funding startups, which is why their screening tests aren't too difficult. The investors analyze whether a startup is fit for the investment by asking different questions related to the pitch deck.
Once a startup has been selected for investment, the mentors at CFV Ventures guide to help startups succeed. However, there have been no records of CFV Ventures arranging any accelerator programs or public workshops.
The investment range of CFV Ventures ranges from $100,000 to $400,000. Notable companies in their portfolio are:
AleFi: A startup that verifies trades in real time to help with investment strategies, portfolio compensation from verified investors, and profitability.
VoiceScript, Inc.: VoiceScript, Inc. is a leading supplier of legal technology and SaaS solutions designed to modernize the court reporting and legal industries.
PTO Exchange: PTO Exchange allows employees to exchange their unused PTO for monetary compensation, allowing investing in retirement accounts, making student loan payments, purchasing flight credits, or donating to an organization.
Asa Technologies, Corporation: Asa Technologies is a startup that connects financial institutions with customer-facing fintechs.
InsureLife: InsureLife is an AI Insurance Distribution SaaS Platform that enables banks and credit unions to distribute insurance.
Website: TFX Capital | Service Driven
Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: SaaS, Data Security, Education, Tech, and Healthcare.
TXF Ventures is also among the famous VC firms in Charlotte. The network was founded in 2015 by Brandon Shelton. In the early years, TXF Ventures was known only to fund tech-related startups, but now it has expanded its investment interests. The firm has currently funded 14 startups, out of which 4 have exited, and 10 are successfully growing.
Similarly, the investors at TXF Ventures follow strict guidelines to conduct the screening tests. They fund startups that can beat the market competition and stand out with unique ideas. They fund startups that are led by national security and military veterans.
Aside from their funding, TXF Ventures organizes many accelerator and mentorship programs. Even for non-portfolio startups, TXF Ventures conducts paid mentorship sessions, allowing entrepreneurs to get the best guidance.
The investment range of TXF Ventures isn't disclosed. Most of their recent investments are around $500,000. Some of their successful investments are:
Vemo Education: Vemo Education is an educational company.
CommSafe AI: CommSafe AI is a SaaS product that allows companies to avoid threats of conflict and violence in the workplace.
ProctorFree: ProctorFree is a test proctoring service that utilizes facial detection software for authenticating proctored test sessions.
Crowdz: Crowdz is one of the leading apps in modernizing the traditional Trade Finance industry by auto risk rating assets at the receivable level.
Investor Type: Advisor/Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: Tech and Real Estate.
Capitala Group is a venture capital firm that invests all across the US. The network was founded by Joe Alala in 1998. They have opened more than 10 funds and made 170 investments for $2.1B. The investors at Capitala Group invest in many startup sectors, with most of their investments in the tech and healthcare sections.
Although they aren't located in Charlotte, startups can still pitch to them online and by participating in their pitch competitions. During the screening tests, the investors at Capitala Group invest in startups depending on their growth potential and market standings.
Aside from their investments, Capitala Group also has a huge network of mentors who guide startups across different challenges. The firm also arranges mentorship programs and networking events that are available to non-portfolio companies.
The investment range of Capitala Group ranges from 500,000 to several million dollars, depending on the startup sector. Some recent companies in their portfolio are:
Zillow: Zillow is a leading real estate and rental marketplace.
Trulia: Trulia is a site for buyers and renters to find homes and neighborhoods across the United States through recommendations, local insights, and map overlays.
HotPads: HotPads is an efficient rental search platform for urban areas across the United States, enabling users to find their next apartment, condo, or rental home
Overdrive Interactive: Overdrive Interactive is a digital marketing agency that delivers customized brand-building marketing programs.
Website: Ridgemont Equity Partners
Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: Tech, Food, Finance, and Healthcare.
Ridgemont Equity Partners was founded by a group of famous investors, including George Morgan, Travis Hain, Trey Sheridan, and Walker Poole, in 1993. The firm has provided over $5.5 billion of buyout and growth capital to support over 162 private companies.
When selecting startups for funding, Ridgemont Equity Partners focuses on a strict funding criterion. They fund Series A startups that can generate high ROI within 3 years. However, there are several other requirements depending on the startup sector and its related field.
Aside from its investments, the firm also arranges different mentorship programs to guide its portfolio startups. They have also arranged many startup accelerator programs to help deserving startups receive funding.
The investment range of Ridgemount Equity Partners ranges from 500,000 upto several million dollars, depending on the project. Some investments in their portfolio are:
smartShift Technologies, Inc: smartShift Technologies provides modernization solutions for legacy IT systems. Their services include cloud migration, system landscape optimization, and more.
Unison Therapy Services: Unison Therapy Services is a multidisciplinary industry leader that provides evidence-based, family-first therapies to children with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Worldwide Produce: Worldwide Produce is a company that specializes in the distribution of fresh produce. They offer a wide range of fruits and vegetables to their customers.
RoadOne Intermoda Logistics: RoadOne Intermoda Logistics is a company that provides intermodal distribution and logistics services.
With that said, the list of top angel investors in Charlotte has come to an end.
Summing up, always remember that investors always fund startups that can generate profits. If you aren't showing confidence in your business idea, no investor would want to fund it and take such a risk.
Pitch to related investors, be patient, always work on your pitch deck, and most importantly, secure a warm introduction to angel investors.
A: Investors evaluate startups based on several key factors. Firstly, they assess the market potential – is there a sizable market for the product or service? They also consider the uniqueness of the solution and whether it addresses a genuine pain point. The startup's team is crucial, as investors look for skilled and adaptable founders capable of executing the business plan.
A: Yes, many angel investors provide mentorship programs and financial support. They leverage their experience to offer strategic insights, assist in critical decision-making, and facilitate introductions to their network connections. This mentorship is pivotal for startups, aiding them in overcoming obstacles and expediting their growth trajectory.
A: To effectively pitch angel investors, craft a concise and compelling business plan that outlines your startup's unique value proposition, target market, and revenue model. Highlight the problem your product or service solves and demonstrate a deep understanding of your industry. Showcase your team's expertise and provide a clear roadmap for growth. Utilize networking events, introductions, or online platforms to connect with potential investors and secure a pitch presentation.