The Mid-America Angels, a Kansas City area-based angel investor network, closed 2015 on a high note with more than $2.8 million invested in nine ventures.
The 2015 investment total is a near-20 percent increase in capital from 2014’s roughly $2.3 million invested. Rick Vaughn, the MAA’s managing director, said last year also was the most participation the group has experienced, with 75 of its 120 investors engaging in deals.
“We’re proud to be the oldest and largest angel group in the Kansas City metro area and also a source of advice, expertise and partnership for our portfolio companies,“ Vaughn said in a release. “The over 120 angel investors in our network deserve credit for that reputation, as they drive our investment process and invest their time helping our portfolio companies grow.”
The increase in investment capital and member participation is due in part to the MAA’s regional expansion efforts. The network has grown to include an affiliate chapter in St. Joseph, Mo., and will this year open a Manhattan, Kan., chapter.
The MAA hopes that its broadening affiliate system will both cast a wider net for early-stage investors and increase deal-flow of early-stage companies, bringing more opportunities to both sides of the investing game.
Among the companies receiving 2015 investment funds were Kansas City-based biometrics software firm EyeVerify; canine cancer immunotherapy developer Elias Animal Health out of Olathe, Kan.; and Hilary’s Eat Well, a Lawrence, Kan. firm that created of a line of foods free of common allergens.