Southwest Angels Gain Share of Deals/Dollars, California Loses

The 2012 HALO Report ( reports that angel investment dollars in the Southwest region, which includes Texas, grew from 7.9% of nationwide angel investments in 2011 to 11.0% in 2012 while “biggies” like California and the Southeast took significant hits, dropping from 31.0% to 23.1% and 18.5% to 10.8% respectively.  The number of deals in California also registered a loss from 21.0% to 18.1% while the Southwest registered more deals moving from 11.4% to 13.3% of total annual deals in the country.HaloReportCoverSquare-304

In Texas, the Alliance of Texas Angel Networks (ATAN), an organization formed in 2012 to increase cooperation between angel groups inTexas, has been working to collect comprehensive data that is representative of the Texas angel community. At their March 8, 2013 Texas Angel Day ATAN reported that Texas was second only to California in the number of deals and dollars invested in by angels. This tracks with the HALO Report and their report that Austin based Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) was 4th overall in the country in the number of deals completed.

The HALO Report indicates no significant move nationwide in Internet sector investments (32.8% of deals in 2011 vs 31.9% in 2012) but a few regions led by the Southwest and California are bullish on mobile technology and bearish on internet technology.  Most significantly, the Southwest has taken an aggressive move into mobile & telecom investments increasing investment in that sector from 1.6% in 2011 to 8.4% in 2012. The Southwest continues to lead in, and with, Healthcare deals (31.6% of deals), which is a second or third place industry sector in all other measured regions.

Angel investors in the Southwest region seem to be making the right moves by targeting two hot sectors: Healthcare and Mobile & Telecom. Texas’ history of quality healthcare research when paired with the telecom and mobile companies in the Metroplex, creates the right mix of know-how that will result in innovative startups in North Texas. If the investment trends reported in the HALO Report continues, the Metroplex will be catapulted forward to a leadership position as the hotbed for emerging technologies in the next five to seven years.

Jorge Varela

Jorge Varela has a passion for startups and has started and grown businesses in markets as diverse as telecom, software, IT services, materials distribution, shipping, real estate, café, and even a professional soccer team in Belize. His typical day is shared between helping founders become successful entrepreneurs and with his family. He is the Assistant Director at TECH Fort Worth, a technology startup factory with an angel investment program.