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Progress report: Angels, venture investors gaining strength in southeast U.S.

Margie Manning

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Embarc Collective is located at 802 E. Whiting St. in downtown Tampa.

Florida has more early-stage investment firms than any other state in the southeast United States, according to the newly released 2020 Southeast Capital Landscape.

The report, a database of active regional startup investors, was unveiled Tuesday by Embarc Collective in Tampa, and updates information initially released in 2019.

The 2020 database update shows the Southeast experienced nearly 20 percent growth in new angel network and venture firm creation over the past year, a news release said.

Allie Felix

The database is the first tool specific to the Southeast U.S. to identify investors based on city, state, industry and stage of development. Startups looking to raise funding locally can leverage the database to help their investor prospecting efforts. The database also serves as a tool for investors to share deals and co-invest alongside others in the Southeast, the news release said.

Of the available startup capital in the Southeast, over 66 percent is directed to early-stage investments (pre-seed and seed). That capital is concentrated in Atlanta, Nashville, Miami, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and Louisville.

That means that startups seeking later-stage funding are often looking outside the Southeast region to find the right capital partners that can fund their entire lifecycle, the news release said.

“By working with Embarc Collective member startups on their fundraising goals, we realized that many believed they needed to travel to a major market to access capital,” said Allie Felix, platform director at Embarc Collective, a startup hub in downtown Tampa. “We knew that many capital resources existed across the Southeast but saw an opportunity to help startups better identify which firms were most relevant and how to access them.”

There are 60 firms listed in Florida, more than any of the 10 Southeast U.S. states included in the report.

There are 16 firms listed in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area:

• Anzu Partners

• Axioma Ventures

• Bisk Ventures

• Westlake Capital

• TiE Tampa Bay

• Topmark Partners (fka Stonehenge)

• Stage One Ventures

• Skyway Group

• Seedfunders

• Mangrove Equity Partners

• KLH Capital

• Hegemon Capital

• Florida Funders

• Dreamit Ventures

• Ballast Point Ventures

• Ark Applications

Embarc Collective worked on the database with Build in SE and the #BuildInSE Alliance, a newly formed network of the Southeast region’s leading startup organizations that includes Embarc as well as including Atlanta Tech Village, Co.Lab, Raleigh Founded and Start.Co.

“As founders increasingly choose to build their companies in the Southeast, capital will follow,“ said Monique Villa, co-founder of Build In SE and an investor at Mucker Capital. “Our hope is to save founders significant time in locating available capital in the region, should they choose to pursue venture funding as part of their journey.”

See the full database here.

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