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2018 in Review

January 21, 2019 / Source: GTAN

The past 12 months have been some of the most eventful for the Golden Triangle Angel Network. With four exciting exits and the formation of our alliance with two other Angel Groups, 2018 was a record breaking year for GTAN.

Unata’s Exit Marks the Start of a Successful Year

To kick off the year, Instacart acquired Unata in January, marking the first-ever exit for GTAN. Unata is building the grocery shopping experience of the future with a white-label digital grocery platform that spans the entire digital customer experience from website to eCommerce to digital loyalty and more. This milestone set the bar high for the rest of the year, and the following 11 months did not disappoint.

Extending the Network’s Reach

In the months following this first exit, Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN) joined forces with Angel One Investor Network and Southwestern Ontario Angels to form the Alliance.

Combined, the Alliance between GTAN, Angel One and Southwestern Ontario Angels represents over 200 investors. When startup founders apply for consideration, the successful companies pitch to all three Angel groups in the Alliance in the same week. By presenting to all three networks, companies have a higher likelihood of filling larger raises more expeditiously, by combining the Alliance’s available capital, sector expertise, and investors.

A Unique Opportunity for Bonfire

Following the formation of the Alliance, Bonfire was acquired by GTY Technology Holdings for the second exit of the year. Bonfire builds software that helps procurement teams come together to make better decisions easily and with certainty.

This, however, was not a typical acquisition. Rather than being absorbed, Bonfire and five other govtech companies formed a publicly traded entity with a mission to radically improve the way publicly funded agencies work.

New Opportunities for Alert Labs and HTBASE

Soon after Bonfire’s exit, Alert Labs was acquired by Watsco, Inc. Alert Labs designs and manufactures products that monitor building systems in homes and businesses. Co-founder and COO, Ruth Casselman says "The word 'accelerate' almost seems too small for the opportunity in front of [Alert Labs]."

The final exit of the year was HTBASE, acquired by Juniper Networks. HTBASE offers a single layer of compute, networking and storage across public and private clouds as well as the edge, greatly simplifying how multicloud environments are managed and easing application migration across multiple clouds. This acquisition will bring multicloud storage to Juniper’s strong network and compute orchestration capabilities of its Contrail Enterprise Multicloud.

Looking Forward

In the new year, the GTAN Board plans to focus on how the Alliance can aid GTAN in meeting their goal of enhancing Angel Investments in the community and maximize the market for startups. “GTAN is at an inflection point and so is the market,” says Todd Bissett, Chair of the GTAN Board. “There is more money coming into this market, there are more companies seeking money in this market and that creates pluses and minuses; and advantages and disadvantages for everyone in different sources. We need to find our place in it and how we can add the most value.”

We look forward to the exciting startups and exits we will see in 2019. For more information on joining an Angel Group and becoming a GTAN member, click here.