Centerbridge Partners closes acquisition of IPC Systems

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Centerbridge Partners has closed its acquisition of IPC Systems, a company based in Jersey City, New Jersey. IPC is a provider of network services and trading communication technology for the financial industry. The terms were undisclosed, but there are rumors that the deal is worth $1.2 billion. Silver Lake Partners sold IPC to Centerbridge. More details below:


JERSEY CITY, N.J., Feb. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — IPC Systems, Inc., a global provider of network services, trading communication technology and enhanced services to the financial markets community, today announced that affiliates of Centerbridge Partners, L.P., a leading private investment firm, have completed their acquisition of IPC from Silver Lake Partners. The acquisition was announced in December 2014.

IPC offers services and solutions for capital markets participants across all asset classes. From its unified communications and software platform to its industry leading data and voice extranet, IPC remains focused on improving the speed, productivity, collaboration, and efficiency of the entire trade lifecycle. IPC continues to accelerate its market segment leading position, fueled by the increased adoption of its integrated trading communications and application platform, Unigy®. The IPC Financial Markets Network is the leading choice for capital market participants enabling data and voice connectivity through its Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) offerings. Its suite of solutions addresses industry imperatives such as business continuity planning, network diversity and speed of execution. IPC Enhanced Services supports its customers’ trading communications environments and is committed to collaboration, service excellence and value.

“Last year was one of IPC’s best years on record and we are expanding on that momentum,” said Mr. Neil Barua, Chief Executive Officer of IPC. “Our focus remains on delivering products and services that contribute to our customers’ success. This unwavering commitment to our customers coupled with Centerbridge’s proven ability to drive long-term sustainable growth will further strengthen our global brand. We look forward to working together with our new owners.”

Mr. Jared Hendricks, Senior Managing Director at Centerbridge said, “IPC has a track record of innovation and success that has made it a valued strategic partner to the world’s most preeminent financial institutions. The Company is uniquely positioned to deliver tailored, state-of-the-art solutions to serve the complex needs of the financial services community. We are excited to support IPC and its management through the Company’s next phase of growth and innovation.”

IPC was advised by its financial advisors, Evercore and Goldman, Sachs & Co. and its legal advisor, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Centerbridge was advised by its financial advisors, Barclays and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and its legal advisor, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

About IPC

IPC is a global provider of mission-critical network services and trading communication technology to the financial markets community. With complete focus on this sector and over 40 years of expertise, IPC provides customers with integrated solutions that support traders and participants across the entire trade lifecycle including sell-side and buy-side financial institutions, inter-dealer brokers, liquidity venues, clearing and settlement firms, independent software vendors, corporate finance departments, financial information exchange providers and market data providers. IPC’s offerings include a unified communications/application platform, award-winning trading positions, managed voice and data connectivity solutions, compliance technologies, infrastructure management and a suite of enhanced service offerings. IPC’s global reach extends to more than 60 countries – including a network of 5,000 customer sites over 700 cities and an installed base of approximately 120,000 trading positions deployed worldwide. Headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, IPC has over 900 employees located throughout the Americas and the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions. IPC’s mission is to continually innovate to support collaboration across the global financial community and address our clients’ needs in an ever-changing landscape. For more information, visit

About Centerbridge Partners, L.P.

Centerbridge Partners, L.P. is an investment management firm focused on private equity and distressed investment opportunities. As of December 2014, the Firm has approximately $25 billion in capital under management with offices in New York and London. The firm is dedicated to partnering with world-class management teams across targeted industry sectors to help companies achieve their operating and financial objectives.

Newshunt raises 250 crore in Series C

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Based in India, Newshunt is a local language mobile app that has raised 250 crore in Series C funding. Falcon Edge Capital led this round of funding with participation from Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and Omidyar Network. More details below:


Bangalore, India – February 5, 2014: Newshunt, India’s leading local language mobile app, today announced its Series C funding led by New York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital completing their fund raise process.

Existing investors Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and Omidyar Network also participated in this round of funding. In September 2014, Newshunt had raised its Series B round of funding led by Sequoia Capital.

