Crowdfunding platform Launch Angels raises nearly $1M for first venture fund

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Jan 06, 2014 07:08 PM EST

Boston-based Launch Angels said it closed its first venture fund with nearly $1 million. The fund called Where Angels Fund or WAF will look for investment opportunities in early-stage companies, particularly concentrating on industries like mobile and consumer Internet firms. In a statement, Launch Angels said the investors in WAF are associates from Where Inc, the firm bought by PayPal in 2011.

Launch Angels pools funds from accredited individuals in order to establish Venture Funds which are invested in 8 to 12 crowdfunding deals. Launch Angels Co-Founder and Lead Manager Michael Collins said, "The Where Angels Fund empowers smart people looking for smart investments. Launch Angels is a forward-looking investment vehicle for accredited investors interested in venture deals. We make the whole process easier and more secure by scouting and vetting deals, doing paperwork, and tracking portfolios."

Launch Angels said the WAF crystallized interest in early-stage investing among Where Inc employees, both former and current. WAF participant Sarah Hodkinson who serves as the Director of Marketing & Sales Strategy of PayPal Media Network said that the notion of supporting early stage firms was both exciting and attractive but she did not know where to start. The process was made easier to understand and navigate by Launch Angels, she said.

The WAF Investment Committee will be headed by Launch Angels Chief Executive Officer Shereen Shermak who will put her considerable fund management and startup experience in guiding the fund as it selects investments. She said, "We'll assemble a portfolio of up to a dozen deals over the next 12-18 months. Some selections will be suggested by WAF investors. Others will emerge from Launch Angels' own prospecting and due diligence."

Launch Angels said the WAF is one example of a Bespoke Fund which allows a group, whether they are friends or associates, to gather their money together in a private investment portfolio.

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