*NEWS: San Diego Chapter of TCA Invests $1 Million Each in Two Startups

The San Diego chapter of Tech Coast Angels, a leading SoCal angel investment group, announced its most recent $1 million-plus investments in two startups: Mercato and Discover Echo (formerly Echo Labs).

With more than $12 million total invested in 2019, the San Diego chapter just closed funding rounds of $1.1 million in Mercato and $1 million in Echo Labs.

This increases the number of million-dollar investments to four by TCA San Diego in 2019, with DTx Pharma and Atlazo funded earlier this year.

All of these deals were led by TCA San Diego’s recently-unveiled annual ACE Fund.

ACE Fund 19 invested $2.2 million 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,” Dean Rosenberg, TCA San Diego president and ACE fund manager said in a December 4 press release.

ACE is an annual fund model – raising and deploying fresh capital to early stage companies each year,” Ashok Kamal, executive director of the chapter said in the release. “Therefore, a $4M annual fund is like having another $40M early-stage VC in San Diego.”

The latest ACE Fund 19 investments are for new and existing TCA portfolio companies.

The new annual fund, ACE Fund 20, closed in October with $3.7 million, which the chapter plans to invest by the end of 2020.

Mercato is a SaaS e-commerce platform for independent grocers that previously announced $3 million in funding for this round from investors like Greycroft, Loeb.NYC, Blackbird Ventures, and Correlation Ventures.

TCA’s participation brings Mercato’s total round to over $4 million.

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,” Mercato’s CEO, Bobby Brannigan, said in the release.

Discover Echo, which sells next-gen microscopes to pharma companies and academic institutions, raised its third round of funding from TCA, bringing its total from the group to over $4 million out of over $15 million 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 TCA

Tech Coast Angels is a leading source of funding for seed-stage and early-stage companies across all innovation industries in SoCal.

TCA members are accredited investors who individually invest in startups, and as a group.

TCA has invested up to $6 million in a single company.

Startups go through screening and due diligence.

TCA members are themselves founders and executive-level business leaders. So, they also contribute counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of investors, customers, strategic partners and management.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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