Newshunt is the platform of choice for local language mobile Internet users with over 75 million downloads till date. It has the widest collection of regional content in over 12 languages and is the #1 app for local language users in India across app stores. The recent foray into eBooks, providing a world class experience in local languages, has created a vibrant marketplace for publishers with over 10 million local language eBooks downloaded till date by over 2 million users, 40% of which are paid users. Users pay for downloads through Newshunt’s proprietary payment platform iPayy that is now also being used by third party developers for micro-transactions through carrier billing. In the last six months, almost 4 million unique customers have used the iPayy platform for payments.

“The next 500 million mobile Internet users that will emerge in India will largely be local language first – they will create and consume content and services in local languages. Our vision is to be a dominant part of their first Internet experience and serve these users with world-class products starting with Newshunt, eBooks, iPayy and many more to come. As part of this journey, we wish to partner with the entire local language ecosystem and work with passionate and talented entrepreneurs in building the first real, large scale Made in India, Made for India platform. We are excited to welcome Falcon Edge to Newshunt as we continue to further grow our platform.” said Viru Gupta, founder and CEO of Newshunt.

“We’re privileged to be associated with Viru and the team at Newshunt and iPayy. We believe the local language Internet is set for an inflection and Newshunt will be at the center of this ecosystem. We encourage all stakeholders in the ecosystem to partner with Newshunt to create new digital content and services, get them discovered and monetized through this platform. We welcome Falcon Edge to the Newshunt partnership” said Vikram Vaidyanathan, Managing Director, Matrix Partners India.

About Newshunt:

Newshunt is the flagship product of Verse Innovation Pvt. Ltd. Newshunt offers news from over 100 news sources in 12 languages with over 25,000+ articles everyday. iPayy is a unique micro-transaction platform based on carrier billing with access to 700M subscribers across 5 major telcos in India and currently used by 300 digital goods merchants. The company has presence in India, Middle East, and Africa with over 150 employees. Further information is available at

About Falcon Edge Capital:

Falcon Edge Capital was founded in 2011 by Rick Gerson and Navroz Udwadia. Falcon Edge Capital utilizes fundamental research and knowledge of local markets and industries to identify asymmetric risk-reward investment opportunities.

About Matrix Partners India:

Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with INR 3,000 crore under management. The firm invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer market at the seed, early and early growth stages. The firm has invested in several market leading mobile Internet companies including Birds Eye Systems (hyperlocal social transport), LimeRoad (social commerce marketplace), Mswipe (mobile POS), Ola (India’s largest cab network), Quikr (online classifieds), Red Monster (mobile social gaming), Stayzilla (stays marketplace), and Woo (social matchmaking) among others. Matrix Partners has a global network of funds investing in the US, China and India with $3 billion under management. Further information is available at

Mobile hospitality platform ALICE raises $3 million


Based in New York City, ALICE is a mobile hospitality program that has raised $3 million in seed funding. The lead investors in this round include Tishman Realty Principles and the founders of NeueHouse. 645 Ventures and the founding team at Seamless Web participated in this round of funding. More details below:


NEW YORK, N.Y. – February 9, 2015 – ALICE, a mobile platform for guests to engage with hotel services and staff to manage all requests, today announced that it has secured $3 million in seed funding. The financing was led by hospitality industry insiders Tishman Realty Principles and the Founders of NeueHouse. Other investors in the round include 645 Ventures – a new VC founded by Nnamdi Okike, a former principal at Insight Ventures – as well as the founding team of Seamless Web: Jason Finger, Todd Arky and Paul Appelbaum.

ALICE was created in 2013 after its founders experienced consistent frustration with the low-tech methods that hotels used to receive and handle guest requests. “We started as a mobile concierge platform for guests, but quickly realized that there is an equivalent, if not greater, need in efficiently managing the fulfillment of that request. Placing the request was easy, but managing its lifecycle was surprisingly complex. Specifically, most hotel departments work across multiple systems that are not connected; therefore, we set out to create a single platform to deliver a more streamlined solution,” said Alex Shashou, co-founder and President of ALICE.

