The next time you make a plane departure by the skin of your teeth because you paid tolls using your EZ Pass RFID chip, think of Santa Fe Capital Group, sponsor of the New Mexico Venture Capital Club where Los Alamos Labs scientist, Gary Seawright, described his RFID tag, initially designed for hogs’ ears, to a roomful of New Mexico angels, some of who went for the deal.
A Sampling of the Companies We’ve Helped
When Arnaud Cazenove’s daughter, the legendary passenger dressed in all black in the first carriage of every Mardi Gras parade, decided to sell Arnaud’s, one of the oldest Creole restaurants in the French Quarter in New Orleans, she chose Andy Casbarian as the buyer, and he selected Santa Fe Capital Group to raise the capital for the purchase.
Ben Dyer, the founding CEO of Peachtree Software, reached out to Santa Fe Capital to raise the first venture capital round for Peachtree Software, whose accounting software gave meaning to the need for businesses to purchase the earliest laptop computers. The round was $360,000 and it was led by two Florida venture capital funds, notwithstanding that the company was based in Atlanta.
Today it has revenues of $5.0 billion and a market capitalization of $4.7 billion, but when Santa Fe Capital Group raised the capital for the forerunner, Citizens Communications, it had revenues of less than $2.5 million. Tommy Hicks, the legendary Texas venture capitalist, was at the SBIC that led the investment.
When Tommy Davis split off from Davis & Rock (providers of $450,000 to launch Intel Corp.), he selected David Silver to help him raise $6 million to launch Mayfield Fund. They traveled the country together for a few months in the early 1970’s explaining venture capital to insurance companies. Pension funds wouldn’t be able to invest in venture capital funds for another seven years.
Santa Fe Capital Group raised a $350,000 grant from the Connecticut Economic Development Corp. for this first maker of telephones to compete with AT&T after the Carterphone decision of 1968. The TIE phone had such unique functioning of music on hold and conferencing.
This Chicago start-up was advised by Santa Fe Capital Group in 2012 in a $5 million raise to begin pouching rice, raisin, cranberry, tuna, salmon and other food producers. When food producers switch from boxes and cans to pouches, they are out in front of the drive to reduce carbon emissions, because an 18-wheeler can carry many more pouches of Uncle Ben’s Rice from the manufacturer to Kroger’s warehouses.
We raised $7 million in asset-based loans to enable Victor Kiam to acquire this leading electric shaver company in Bridgeport, CT.
Inception Media Group, Inc., Santa Monica, CA, was growing its subsidiary Inception Digital Services, Inc. at the same time, which was storing movies on USBs. Santa Fe Capital Group was asked to find an acquirer for Inception Digital Services, Inc. in early 2012 and Bonded Services, Inc. made the purchase in July, 2012.
Is Siri understanding you better? If so, you can thank Santa Fe Capital Group’s portfolio company Cognition Technologies, Inc., which owns a natural language search engine. We launched Cognition in 2003 with angel capital. In June, 2013, the company was acquired by Nuance, Inc., which has the contract to improve Siri.
Bruce Failing, and his family, conceived of the notion of monetizing the supermarket shopping cart, bringing new revenues to supermarkets and a new advertising medium to the brands. We raised $1,500,000 for one-third of ActMedia, and the company was acquired by News Corporation, where it now does $1 billion in revenues. Our small equity kicker was our biggest ROI to date.
We raised the angel capital in 2002 to launch this Draper, UT online retailer of boats and boating accessories, whose sales are now $24 million, making it the largest online retailer in its field with 1.1 million active members buying, selling and trading boating accessories.
We did two angel capital rounds for this Fremont, CA VoIP wholesaler in 2003 -04, whose sales are now $180 million and growing.
When Francis Ford Coppolla’s 1982 movie, “One From the Heart” went way over budget — $2 million became $25 million – American Zoetrope became a candidate for a bankruptcy proceeding. Santa Fe Capital Group was called in to effect a workout and turnaround, and collateral was found.
Arguably the best entrepreneur that nobody outside of Los Angeles has ever heard of, Robin has launched, built and sold four companies – Lexi International, Ticketmaster, MP3 Communications and Notification Technology, Inc. Santa Fe Capita Group raised the capital for Robin’s first company, Lexi International, Inc.
We were asked to raise capital to enable Ms. Lan to buy-out her early backers and today, she is the sole owner of a hugely successful insurance underwriter and agency. It recently became licensed in Illinois.
Santa Fe Capital Group sensed an opportunity to profit from the plethora of small, rapidly-growing Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) and Web hosters. We raised relatively little capital for early-stage companies, and focused our skills on brokering the sale of ISPs and Web hosters to large aggregators. Many who we helped to make wealthy, are members of our angel investing group.