Transylvania Angels Network

Year in review and goals for next year

As we have just closed this year’s activity we thought about creating this article of overview about T.A.N. in 2020.  To begin with, T.A.N. (Transylvania Angels Network) kicked off in 2018 with the aim to create a local network of investors and facilitate deals between angel investors and early stage startups; while each member is deciding participation in funding rounds individually.

The goals for T.A.N. are to connect angel investors with startups (for funding and business support), to educate business people into angel investing and to provide startup mentoring, business opportunities for the members of the network, access to potential business opportunities and investment (for investors). In total we had so far 18 meetups with around 200 participants in total, while 40 Romanian startups pitched for investment and feedback, from which 10 of them received investment from our 30 active members. 

Regarding the investments facilitated so far, T.A.N. members have participated in 10 pre-seed investment rounds totaling around €350K:

  1. Telios (March 2020) – a telemedicine startup founded by Philip Choban, which gives the customers immediate and direct access to experienced doctors and other healthcare professionals. People save time by avoiding the issues prevalent with accessing traditional medical care, some of which are, synchronizing appointments with their schedules, wasting time in traffic or waiting room delays.
  2. Tully (April 2020) – co-founded by Adina Rus, Marius Rus, Florin Lazăr and Victor Paul Barna, this is a wearable device helping children learn how to control themselves and cope with emotional flares and diminished attention problems. Their initial focus is on the hyperactivity aspect, where Tully’s biofeedback and analytic algorithms can make an important difference in the child’s emotional and behavioral balance and allow them to reach their full academic potential.
  3. AiVA (July 2020) – a deep-tech startup based in Cluj-Napoca focused on creating A.I. solutions that help clients monetize their CCTV infrastructure by unlocking data that is collected but never used (founded by Pushkar Chatterji).
  4. Cyscale (September 2020) – founded by Ovidiu Cical, Cyscale is a cybersecurity solution that empowers companies to gain real-time visibility and control over cloud environments, assets, and sensitive data so that they can secure and embrace their digital future.
  5. ThinkOut (October 2020) is a startup from Iași, founded by Cristi Bârlădeanu, providing a smart tool for SME owners and managers so they can make business decisions easily, based on the cash flow input.
  6. iFactor (November 2020) – B2B platform that brings together SMEs that need liquidity and investors (banks, funds, institutional and private individual investors) with the intention to provide liquidity to the SMEs through buying their outstanding invoices (founded by Cosmin Curticăpean).
  7. OncoChain (November 2020) – co-founded by Mădălin Mărgan and Roxana Mărgan, the startup aims to improve the quality of medical care for oncologic patients by creating a framework to facilitate the provision of patient-centered health services.
  8. In November, after a group call with  Plant an App’s founder, a few of our members contributed to their crowdfunding campaign on Republic.  PlanAnApp is low-code cloud-based platform, founded by Bogdan Lițescu, for the rapid development and deployment of different kinds of web applications.
  9. Nifty Learning – provides a complete end to end software solution to organise training sessions, optimise class scheduling, track training budgets, manage administrative tasks and increase overall performance of the training department (led by Letiția Stefan). We’ve been in contact with the Nifty Learning team since 2018 and we’ve seen their startups’ evolution, surmounting challenges and persevering in achieving their goals.
  10. In December 2020, T.A.N. contributed to How to Web’s Startup Spotlight 225K euro prize which was won by Cartloop – it helps merchants recover their abandoned carts and generate sales by texting customers in real-time. By using experts to engage with customers in real-time, Cartloop is bringing the in-store shopping experience online, creating a new marketing channel (co-founded by Andrei Negrău and Lisa Popovici).

Florin Pop one of most active members says: 

“As a T.A.N. member and ambassador I focus on helping people that are willing to become angel investors. From my point of view considering that angel investing is probably one the highest risk exposure, I am aware how important it is for an early angel to have some guidelines, tools, and methods that T.A.N. can provide to them in this angel investing process. In an angel’s club, the new member will look and follow the most experienced members so there is also important the ethics and facilitating roles of those experienced members. When I started this activity a few years ago I hadn’t such an opportunity but now T.A.N is growing thanks to a good management team and it brings more and more value and benefits to its members.

Angel Investors are capable enough to support the companies they invest in several ways. Foremost, they can help in widening the startup network due to their strong connections with potential customers, traders, and financial institutions. Also the most active angel investors will become Board Advisors in the syndicated startup. So finally, it is not only about raising money, it is mainly about raising goodpartners and minds (being the most valuable assets of a startup) … and that’s why it calls smart money”

We’re glad to say that the past year has been fruitful also in strengthening the positioning and visibility of T.A.N. in the Romanian ecosystem and the developing connection with 15 other Romanian angel networks and VC Funds. From the 10 investments made, 9 of them were done together with other angel investors or networks.

“In the past year we accomplished more than was planned. This included creating a membership process, bringing together several of the other Romanian angel networks for learning and investing, hosting over 40 startups pitching to the group and then investing in 9 of them, as well as participating in many online events to continue helping young entrepreneurs and raising awareness of the Romanian startup ecosystem. Our aim for 2021 is to continue growing the T.A.N. network, reaching 100 members and 200 associates, continue collaboration efforts with other angel networks, inside and outside of Romania, and of course to facilitate new startup investments.” – says Emmett King, co-founder of T.A.N.

Goals for 2021

Based on the progress done in the past year, we have the following aims for 2021

– Evaluate 300 startups from Romania
– Invest in 20 startups
– Grow to 100 members in the network

“As the goals say, the following year will be focused on a steady growth. As well, we aim to increase the collaboration with the local organisations in Cluj with all investment organisations in Romania and to connect with VC funds and BANs in Europe. Being a project of the Cluj Startups non-profit gives us the chance to plug in to the local ecosystem and support also in mentoring, connections and programs“– added Mircea Vadan, board member in T.A.N. and Cluj Startups

For membership

Being a part of our network comes with the benefits like: 
– being informed on the startup ecosystem
– startup scouting and monitoring
– networking and connections
– education on startup investment topics
– support in the startup investment process.

For more details on membership benefits and processes please fill in the form featured on our website and we will come back to you to set a call/meeting. 

For startups

Also you have the opportunity to present your startup so if you want to get in touch for pitching to our members, please fill in the form on our website. We’re welcoming startups which are launched or close to launch and which are looking for pre-seed or seed. Our investment tickets can vary depending on the startups and members’ interest, from 5K to 100K euro.

The process that we have set up for startups (it can take between one and three months)

Step 1 – Get in touch by filling the form
Step 2 – Validate fit and interest from our side
Step 3 – Present to members of T.A.N. in a meetup or in a separate call
Step 4 – Come back with list of interested members
Step 5 – Proceed with syndication from the committed members or together with other investors

For any questions or details, email us at management at taninvest dot ro