Leveraging their combined experience in hotel management and financial technology (FinTech) at some of the world’s leading financial institutions, ALICE team members created the first mobile service-on-demand platform in the hospitality industry. The platform allows guests to discover and request hotel amenities and services from their digital devices, while increasing the property’s operational efficiencies through a robust back-end task management and analytics platform. The request begins with a guest’s mobile device and ends on the staff mobile device, giving ALICE complete domain control to ensure quality fulfillment.

The technical team is led by Dmitry Koltunov, CFA, who spent a decade on Wall Street leading the build of real-time trading and analytics systems for some of the largest alternative investment management firms in the world. “We have assembled an expert team of developers who see a lot of analogues with FinTech and are excited to apply the technical and analytical rigor of trading technology to hospitality,” said Dmitry.

Leading hotel groups including Shangri-La’s Hotel Jen, Bespoke Hotels, The Setai, The Gansevoort Group, Standard Hotels and Sixty Hotel Group currently use the ALICE platform to deliver uncompromised service to their guests. “I believe the reason that we have been able to partner with such incredible brands is that they share our vision of creating one unified system to manage all of their hotels and are actively working with us to create the hotel operating system of the future,” said Justin Effron, CEO.

“After decades of managing hotels, I’ve experienced firsthand shortcomings that the industry faces in effectively utilizing technology,” said Alex Furrer, General Manager at The Setai. “ALICE has developed a revolutionary mobile solution to unify guest management across our entire hotel. The service that they help to provide is unparalleled; they enabled us to become the first hotel in the U.S. to allow our guests to order straight from our pool and beach chairs via their mobile devices. Our experience has been so successful with ALICE that we received an Inn Key Award in recognition of guest relations.”

Funds from this financing round will be used to advance product development, expand the team and enable the company to continue to scale. Karl Finegan, one of the founding investors and Board Members of Neuehouse, and an ALICE convert, said, “I was initially concerned about technology getting in the way of the luxury experience, but when I finally used ALICE at The Setai, I realized that this was the future. We were so inspired by the potential here that we tracked the team down and convinced them to take our investment capital.”

“ALICE provides software that is capable of transforming the hospitality industry,” said Nnamdi Okike, Partner at 645 Ventures. “Beyond its easy-to-use guest-facing mobile application, ALICE’s back-end technology is a game-changer, enabling hospitality providers to streamline their operations, provide improved customer service and utilize data to make smarter business decisions. We look forward to working closely with the Company to continue its impressive growth trajectory.”

About ALICE:

ALICE ( has created the first mobile service-on-demand platform for the hospitality industry that empowers hotels and their staff to drive deeper, sustainable connections with guests using mobile technology, while increasing operational efficiency through a robust back-end task management and analytics platform. In an industry that utilizes fragmented, legacy technology, ALICE provides a streamlined mobile platform that simplifies a hotel’s internal operations and unifies interactions between guests and staff across every department into a single system. ALICE is partner-friendly and can integrate into existing hotel systems and workflows of various departments, such as housekeeping, concierge and F&B. It can also run as a standalone solution. ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working many of the world’s leading hotel brands, including Shangri-La’s newly branded, Hotel Jen; Bespoke Hotels; Standard Hotels; The Gansevoort Group; The Setai Miami Beach; and Sixty Hotel Group. For more information, visit

Quantum Biosystems raises 2.4 billion yen in Series B

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Quantum Biosystems is a company that is developing a genome sequencer that has raised 2.4 billion yen ($20.5 million). This round of funding was provided by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, JAFCO, UTEC, and Mizuho Capital. Quantum will be setting up a research team in Silicon Valley.

Fetch Robotics raises $3 million in Series A funding

Fetch Robotics
Fetch Robotics is a company that builds robots for the industrial and logistics markets. Fetch Robotics has raised $3 million in Series A funding from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Shasta Ventures. Fetch Robotics also recently named Melonee Wise as their CEO. Wise used to be CEO and co-founder of Unbounded Robotics. More details below:


SAN JOSE, Calif. — February 9, 2015 — Fetch Robotics today announced that it has raised $3 million in Series A financing from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) and Shasta Ventures. Fetch Robotics will use the funding to bring their inaugural robots to market. The robots will provide solutions for the logistics and light industrial markets, as well as for other human-robot collaboration opportunities.

