March 2021 recap:
In the month that marked a year since COVID-19 hit, we have been continuing to execute on our mission but also looking forward to a near-future that returns to normal. We made good progress this month.
New team member:
We are thrilled to announce a new team member joining VentureSouth! Meet Devon Smith!
Originally from West Virginia, Devon now hails from the Electric City of Anderson, SC – home of VentureSouth Tricounty – and is a Clemson graduate in psychology and communications.
Devon joins as our Marketing Director, responsible for developing VentureSouth’s marketing strategy, managing our social media, and stewarding all our public content.
Since the beginning of COVID, VentureSouth has invested over $8M in 27 companies. In March, we are excited to announce we have added a brand new company to the portfolio – but, of course, regulatory rules prevent us announcing its name yet. But don’t worry you’ll hear about it real soon!
One of the two companies joining the portfolio in February publicly celebrated the final closing of its round. We were delighted to welcome Babylon MicroFarms to the hashtag #VentureSouthportfolio.
Babylon MicroFarms is a Virginia-based micro-farming company that installs controlled-environment hydroponic facilities to grow produce.
Their machines are remotely managed, and each machine is equipped to cast the appropriate amount of water and light.
Babylon announced the completion of its $3 million in seed capital for expansion on March 18th – Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam, announced that Babylon MicroFarms will invest $140,000 to relocate to the city of Richmond.
We are pleased to be investing alongside new partners like Hull Capital and CAV Angels, as well as with previous co-investment relationships like Miami Angels.
Other notable mentions:
- An exit! Well, technically only the release proceeds held in escrow from a company that was sold last year. Not /the largest distributions checks we will write this year, but nothing is more important to financial returns that cash distributions!
- K1s. Taxes. K1s. Even with no capital gains taxes on angel exits and the SC angel investor tax credit, March is a tough month for the finance and administrative teams.
- On a brighter note, welcomed back Gabby Goodwin for a special guest blog. Gabby is a young entrepreneur who we have been proud to support over the past few years. Gabby and her mother started their company GaBBY Bows five years ago. Since then Gabby has been featured in many different media outlets such as: Forbes, Washington Post, and Reader’s Digest. Check out the blog post here!
Lastly, we have been planning ahead for re-opening and improvements for 2021.
- As the vaccination rates rocket and hospitalization rates plummet, we are excited at the potential for getting back to in-person meetings! Plans are well advanced for resume in-person meetings (voluntary, safe, protocolled, etc. of course) in the coming weeks. Much easier to “Have Fun” in person. If you’d like to join us, let us know.
- The team has been working hard on our new website! This is going to launch in early April if it kills us.
And lastly, as a long-standing member of the Angel Capital Association, we are excited about attending the upcoming ACA Summit in early May. You won’t regret learning more here.