Invest With The Top Venture Capital Firms and Angel Investors in Dallas
Top 5 Angel Investors in Dallas, TX
1. Mark Cuban
This man needs no introduction, especially if you're as huge a fan of Shark Tank as we are. On Shark Tank, he invests in small startups and provides some well-needed advice to other startups that...well, really need it. Mark, besides being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Landmark Theaters (to name a few!), has invested in companies such as HourlyNerd, Breathometer, Nimble and Transcriptic.
2. Ross Blankenship
Not to toot our own horn, but our very own Angel Kings founder makes our Top 10 list (and yes, he didn't write this!). Recognizing early on that his passion lies in entrepreneurship, Ross moved to Washington D.C. after graduating from law school in St. Louis and founded a test prep company. Fast forward to present day, Ross has invested in over 15 startups, most of which are in the hottest startup sectors: cybersecurity, biotech and big data.
Now, he's giving investors the opportunity to join Angel Kings in our business ventures with startups around the country. If you want to learn more about Angel Kings and investing, check out his angel investing and venture capital books.
3. Kevin Moore
Having been an angel investor for 10 years, and also having experience as a business founder gives Kevin Moore a bit of an edge over some investors. He's seen the ebb and flow of the startup market; he's experienced both the successes and failures of his investments; he knows the struggles of starting up a business. All this knowledge is reflected in the 75+ investments he's made in startups such as: Life360, Robinhood, Shyp, Transcriptic and SendHub.
4. Alex Chang
Alex represents a business founder who's found massive success and is giving back some of that success to fellow startup founders that need both mentorship and financial help. Having had past experience on how to bootstrap a startup to a business that brings in millions of dollars in revenue, Alex has now invested in companies such as inDinero, SendHub, Exo and Kinnek.
5. Gabriella Draney
Founder of Tech Wildcatters (yeah, we love the name too!), a seed accelerator in Dallas, Gabriella has a reputation of being a hands-on mentor and advisor for Dallas startups. Having been a startup founder herself, she knows the passion and hard work that goes into making a successful business. Some of her investments include: Image Vision Labs, Nimbix, FanPrint and Koupon Media.
Here are the Top 3 startups from Dallas, TX:
Backed by Mark Cuban, the ilumi Smartbulb is a series of color tunable LED Smartbulbs controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth from an easy to use iOS or Android app. The ilumi Smartbulb defines the future of lighting. Simply replace your regular light bulb with an ilumi Smartbulb and paint amazing atmospheres in color, program your lighting to improve your life, and reap the rewards of energy efficient lighting.
2. Koupon Media
The Koupon Platform gives retailers the ability to create, manage, and distribute mobile offers across social, email, SMS and app channels. We track every offer engagement event and connect it to a customer’s purchase, helping brands understand a campaign’s performance and how it impacts buying habits.
We built a pacemaker-like system that allows tinnitus and stroke patients to receive a novel therapy. The implanted device is connected to the vagus nerve in the neck and sends tiny pulses of electricity, which cause the brain to release chemicals called neurostransmitters. When these tiny pulses are paired with external stimulus such as tones or motor movements, specific regions of the brain are able to be rapidly rewired.
What Are The Top 3 Business Sectors For Dallas' Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists?
Many angel investors have favorite sectors, and some sectors lend themselves to angel investing. Software or Internet services require less capital than manufacturing startups, for example, which means large venture capitalists aren't always required for seed and series rounds. Single founders or co–founders are also more likely to approach angel investors, and many of those individuals are currently working in tech–based fields. Given those observations–and the current global market—it's not surprising that two of our three hottest sectors are tech based: cybersecurity and big data. The third sector that's poised for prime growth through 2020 is biotechnology.
Cybersecurity startups make good investments since the best companies from this sector tend to scale up quickly. Tech firms, in general, are experts at building on existing technology; they rarely start from scratch, letting then bring viable products to market in short time spans. Because those products tend to meet an urgent psychological and actual need for users, an apt marketing campaign or integration is often all it takes for good products to find sales success.
Investors in cybersecurity can also be assured of a continued and growing need for these types of products. Startups that show an understanding of the market are likely to be able to navigate future needs to tweak or develop products for continued viability. Cybersecurity startups tend to be launched by individuals with high–level technology degrees, backgrounds with large tech companies or security agencies, and, often, some background in startup management. As these companies hit IPO and acquisition stages early on, it leaves founders available to launch new products–and provides angel investors with experienced people to invest in.