Melonee Wise has been named CEO of the company. Prior to joining Fetch Robotics, Melonee was CEO and co-founder of Unbounded Robotics. Before that, Melonee spent approximately six years at the pioneering personal robotics company Willow Garage. All told, Melonee has nearly 15 years working in both entrepreneurial and engineering roles in the robotics industry, on both robotic hardware and software.

The first robots from Fetch Robotics will be introduced in Q2 of this year. To be notified when the robots are available, please email

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity for Shasta to invest in Fetch, as I’ve been passionate about robotics for many years. The team, product, market opportunity, and timing are all in alignment for Fetch to be successful.”

Rob Coneybeer, Managing Director at Shasta Ventures

“Fetch is comprised of a top-notch team focused on a substantial problem. They have both the entrepreneurial and technical know-how in order to solve some pressing problems in the world of logistics and light industry.”

Bryce Roberts, Managing Director at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures

“Businesses and economic forces are charging ahead to make the world all on-demand all the time. The implications to the logistics industry given this trend are substantial and my team and I look forward to helping businesses address those challenges.”

Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics

Fetch Robotics is comprised of an experienced team of roboticists, spanning hardware, software, and design. The forthcoming robots will utilize and build upon ROS, the open source robot operating system.

About Fetch Robotics

Fetch Robotics is building robots for the logistics industry. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA. For more information, please visit or follow the company on Twitter @FetchRobotics.

OrderUp names former Domino’s CIO Chris McGlothlin as COO

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On-demand food delivery marketplace company OrderUp has named former Domino’s chief information officer Chris McGlothlin as their chief operating officer. McGlothlin will be overseeing OrderUp’s online ordering and on-demand delivery infrastructure. More details below:

OrderUp, the most complete on-demand food delivery marketplace for hometowns nationwide, today announced the hiring of Chris McGlothlin as Chief Operating Officer. McGlothlin will oversee OrderUp’s operations. A key area of focus for McGlothlin is scaling OrderUp’s online ordering and on-demand delivery infrastructure, the company’s fastest-growing segment, which now accounts for over 30,000 weekly transactions and has grown 50 percent month-over-month.

McGlothin’s previous roles include Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President of Domino’s Pizza and Vice President of Yum Brands, Inc. While at Domino’s, McGlothlin led strategic and tactical leadership of technology and business intelligence, fueling the growth of Domino’s digital channels to $1 billion in sales and leading the development of key advancements such as Domino’s mobile ordering and Domino’s Pizza Tracker™.

“Chris’ experience building Domino’s e-Commerce platform combined with his delivery operations experience, including creating systems and processes to support best-in-class delivery, will accelerate OrderUp’s rapid growth nationwide,” said Chris Jeffery, CEO and co-founder of OrderUp. “His extensive operational and restaurant knowledge in the food delivery space will help us take advantage of our biggest growth opportunities.”

“There is massive potential in the delivery market, and OrderUp’s platform and team provide a prime opportunity for operational excellence,” said McGlothlin. “I am very excited to join OrderUp to help propel the company through this tremendous point in its market growth.”

About OrderUp:

OrderUp is the most complete on-demand food delivery marketplace for local markets outside of the top metros. With feet on the street in markets nationwide, OrderUp provides easy access to great food from locals’ favorite restaurants. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, OrderUp has a dual-distribution model, with some locations owned and operated by the company, and others franchised. Visit or download the OrderUp app for iOS and Android.

