Four Local Angel Investor Groups Come Together to Fund Nanopack Inc.November 24, 2008
For the first time in the Philadelphia region, four local angel investor groups came together to jointly fund start-up company NanoPack Inc. by investing over $1.1 million dollars. The syndicate included Robin Hood Ventures (RHV), Mid-Atlantic Angel Group (MAG), Delaware Crossing Investor Group (DCIG) and LORE Associates.
NanoPack, founded in 2004, is a materials science company that develops and markets cost-effective, environmentally friendly materials for the packaging industry, particularly for food packaging applications where protection of the contents from oxygen and moisture is important in maintaining shelf life.
Larry Brotzge, a member of RHV, commented, "This joint effort of the four angel groups brings multiple benefits to both investors and the company. We were able to leverage our due diligence efforts to form a greater understanding of the technology. For NanoPack, they were able to obtain a greater investment. In many ways, our angel group investment mirrored a venture capital investment."
Liz Sigety, a partner at the law firm Fox Rothschild, represented all four angel groups in the investment deal and is a Managing Director of DCIG. She said, "I think this collaborative effort proves two important points: that angel groups can effectively work together and can provide substantial investment dollars to support regional companies, even in challenging economic times." And, Ms. Sigety noted, "Supporting the emerging companies in our region is vitally important to our economy and the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation in the US."
Howard Kravitz and Fred Levitt, seasoned materials and packaging industry veterans, founded NanoPack in 2004. Mr. Kravitz, CEO, commented about this unusual collaboration, "We are thrilled to have this joint investment and appreciate the confidence that these groups have in our company. The process was greatly streamlined; we had only one round of due diligence and one closing instead of four, significantly reducing time, effort and cost."
NanoPack has successfully produced and released its first commercial products, a barrier coating called NanoSeal TM CPm for polyester and polypropylene packaging films and the coated films as well. These products represent a multi-billion dollar market in both the US and internationally, and as Mr. Brotzge believes, "is a potentially game changing technology."
All four angel groups agreed that this investment represented the power of syndication at the angel investor level. Ben Goldberg, chair of MAG's screening committee added, "If we duplicate this model, we can make much more significant investments and help the Philadelphia region to create a stronger position for the early stage community."