New investment fund raises $2M to pump into NM companies

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Drew Tulchin. (Roberto E. Rosales / Journal)

Up to 14 companies could benefit from a new, $ 2 million venture fund focused on investments in New Mexico startups, and in local firms with high-growth potential.

The New Mexico Angels investor group created the newly launched “Vintage Fund 2022” to broaden the availability of private equity in the local ecosystem, said NM Angels President Drew Tulchin.

The new fund will operate independently from the NM Angels, investing up to $ 150,000 in individual startups and established firms. But it will work in direct partnership with the NM Angels to scout out promising companies and assess potential deals.

Angel members will also be invited to participate in all Vintage funding commitments, providing new investment opportunities for them while increasing the pool of capital available for local businesses, said Tulchin, who helped create the fund and now serves as its managing partner.

“The fund allows us to more rapidly respond to entrepreneurs seeking capital,” Tulchin told the Journal. “It makes funds readily available for deals that can make a difference for local companies to develop and grow.”

The NM Angels, which launched in 1999, pools the resources of individual investors to provide seed and early-stage capital to startups. The group built the Vintage Fund as an additional investment vehicle to advance the Angels’ mission as a nonprofit entity, Tulchin said.

It’s modeled on similar funds established by angel groups in other states, particularly the Rockies Venture Club in Colorado, which the NM Angels began partnering with in 2020 to advance mutual networking, educational programs, and regional investment opportunities.

The Vintage Fund is now run by four general partners, all of them NM Angel members, including Tulchin. They raised $ 2 million for the fund over the past 60 days, and already invested from it in four different New Mexico startups, including:

• Build with Robots, which makes mobile machines for autonomous facility disinfection services

• BennuBio Inc., which created a superfast flow-through cytometer, or cell meter, for drug discovery and medical diagnostics

• Green Theme Technologies, which produces a “clean” waterproof coating for textiles without toxic chemicals

• Respect Wellness, which markets CBD and herbal extracts for women 45 and up

Up to 10 more companies could receive investments from the Vintage Fund, which may be just the first in a series of new Angel-connected funds going forward.

“Our plan is to attract a new ‘vintage’ of people and dollars each year, thus the name,” Tulchin said. “This is the first in what is planned to be a series of successive ventures and investment vehicles in support of New Mexico companies and entrepreneurs.”

More local capital is critical for New Mexico, said Purvi Moody of funding recipient Green Theme Technologies.

“(It) enables our companies to better achieve growth plans without having to travel far and wide,” Moody said in a statement. “This is particularly important as the economic outlook becomes stormier.”

Apart from the new fund, the NM Angels have greatly expanded their organizational and investment activities since fall 2020, when Tulchin became president. During the first two decades of operation, group membership traditionally hovered at about 70 investors, with an accumulated $ 20 million in local investments made as of 2020.

But since then, membership has nearly doubled. And last year alone, the group pumped $ 4.2 million into 11 startup companies.

“We have 130 dues-paying members now, and more than 35 institutional sponsors committed to supporting a healthy startup ecosystem,” Tulchin said. “The sponsorships allow us to do a lot more events, educational programming and mentoring for companies.”

Meanwhile, GOS Capital – another new investment platform separate from the Angels – is now also actively pumping seed and early-stage capital into local startups.

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Scott Goodman, Vice President of Goodman Realty Group. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Journal)

Scott Goodman of the Goodman Realty Group has raised a $ 250,000 fund with 16 individual investors since last fall. To date, it’s invested $ 150,000 in eight companies, including a $ 25,000 commitment to Build with Robots in late June.

Goodman, who serves as GOS Capital’s general managing partner, expects to invest in another two or three companies in the coming months before raising a new fund.

“We’re investing small amounts, but we’re providing capital to a lot of companies,” Goodman told the Journal. “We’re very active in the startup community.”

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