Here's an interesting one for you guys. Interlock Capital is a relatively new company that connects angel investors to private companies on a syndication basis. I met the founders (they are local to me in San Diego) just a few weeks ago and I recently made an investment through them as well. Other than so far making one investment through their platform, I have zero connection to the company or the founders. I like the concept and their execution.
This is quite different from other private company brokers, so let me explain.
First, with Interlock, you are participating in an active investment round (series A, Series B, angel convert debt, etc_) as opposed to buying private shares from someone as you do with Sharespost or Forge. So while you are getting the best current company valuation, the number of opportunities are more limited and are usually only open for a short period of time.
Second, these guys do a lot of due diligence of the investments. The opportunity is very well laid out, you have access to the full financing deck, and you get due diligence commentary from the Interlock Capital founders and others who have had DD discussions with the company principals. Don't be looking for SpaceX shares here though, these are smaller companies, usually early stage, but no less potentially interesting.
Third, Interlock acts as a syndicate meaning that while private companies usually have $100K or more investment minimums (to keep the number of private investors below SEC limits), Interlock allow you to invest as little as $1K typically. Interlock aggregates all the investments together and makes a single investment into the private company, and you end up with a partnership interest into a fund that then owns shares in that private company. The upside of this is it allows you to invest in many more private companies. The downside is that Interlock takes a fee. For my Forcastr investment, they took a 6% fee off the top, and then will take a 15% carry upon successful exit.
This compares favorably to a VC fund. In a VC fund, the fund takes 2% of your investment every year for up to 5 to 10 years, and then a 20% carry on each successful exit. And you don't get to decide what you invest in. With Interlock, you can pick and choose what to invest in, and how much. They seem to put a new deal up for consideration on their platform about 1-2 times a month.
I love the platform. Closing on a deal is super easy (almost too easy ). You electronically sign a bunch of partnership documents, and then provide ACH information for direct debit from your bank account.
One of the key things Interlock wants to foster is communications among investors. So they have slack channels for discussing their deals before and after investments.
They currently have access to a MEMS technology company whose first product is in the LiDAR space (Omnitron Sensors). Very qualified management team and pedigree. I personally don't like the LiDAR space, so I'll be passing. They are also chasing a rare later stage investment with Impossible Foods. This is more interesting to me personally, so I can't wait to see their diligence package on that one if it comes to fruition.
Accessing their deal flow is super easy. Just create an account via their main page. Someone from Interlock will contact you, make sure you aren't crazy and are qualified (only accredited investors are allowed). They will then unlock your account and you can then view all the DD packages, etc. from current and past deals. Use my TMC handle (Cosmacelf) or my real name when the form asks you who referred you (I get nothing for referrals, it just allows Interlock to know how people found out about them).
Finally, I know you all know this, but investing in private companies is ESPECIALLY risky. The rule of thumb for VC funds is that out of ten investments they make, seven die, money goes poof. Two are walking dead where you can make back your investment (break even), and one goes to the moon. Or put another way, don't invest in a private company unless you can just shrug your shoulders about your investment when the company goes poof.
Edit: Meant to post this link here. Here's a recent article from the San Diego Union Tribune about Interlocal Capital: 'Not your typical startup fund:' 2 pillars in San Diego tech launch angel group
Paging @goinfraftw, @LightngMcQueen, @hershey101, @pz1975, and anyone else who wanted to invest in Impossible Foods. The above referenced Interlock Capital now has an active investment deal open to invest in it.
I think this company has lots of room to grow. It seems to be better in terms of business execution and proprietary product than Beyond Meat. The only thing giving me pause personally is the high valuation for this round. Can't say much else here, see you on the Interlock "general" slack channel if you want to discuss this more.
FYI, some random recent article about Impossible Foods: Impossible Foods prepping to go public at $10bn valuation: report