AngelPad, the startup accelerator program founded back in 2010 by ex-Googler Thomas Korte, is today releasing new data about the progress its companies have made to date, as well as funding aggregates for those participating in its program. The announcement comes ahead of Thursday’s application deadline for the Spring session.
Korte says that increasingly, AngelPad companies are not announcing funding publicly. Because of that, sharing the incubator’s aggregate numbers is one of the ways it can demonstrate its growing traction.
“It’s almost like the more money [the companies] raise, the less likely they’re willing to announce it because it’s a competitive advantage if no one knows exactly what they’re working on and no one knows how much money they have,” Korte explains of the startups’ decision to stay quiet. “Fundraising [announcements are] good for the ego, but it doesn’t really help your business,” he adds. The exception, of course, being that fundraising announcements can help with recruiting or for getting on the radar of VCs who are tracking seed stage investments to know when companies may need to raise a Series A round, he notes.
Since October 2010, AngelPad has seen 62 companies participate in five sessions, with last year’s spring and fall sessions among the busiest with 22 companies selected from around 4,000 applications. “It has become incredibly difficult to get into AngelPad, and probably the same for the other top incubators,” says Korte. Comparing 2012’s applications to those in 2011, he says that many now include “fairly mature” companies that have been around for six to eight months, and founders who are coming out of really good companies like Google. “It’s not like this post-college crowd any more,” he says of those who are now applying to incubators like his.
In 2012, AngelPad’s 62 total companies raised $56 million, which is on top of the $25 million they had raised in 2011. For comparison’s sake, in December 2011, Korte told us that AngelPad had helped 37 companies total, 31 of which had received funding. 2011 had been a big year for AngelPad, incidentally, as 29 of those 37 companies had emerged from the program within the year.
Another thing that has changed is the average funding companies receive. In 2011, deals often fell between $250,000 to just over a million, but in 2012, the scope is much larger. “If companies are raising money now, they’re easily raising $2 million dollars,” Korte says.
In November 2012, AngelPad held its fifth Demo Day at its downtown San Francisco headquarters, which featured the twelve startups in AngelPad’s Fall 2012 class. Korte says that already, three of these companies have raised over $6 million in aggregate, but can’t say which ones because the funding is not yet public. “If investors see companies they like, they’re really putting a lot of money towards them,” he says.
And from the session before, when AngelPad had announced its companies had raised $10 million, the total ended up being almost $13 million when the funding rounds closed, we’re told. Some of the AngelPad companies Korte could talk about having raised in 2012 include MoPub, Crittercism, Locbox and Vungle.
For those unfamiliar with AngelPad, its program provides companies with ten weeks of mentorship, and $20,000 in seed funding to help the founders get their products off the ground. It also extends support after Demo Day into the first year – the toughest time for a new business. Its alumni network now includes some 150 or so founders.
In 2013, Korte says the incubator, which has often focused on B2B companies, is looking for companies targeting the SMB market, in particular with offerings for today’s newly mobile workforce. It’s also interested in the usual suspects – cloud computing, infrastructure, mobile enterprise, and companies building at the application layer, focused on doing one thing really well in their niche, like DocStoc, for example. On the consumer side, Korte thinks we’re entering the next stage of mobile – not just taking a picture and posting it to Facebook, but using the phone in predictive ways, he says. But AngelPad’s group is always diverse, so it’s not just considering these types of businesses, but any where it believes in the founders’ vision and ability to execute.
Korte says that, in looking back, AngelPad’s model is working: be selective in the application process, focus on a small set of companies (12-15 per session), and work closely with them, including in the first year post-AngelPad as they raise follow-on funding.
The application deadline for the upcoming spring session is now Thursday, January 17th. Interested companies can apply here.