If you're an investor interested in the cybersecurity, then contact Angel Kings. We'd love to talk to you about to join our VC funds. Make sure to get a copy of our book, Cyber Nation, to learn more about this sector.
“Biotech”, or biotechnology, includes the field of all startups that are biology–based technology companies. Some types of companies in the field include pharmaceutical companies, R&D firms with a biological focus, and equipment and tech firms servicing research labs and scientists. The combined purpose of most of these companies is to develop knowledge, technology, and products that fight diseases or provide solutions for other global issues such as hunger or resource scarcity.
With 2,560 companies and an average valuation of $5 million on Angel.co's biotechnology startup list, there are plenty of opportunities for investors in this space. As with cybersecurity, biotech startups offer a good chance at IPO action. In 2013, the industry saw more IPOs overall than it had for the past 13 years. While the industry is more volatile overall than other options, no one will argue that biotech will continue to be relevant through 2020, and many biotech firms offer long–term investment opportunities that can balance out the portfolios of angel investors with a lot of hot–burning software investments.
3. BIG DATA
The data industry covers a wide range of startups, from those that provide data analysis software to cloud storage providers. Any company developing products and services that make it easier to move, store, secure, analyze, or access data would fall into this category.
Angel.co lists 2,435 big data startups, 1,187 big data analytics startups, and 290 data mining startups; in each listing, average startup valuation was over $4 million. With hundreds of successful data startups, investors can pick from diverse solutions that are meeting needs across every single industry on the market. So much data exists that companies can't keep up with analytical needs. According to Forrester Research, businesses estimate using only around 12 percent of data that's available to them–tools that let companies capture more of the data pie without expending extra resources are sure to find favor among business consumers, which is a strong point for investors.
How Can Dallas' Startups Succeed:
Top 3 Biggest Startup Failures and Why They Failed
Fab.com is an e–commerce website, currently owned by PCH International, and purchased for likely less than $20 million. At one point Fab.com had more than 12 million registered customers and recorded more than $100 million in sales and a valuation in excess of $1 billion.
Fab.com is an example of charismatic founders without a clear vision. They could talk a good enough game to get even seasoned investors to kick in, but there was no passion for any particular aspect of the business model. The only thing the founders, Bradford Shelhammer and Jason Goldberg, had in common was admiration for Shelhammer’s aesthetic sense, and that was ultimately not enough to keep them together.
In November 2013, Shelhammer left the company and the downward spiral began. The company had relied so heavily on Shelhammer’s style guidance that it quickly lost its way without him at the helm. But the signs were there long before his departure, as the company became a revolving door for employees.
In March of 2015, PCH International bought Fab.com for an estimated $15 million. So what had gone wrong? Practically everything.
Wesabe was a personal financial management site, similar to Mint.com. In addition to helping users manage their finance, it included a user forum for user–to–user help and advice. Mint.com easily took over Wesabe’s lead in the financial management space. Wesabe continued to run the online community for some time, but the URL has subsequently been taken down and listed for sale.
Even with a great product idea and founders who are passionate about the product, the path to success is fraught with peril. Founder, Marc Hedlund’s failure to listen to advice about the platform was a major contributor to Wesabe’s death. Having the coolest proprietary platform meant nothing to consumers who wanted ease of use, and the company failed to come up with a great story explaining why its platform was superior.
It’s important to be sure that a company is clear on its objective before you invest, and in this case, Wesabe was not. In addition, the founders failed to listen to advisors, and they failed to build a team that could counterbalance or overturn the founder’s obsession with technology over business success. There’s a fine line between passion for quality and blind obsession–and pigheadedness.
3. Pay By Touch
What a difference a few years makes! Now that Apple Pay is at your fingertips and coming soon to a cash register near you, one wonders why Pay By Touch couldn’t succeed back in 2002. Biometric sensing? Check. Futuristic coolness factor? Check. Bank buy–in? Also check. What crucial factor was Pay By Touch missing?
Pay By Touch raised over $340 million in capital and had some very high profile investors. The founder, John P. Rogers, retained ownership of a super–voting class of stock that let him overrule everybody, including the board of directors. What’s worse, investors were not told about his other business failures, criminal past, drug use and his general tendency to play fast and loose with other people’s property. Rogers burned through his investor’s money at a rate of $8 million a month and spent over $150 million buying out rival firms with similar ideas.
Pay By Touch went through four CFOs in four years and a number of board members. The turnover should have been a red flag for later investors, but money continued to pour in from investors and out because of Rogers’ wild spending. The company was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2007.