Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) April 30, 2014
Sierra Maya Ventures, a leading angel and seed venture fund for early-stage startups, is celebrating its first year of operations. Launched in April of 2013 by Founding Partners Amish Shah and Eric Kagan, the firm invests in technology across the more popular sectors like mobile, ad tech, gaming, and consumer web, as well as in emerging industries such as drone technologies and crowd funding. With the partners making waves across the technology industry, Sierra Maya Ventures has begun expanding its team, and is ramping up to launch a second fund in 2014.
In its first year, Sierra Maya Ventures built a portfolio around a diverse group of over 15 investments. Such investments include Skycatch, a platform for intelligent & scalable aerial robotics serving a wide array of industries. Other investments include the social multiplatform publishing company MAZ, and equity crowd funding and angel investing platform WeFunder. The firm has made several investments alongside Sequoia, Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, adding Y Combinator and 500 Startups class companies to their portfolio. Sierra Maya Ventures is currently ranked among the top 15 venture capital firms by funding deal intelligence company Mattermark, and ranks 8th among top seed and angel investors for B2C startups.
Alongside investment activity, the Founding Partners of Sierra Maya Ventures have been creating noise across the technology industry. Amish Shah is a veteran of the startup world and founder of the high-tech and startup focused recruiting firm, Millennium Search. With a history in technology recruiting dating back to 1995, he is well-connected to talent, executives and venture capital firms across the technology space. Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC’s Closing Bell, Fox News and Bloomberg TV, discussing movements within the technology landscape and serving as an expert on startup and technology investment topics. He is an advisor and mentor for several early-stage startups, and is the top angel investor in North Carolina on AngelList. Shah was recently listed as Charlotte’s Top 7 People to watch by the Charlotte Observer.
“We move really fast,” says Shah of the company’s success. “Eric and I get very hands on with every company we invest in. Whether it’s helping them find other investors, connecting them with strategic partners and advisors, giving them referrals for early customers, or just being a sounding board for ideas and pivots, we are available to them whenever they need us.”
Founding Partner Eric Kagan is also a veteran of the high-tech world. Kagan had an exit in March of 2012 from hosting, cloud and datacenter management company, Xand, of which he was co-founder and continues involvement as a strategic advisor and board observer. He is the Principle for KGN Holdings, a member of Investors Collaborative, and serves on advisory boards for several of his portfolio companies. Kagan is one of Boston’s top angel investors and a valued asset to many technology startups.
“We balance each other’s strengths incredibly well, and that’s why this works. We bring two perspectives to every meeting, conversation and deal. It helps us examine things from all angles,” says Kagan. “Every investment we have made so far has advanced through our conversations, debates and vetting. When we reach a consensus, we know we are in a good place.”
In addition to their portfolio investment activity, the early-stage venture fund also partnered with Dan Roselli and Charlotte’s startup and entrepreneurial hub, Packard Place, to launch RevTech Labs III, the third class of the largest startup incubator in the Southeast. Both Shah and Kagan, along with Roselli, serve as the official venture capital partners and fundraising advisors to the class of companies. The program aims to jumpstart the Charlotte startup ecosystem, bringing the attention of outside talent, companies and capital. Through the partnership, RevTech Labs launched a 506c Index Fund for the class, the first of its kind in the Southeastern United States.
After experiencing so much success in their first year, the founding partners have begun expanding their team. Molly Gamache of Boston, MA was brought on as Director of Operations, and Dan Rogers of Charlotte, NC was brought on as an Associate. Bay Area financing specialist Glen Howard was brought on as a Managing Partner. With parts of their portfolio already seeing acquisition activity from heavy-hitting companies like Google and Facebook, the firm plans to continue its expansion.
With their initial fund closed, the partners are in current discussions around a second, with an anticipated summer launch this year. The fund will focus in part on follow-ups at the Series A level for current investments, in addition to funding for new ventures.
About Sierra May Ventures
Sierra Maya Ventures provides Seed, Angel and Early Stage Capital to help entrepreneurs around the globe turn their dreams into a reality. They target innovative and passionate Founders looking to start a revolution in today's world. To learn more about the venture capital firm, visit http://www.sierramayaventures.com/.