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(Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal) – Investors who have been putting their money into businesses across the Southeast for the past year have kicked off a Jacksonville-based angel investing group focusing on financial services and health care technology.

JAXAngels Investment Group LLC, which is made up of 21 investors on the First Coast, has invested $1.5 million in four tech startups around the Southeast U.S. since June 2019.

The typical size of investments range from $100,000 to $500,000, JAXAngels founding investor Kay Nichols told the Business Journal on Tuesday.

The group is focusing on financial services and health tech because many of the investors who are part of the group came out of those backgrounds. The group has connections to several organizations in Jacksonville, including PS27 Ventures, Bank of America, PNC and BBVA, with the investors — whose names are not being disclosed — serving on a number of private and public company boards.

Nichols worked at FIS for eight years before helping to launch JAXAngels and serves on the board of several Jacksonville organizations including OnPay Solutions.

“Financial services are a big part of this region,” she said. “Many of us (investors) come out of financial services, and have a tech-healthcare-medtech background, so it’s a good fit with the advice and mentoring component that we bring to the table.”

Those type of companies are also good investments, she said.

“We tend to orientate toward those kinds (fintech and health tech) of investments because, No. 1, we think they’re in extremely high growth industries where there’s a lot of traction,” Nichols said. “Secondly, these types of firms lend themselves very well to software as a service and e-commerce delivery models, which we think is important because we like to see recurring revenue models.”

The group’s investments include Orlando-based app Miventure, for which it led a $256,000 seed round, the Orlando-based company announced Jan. 8.

Miventure has an app that enables businesses to get microloans from friends, family or investors across the country.

The JAXAngel-led investment will help Miventure sign up more brick and mortar businesses across Orlando and Florida for its app, CEO Jason Crystal told Orlando Business Journal in early January. 

In order to choose firms to invest in, Nichols said JAXAngels’ due diligence team, separate from the investors, looks at things like revenue and management.

She said Jacksonville is a different environment for investors. While New York or Silicon Valley has more competition, Jacksonville provides more opportunities for funds like JaxAngels.

Nichols said some of her co-investors are women and that more women need to be involved in finance.

“You know, I think the one thing that’s exciting for me is that we have a fairly strong component of women in our cohort,” Nichols said. “Financial services is clearly a massive growth area, and more and more women are getting involved in it.”

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