VentureSouth is pleased to announce record-setting results for a fifth consecutive year. In 2018, the South Carolina-based early stage investment firm grew its membership to nearly 300 investors and invested $7 million in 22 Southeastern startups, up from $4.5 million in 2017.
VentureSouth made first-time investments in new portfolio companies 6AM City in Greenville, Sharpen in Spartanburg, Sentio in Charleston, Threatswitch and ecomdash in Charlotte, and Emergo Therapeutics and Spiffy in the Raleigh-Durham area.
VentureSouth also made follow-on investments to help accelerate the growth of prior portfolio companies, including Atlas Organics in Spartanburg, Kwipped in Wilmington, and Brightfield Transportation in Asheville. The firm also participated in Proterra’s $155 million venture capital round led by Daimler Ventures last summer.
Managing Director Charlie Banks reflected on the investments saying, “2018 was another record-breaking year for VentureSouth. We continued to expand our investor base, support entrepreneurs just launching their companies, and stand alongside current portfolio companies who continue to make progress.”
In addition, VentureSouth returned nearly $7 million to investors in 2018 from the sale of three portfolio companies: FarmShots, an agriculture technology software company, was acquired by Syngenta; Target PharmaSolutions, a clinical trial data management company, was acquired by Norwest Venture Partners; and OBMedical, a medical device company, was acquired by Philips. Combined, these three exits generated a nearly 4x return on investment in just over two years, yielding an annual rate of return of over 70%.
Managing Director Paul Clark added, “Of all that we achieved in 2018, the most important was to return significant capital to our investors with strong rates of return. Exits like these provide money that can be re-invested into other startups and highlight the importance of early stage investing – an asset class that has historically been underserved in our region.”
VentureSouth continued to expand its base of capital and expertise in 2018 by growing its angel investor memberships by 20% to almost 300 investors across the Carolinas. The group also also launched a “virtual” membership option for investors in smaller cities and in geographies outside the Carolinas.