Tech Coast Angels Expands $1M+ Investments in San Diego Companies to Four in 2019

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Tech Coast Angels – San Diego announced its most recent $1M+ investments in two local companies, increasing the number of million-dollar investments to four by TCA-SD in 2019.

Tech Coast Angels – San Diego (TCA-SD) today announced its most recent $1M+ investments in two local companies, Mercato and Discover Echo (formerly Echo Labs). With more than $12M total invested so far in 2019, TCA-SD just closed funding rounds of $1.1M in Mercato and $1M in Echo Labs. This increases the number of million-dollar investments to four by TCA-SD in 2019, with DTx Pharma and Atlazo funded earlier this year.

All of these deals were led by TCA-SD’s recently-unveiled annual ACE Fund. ACE Fund 19 invested $2.2M in 16 companies including local startups GoSite, Lennd and Lynx Bio (in addition to DTx Pharma and Atlazo).

"When TCA invests in a company, our annual fund leads with up to $500K, followed by individual investments by our members," said Dean Rosenberg, TCA-SD President and ACE Fund Manager. “The TCA annual fund is successful because it provides entrepreneurs with fast money and investors with capital-efficient diversification.”

Ashok Kamal, TCA-SD Executive Director, added, “ACE is an Annual Fund model – raising and deploying fresh capital to early stage companies each year. Therefore, a $4M Annual Fund is like having another $40M early-stage VC in San Diego.”

The latest ACE Fund investments are for new and existing TCA portfolio companies. The new annual fund, ACE Fund 20, closed in October with $3.7M to be invested by the end of 2020.

Mercato is the SaaS e-commerce platform for independent grocers that previously announced $3M in funding for this round from investors such as Greycroft, Loeb.NYC, Blackbird Ventures, and Correlation Ventures. TCA’s participation brings Mercato’s total round to over $4M. Mercato’s CEO, Bobby Brannigan, recognized TCA’s contribution in terms of both capital and connections: “It’s great having a San Diego investor that operates at the level of a top venture capitalist offering smart money to fuel our growth.”

Discover Echo, which sells next-generation microscopes to pharma companies and academic institutions, raised its third round of funding from TCA, bringing its total from the group to over $4M out of over $15M in historical funding. Discover Echo first raised its seed round in 2016, led by TCA after the company won 2016’s Quick Pitch competition, organized by TCA at Qualcomm.

About Tech Coast Angels:
Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, and a leading source of funding for seed-stage and early-stage companies across all innovation industries in Southern California. TCA members are accredited investors who individually invest in startup companies, and as a group, TCA has invested up to $6M in a single company. Companies in which TCA invest go through well-structured, transparent, and time efficient screening and due diligence. TCA members are themselves founders and executive-level business leaders who have extensive knowledge in the investment process and world-class business practices. TCA members thus provide companies with more than just capital; they also contribute counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of investors, customers, strategic partners and management.

TCA is a catalyst in the growth of the thriving Southern California entrepreneurial ecosystem of innovation, funding mostly emerging technologies and life science companies. A recent Halo Report rated TCA as #2 nationally in a number of funded deals, and a recent analysis by CB Insights ranked TCA #1 out of 370 angel groups on “Network Centrality” and #5 overall in “Investor Mosaic.” Since its founding in 1997, TCA has invested over $230 million in more than 400 companies and has helped attract more than $1.6 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. Tech Coast Angels – San Diego is the largest of the five chapters and has invested more than $12M in 2019. For more information, please visit

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Kimber Smith Fidler
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