April 19, 2024


The state of finance in Florida

Jason Garcia | 9/28/2017

Cash Angels

Two years ago, a group of Florida investors and entrepreneurs seeded the pot for a new venture capital fund aimed at Florida technology companies.

Since launching, their FAN Fund has attracted more than 40 investors — most of whom are from Florida — and raised about $10 million, says Mitchel Laskey, the fund’s managing general partner. The Orlando entrepreneur has built a number of companies, including health-care software business Dynamic Health Care Technologies that Cerner Corp. bought in 2001, and CNL Bank, which sold to Valley National in 2015 for more than $200 million.

The fund’s managers have seen about 300 companies, taken a “good look” at about 75 and invested in 10 — with a cumulative $7 million in investments so far.

The fund has invested in companies in Boca Raton, Orlando and St. Petersburg, among other locations, and aims for companies that Laskey calls “post-startups.”

“These are companies where they have a customer or two, they have the beginnings of unit economics and revenue, and now they’re ready to go the next level,” he says. “We’re the part of capital that’s right after friends and family.”

Preferred targets are companies that are in a big market with a unique product or service — and for which fund managers can identify multiple “exit paths” that could reasonably be achieved within three to five years. The primary exit path is likely to be an acquisition by a larger company.

That hasn’t happened yet for any of the FAN Fund’s investments, but Laskey says things are trending in the right direction. Five of the 10 companies it has invested in have since landed second rounds of financing.

Things are going well enough that managers are planning to launch a second fund next year.

“We think Florida is really being underserved,” he says. “Our fund really has a dual purpose: It’s about doing good and, as a result of doing good, we expect to do well.”

» Next page: The Low-Down on Sales-Tax Holidays

Tags: Banking & Finance, Economic Backbone

Florida Business News

Florida News Releases

Florida Trend Video Pick

Giant domino line of cereal boxes falls to celebrate Cereal for Summer Drive
Giant domino line of cereal boxes falls to celebrate Cereal for Summer Drive

About one thousand cereal boxes were lined up by Achieva Credit Union employees in honor of the donations.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Do you think recreational marijuana should be legal in Florida?

  • Yes, I'm in favor of legalizing marijuana
  • Absolutely not
  • I'm on the fence
  • Other (share thoughts in the comment section below)

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701

© Copyright 2024 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.