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VentureSouth Invests Over $10M In 2021 As Part of A Record Year of Angel Investing

Devon Smith
Devon Smith
Last updated: June 3, 2024
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Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, VentureSouth is proud to announce another strong year of investment activity, with over $10 million invested in 30 early-stage companies in the Southeast in 2021.

VentureSouth members invested in 11 new companies during the year. These new investments stretched across the Carolinas and Virginia, from AmplifiedAg and Case Status in South Carolina, to Bio 54, Coworks, CureMint, Plantd, Redbud Labs, Trio Labs and TruColors in North Carolina, to Babylon Micro-Farms and One Digital Trust in Virginia. VentureSouth also made 19 further investments to support the growth of existing portfolio companies, including KIYATEC, Live Furnish, Punchlist, Spiffy, and others.

The group also had a record year for sending returns to investors. The first exit of 2021 was Proterra, the electric bus and battery company based in Greenville and California, which generated significant proceeds for VentureSouth investors when it went public in June. [Author's note: Performance in the public markets was less strong.] In total, VentureSouth returned $20 million of proceeds to investors from several exits and distributions.

VentureSouth had a productive year on several other fronts. It expanded its footprint with new groups in Pee Dee, SC, the Research Triangle, NC, and Richmond, VA. Between these groups and members joining its existing groups, the total number of members passed 400 for the first time. The firm also fully raised and deployed its fourth “sidecar” angel investment fund (VentureSouth Angel Fund IV), started a podcast (Venture In The South), and partnered with Venture Carolina, Furman, and the South Carolina Department of Commerce on analyst, fellowship and education projects. The crowning achievement was being named as a top 10 angel investment group in North America for the third consecutive year, and fourth time overall.

VentureSouth Managing Director Charlie Banks reflected on the year saying, “2021 was another record-breaking year for VentureSouth. We continued to expand our investor base and improve on all key metrics. We believe this is a testament to both the appealing early stage investment opportunities in the Southeast and the resilient infrastructure we have built at VentureSouth. Most importantly, we were thrilled to return significant capital to our investors this year. Not only do these returns provide more capital for our region’s early stage companies, it successfully raises the profile of the early stage investment asset class in the Southeast.”

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