Aventura raises $14 million in Series C funding

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Based in Denver, Colorado, Aventura is a healthcare workflow optimization software company that has raised $14 million in Series C funding. Safeguard Scientifics and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund led this round of funding with participation from previous investors like Excel Venture Management, HLM Venture Partners, and Memorial Care Innovation Fund. Aventura will be using the funding to expand sales and marketing, business development, product development, and customer support. More details below:


Denver, CO, February 9, 2015 ­– Aventura, a leader in healthcare workflow optimization software solutions, today announced that it raised a $14 million Series C financing in an oversubscribed round co-led by Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE) and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (Merck GHI). Existing investors Excel Venture Management, HLM Venture Partners, and Memorial Care Innovation Fund also participated in the round. Aventura will use proceeds from the funding to expand sales and marketing, business development, and customer support, as well as accelerate product development.

Hospitals have invested heavily in electronic health records (“EHR”), driven largely by $36 billion in federal incentives. But, the clinical and economic benefits derived from EHRs are predicated on clinicians actually using the systems. Despite significant investments in health information systems, efficiency, data security, and workflow optimization, challenges around day-to-day access to patient data persist. The hunting-and-pecking amongst various applications in order to compile a complete view of the patient’s chart requires further investment to leverage the EMR spend. U.S.-based hospitals are estimated to spend $1.3 billion to optimize workflow for patient data access, and fewer than half of U.S. hospitals have implemented an optimization solution.

Through a patented process it calls awareness computing, Aventura’s workflow optimization platform delivers awareness of a user’s identity and role, their location within a facility, what device they are working on, and what patient they are treating. Traditionally, the approach to address workflow obstacles has involved utilizing identity and access management technologies such as Single Sign-On (SSO) for secure and fast access to applications. Whereas SSO technology authorizes a user to access a specific application, the beauty of awareness computing is that it builds upon SSO and gets the user to the exact data and functionality that they want.

“Awareness computing is the next generation in workflow optimization as it combines the security and speed benefits of SSO with deep intelligence to deliver clinical and business awareness to the point of care,” said John Gobron, CEO of Aventura. “This round of funding along with the addition of Safeguard and Merck as strategic investors, will allow us to accelerate the rate at which we can apply innovation to address the clinical, business, and regulatory needs of healthcare providers.”

“With innovative technology and a strong customer-centric leadership team, Aventura is well-positioned for rapid growth in an attractive market with favorable business and regulatory drivers for workflow optimization,” said Managing Director, Healthcare at Safeguard, Al Wiegman, who will be joining Aventura’s board of directors. “Providers are facing increased pressure to improve efficiency and quality of care. Aventura’s product portfolio is uniquely positioned to enable providers to better leverage EMR and patient data to accomplish this. We are excited to partner again with Merck GHIF, as well as existing syndicate partners, to support Aventura to improve the healthcare experience for providers and patients alike.”

About Aventura
Aventura is the leading provider of awareness computing for the healthcare industry. For decades, clinicians have had to adapt their workflow to the limitations of computers; with Aventura, computers can now adapt to how clinicians work. Through its patented technology, Aventura delivers awareness of a user’s identity and role, their location within a facility, what device they are working on, and what patient they are treating. Based on this awareness, Aventura immediately delivers a virtual desktop and dynamically provisions the applications and exact screens a user needs to care for that particular patient, eliminating wasteful clicks and keystrokes. As a result, Aventura helps customers achieve their important initiatives in the areas of EHR adoption and Meaningful Use requirements, PHI security, mobility, and cost containment. Aventura is headquartered in Denver with offices in Marlborough, MA. Visit; follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook; or call 888-484-4643 to learn more.

About Safeguard Scientifics
Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE) has a distinguished track record of fostering innovation and building market leaders. For six decades, Safeguard has been providing growth capital and operational support to entrepreneurs across an evolving spectrum of industries. Today, Safeguard is focused specifically on two sectors—healthcare and technology. Recent successful exits include Alverix (acquired by Becton, Dickinson for $40 million); Crescendo Bioscience (acquired by Myriad Genetics for $270 million); NuPathe (acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for $144 million); and ThingWorx (acquired by PTC for initial proceeds of $112 million). For more information, please visit or Follow Us on Twitter @safeguard.

About Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, LLC
Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, LLC (GHIF) invests in emerging companies that deliver breakthrough health care solutions, which advance Merck’s mission to discover, develop and provide innovative products and services that save and improve lives. For more information, visit

UrbanStems raises $1.5 million

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UrbanStems is a startup that delivers hand-crafted bouquets on demand in Manhattan and Washington D.C. UrbanStems has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from investors like Middleland Capital, Sagamore Ventures, NextGen Angels and Great Oaks Venture Capital. More details below:


Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 09, 2015

UrbanStems, the start-up delivering hand-crafted bouquets on demand in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. and looking to disrupt the oft-maligned online floral industry, announced today that it has completed a $1.5 million round of seed funding, including investments from Middleland Capital, Sagamore Ventures, NextGen Angels and Great Oaks Venture Capital.

Since its launch in Washington, D.C. in February 2014, UrbanStems has elevated the process of sending same day flowers online and expanded to New York City in December 2014. Users order online in a few clicks – and starting this week through an iOS app – from a selection of exclusive seasonal bouquets, priced from $35 with free delivery and no fees. The long-lasting bouquets are delivered by bike couriers within an hour or at any specified time.

UrbanStems distinguishes itself from established players and other startups in the floral delivery space through its innovative vertically-integrated supply chain originating from eco-certified farms in South America, enabling it to provide an unparalleled customer experience. Flowers are cut off the stem and arrive in company owned delivery hubs in less than 48 hours, allowing for consistent quality and unparalleled freshness, in addition to cutting out some of the most significant costs associated with traditional flower delivery.

“Ordering flowers hasn’t really changed in the last couple of decades besides a crude addition of phone and web to the traditional neighborhood florist”, said Middleland Capital’s Alex Pessala, who will be joining UrbanStems’ board. “This industry is in dire need of an ecommerce brand that can scale quickly and efficiently, while providing a much needed improvement to customer experience.”

The company, which has nine full-time employees, was founded by former college roommates Ajay Kori and Jeff Sheely after both were fed up with underwhelming product quality and frustrating customer service when trying to send flowers via traditional online flower options.

“The urban consumer market is experiencing a tremendous amount of disruption. Higher quality for a lower price, and on-demand service is becoming the standard, not the exception,” said Sagamore Ventures Managing Partner, Demian Costa. “UrbanStems was particularly interesting for us, given our roots in the flower delivery business.” Sagamore Ventures is the investment arm of Under Armour Founder and CEO, Kevin Plank. As a University of Maryland undergraduate, Plank ran a flower delivery business on Valentine’s Day each year that earned him $17,000 – which eventually became the seed money for Baltimore-based Under Armour.

“As proud members of the Washington-Baltimore tech community, we look forward to doing our part to help our region continue to grow into a nationally-recognized hub for innovation,” said co-founder Ajay Kori.

With this funding, UrbanStems will continue its expansion into additional cities in 2015 and invest in marketing and key new hires. In the year since UrbanStems launched, it has enjoyed exceptional growth, increasing its sales by double digits month over month.

“We are excited by the opportunity to continue spreading happiness throughout DC and New York with our premium-yet-affordable floral arrangements, delivered at a moment’s notice,” said co-founder Jeff Sheely.

About UrbanStems

UrbanStems is a DC-based technology company that believes sending flowers should be easy and affordable. They offer long-lasting bouquets sourced from eco-friendly farms in South America, delivered within an hour from their website or forthcoming iOS app. Delivery is confirmed with a picture of each bouquet in front of the recipient’s building, and bouquets start at just $35, with free delivery and no fees – less than half the cost of a typical floral delivery. Since launching less than a year ago in Washington, DC, UrbanStems has seen explosive growth, increasing its sales by double digits month over month.

About Middleland Capital

Middleland Capital is a global private investment firm focused on early-stage technology opportunities. Leveraging a unique breadth of geographic and industry experience, the firm seeks long-term partnerships with exceptional management teams to commercialize innovative technologies, accelerate growth and build long-term value around the world.

\About NextGen Angels

Founded in Washington, D.C. NextGen Angels is a community of young and influential angels who invest in exceptional entrepreneurs in D.C. and in New York City. The group works together on behalf of their portfolio companies to help them build the next great companies of the future.