> Sofia Fund
Longest-running Angel Investment
Longest-running Angel Investment
Sofia Fund is one of the longest-running angel investment groups focused exclusively on funding women-owned and women-led startups. Its genesis, in 1998, was to bring more funding to women entrepreneurs and more women into investing.
Sofia partners hail from Minnesota’s most successful corporations and startups, and make many investments in their own backyard.
Sofia Fund managing partners Lisa Crump, Joy Lindsay, Cathy Connett and Dee Thibodeau
Sofia Fund is changing the trajectory of investing to achieve parity for women to release their tremendous financial opportunity and economic contributions. Women-led startups generate 20% more revenue with 50% less investment than other companies.
Private tech companies led by women, a focus for Sofia Fund, achieve 35% higher ROI. Since Sofia Fund started investing 20 years ago, the number of women-owned companies in the US has grown by 114%. Today, women-owned businesses in the U.S. generate $1.8 trillion in revenues per year.
Despite these powerful statistics, women-owned early stage companies receive only 7% of venture funding. Sofia Fund partners play active roles in growing Sofia Fund portfolio businesses, leveraging their deep expertise and broad networks to help women entrepreneurs achieve success.
Sofia, the fund’s namesake, was a Greek goddess that symbolizes the wisdom, resources and knowledge, in addition to funding, that Sofia Fund provides to its portfolio companies to achieve the ultimate success—a profitable outcome for women leaders and their investors.
Sofia Fund portfolio company Kidizen is a peer-to-peer marketplace to share, shop and sell kid’s clothes, shoes, accessories and more.
Sofia Fund invests in exceptional women-led companies—those with strong leaders and highly compelling business models that are scalable and use technology to solve real problems and tap into major market needs.
The managing partners use a rigorous process for selecting high-growth opportunities and then operate as a cross between individual angel investors and venture capitalists. With this model, Sofia Fund companies’ returns have been above market averages.
To date, Sofia Fund’s professional women investors have invested over $13 million in more than 70 companies. Sofia Fund investments average $100,000–$500,000 per company in $500,000–$2 million rounds of equity in companies exiting within 3-5 years.
The Fund invests in tech- enabled companies in the information technology (IT), business products and services, and health and wellness sectors.
Sofia Fund invested in Tactile Medical, which helps people suffering from chronic diseases live better and care for themselves at home.
Sofia Fund portfolio companies have earned strong reputations for growth and long-term success and include Coolibar, Tactile Medical Systems, Rebiotix, and Vixar.
From its second fund of $5.5 million, Sofia has invested in 10 companies to date with a current portfolio that includes Kidizen, a Minnesota-based online resale marketplace for children’s clothing; Landit, an online platform for women’s development; and Kenzen, which makes a wearable device to track body heat.
Portfolio companies also include CogRX, Oculogica, and JoyLux, all winners of the Angel Capital Association’s Luis Villalobos Award for ingenuity and innovation.
Recent investments by the Fund include Knowledge to Practice (K2P), which creates online learning for physicians; Storm Sensor, a technology provider for managing stormwater; and Abilitech, a medtech company that develops assistive devices for people with neuromuscular challenges.
Abilitech is the 2019 winningest startup in Minnesota, recognized by the Minnesota High Tech Association with a TEKNE award in the MedTech category and as the in grand-prize winner and winner in the women-led category in the Minnesota Cup program, the largest startup competition in the country.
Partner Laura McCoolidge represents Sofia Fund the Kansas City region.
Successful exits from the Sofia Fund current portfolio include these Minnesota companies: laser company Vixar, acquired by German-based Osram; microbiome company Rebiotix, acquired by Swiss-based Ferring Holding; and Tactile Medical Systems, a company originally founded to assist women dealing with lymphedema, that had a successful IPO.
For frequent commentary on angel investing and to track the companies Sofia Fund invests in, visit SofiaFund.com.