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Propel(x): A Year in Review. Funding Deep Tech Start-ups

2016 was quite a year for Propel(x) and it is all thanks to the dynamic group of angel investors who make up our platform. Thanks to our investors, our platform helped raise $5.3 million for pioneering deep technology companies. In 2016, 26 companies closed fund raises, averaging more than $200,000 per deal. In total, 50 startups were actively raising funds on our platform in 2016.

Here are some further highlights from 2016.

Financing the Future

We founded Propel(x) to encourage investment and speed the development of breakthrough technologies in sectors including life sciences, computer sciences, energy and clean technology, agtech, industrial tech, and aerospace. Not only are investors who invest in deep technology companies financing some of most innovative technologies, they are also investing in some of the most potentially lucrative technologies – deep technology companies account for the majority of the DJIA index today.

Notable companies who have successfully completed fundraising on Propel(x) in 2016 include:

  • Abtum, a developer of a highly differentiated, multi-patented RF technology for wireless devices raised $143,000 on Propel(x) for their Seed round.
  • Axiom Exergy, an energy storage company that transforms supermarket refrigeration systems into cloud-connected batteries, used the Propel(x) platform to raise a significant portion of its $1.39 million Bridge round.
  • zPredicta, a biotechnology company founded in 2014 by 2 Ph.D. scientists, Julia Kirshner and Mukti Parikh, are pioneering in organ-specific and disease-specific platforms for drug testing, successfully raised $100,000 towards their Seed round on the Propel(x) platform.
  • GraphWear, a non-invasive sensor that detects micronutrients and diseases from sweat in real-time, has closed a $100,000 Seed round on the Propel(x) platform.

Discovering Angel Investing Trends

In collaboration with Breakout Labs, the MIT Alumni Angels of Northern California, and Innovation Node – Los Angeles, a national node of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (“I-Corps”) Program, Propel(x) conducted and released a survey of more than 200 active and aspiring angel investors in the United States in 2016. Contrary to common assumptions, the study revealed angel investors are independent and do not have a “follow the leader” mentality. The survey found that while nearly half of active angel investors ranked the potential for investment returns as a top motivator for startup investing, nearly one-third ranked solving some of the world’s biggest challenges as a main motivation for investing. Furthermore, 94% of active angels reported access to subject-matter experts and other resources help when evaluating a startup investment opportunity.

“Our angel investing survey revealed new trends and motivations behind angel investments in science and technology startups,” said Lisheng Wang, Head of Investor Development and Co-Founder of Propel(x). “Having a positive impact on the world is a strong motivation for angel investing. It’s clear angel investors are driven to research and find the right start-up, and having access to management and subject-matter experts is a significant factor in making an investment decision. Propel(x) was designed to provide angel investors with the choice, tools and resources they need to make potentially world-changing investments.”

Incorporating Angel Investment Channel Program to Discover New Startups

In 2016, Propel(x) launched its first channel program with Breakout Labs. The Breakout Labs Propel(x) Channel brings a steady stream of high quality startups funded by Breakout Labs directly to its registered accredited investors. Investors can search and select from all of Breakout Labs’ start-ups fundraising on Propel(x). Our platform allows investors to gain an in-depth understanding of each startup and their fundraising efforts, hear from the management team and other industry experts about the technologies they are developing, as well as make an investment.

Last year, we introduced an exciting program on the Propel(x) platform that makes it easier for angel investors to access the highest quality deal flow while providing the institutions a centralized way to showcase and fundraise for their startups. We look forward to introducing other channels on Propel(x) to help facilitate vital fundraising efforts.

We are encouraged by the fundraising success we have seen and look forward to continuing the strong momentum as we enter 2017. Thank you for being a part of the Propel(x) family!

For the press release, click here.

Categories:
Deep Technology
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