Kayweb Angels opens applications for start-ups

Australian-run Kayweb Angels has opened its next round of applications for its US-based fund, having already invested in six start-ups including WhoIsGreen.com, which has Australian founders.


Kayweb Angels is a New York-based angel fund founded by Sydney entrepreneur Haig Kayserian, who is keen to add to his current portfolio.


The fund, which provides development services and mentoring in exchange for equity, is asking start-ups to submit their applications for investment consideration in April.


Start-ups have until February 29 to apply. According to Kayserian, there is no limit on the number of start-ups that will be selected.


The Kayweb Angels board will review and discuss each application at length, ensuring they meet the investment criteria.


“The form asks what problem your start-up is trying to solve and how,” Kayserian says.


“It asks for a summary of your competitive landscape and financial plan, as well as information about yourself.”


“These are all valid questions that entrepreneurs with business ideas need to answer for themselves before seeking investment anyway. “


“We may ask some entrepreneurs for additional information during this consideration process.”


“The best applications, which meet our investment criteria, are asked to pitch in person to Kayweb Angels. From those pitchers, we select our portfolio companies.”


Kayserian identities mobile as a major growth area in 2012, with US and Australian consumers using smartphones and tablets to browse online, rather than PCs and laptops.


“For this reason, I would like to see 4G growth accelerated, and public WiFi availability in Australia to match that which we see in the United States,” he says.


According to Kayserian, location-based services will also continue to grow as they become more embedded in social media and eCommerce.


“eCommerce will also grow in 2012… And, with the economic downturn still around, I expect group buying will stick around, albeit with fewer players,” he says.


“There are other areas – like niche directories, education and specialised social networking – that I am hearing some exciting things about.”


Kayserian says he’s he impressed by the level of activity he witnessed in Australia in 2011, namely the rise of start-up incubators such as Startmate and Pushstart.


“I saw a couple of big tech exits and also some funding coming in for Australian start-ups [in 2011],” Kayserian says.


“There is no reason why this will not continue in 2012, and I would more than welcome Aussies applying for Kayweb Angels for investment in projects that can prosper in the US.”


“There is a gaping hole in the tech investment market for a core investment of engineering services to businesspeople with great web or mobile ideas, but not enough technical knowledge to see these ideas into reality.”


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