October 11, 2017
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There’s a bit of mystery behind Propel(x)! Little is visible without creating an account. We receive a lot of questions – What kind of investment opportunities are on Propel(x)? Why are these companies not accessible without creating an account? And finally, the biggest question of all – Why does one need to answer so many just to create an account on Propel(x)?
Let me address these here:
Lets start with the last question first – why so many questions just to create an account. Short answer – it’s the regulation. Propel(x) subsidiary, Hubble Investments, is a FINRA member Broker-Dealer. This imposes some obligations on us – obligations to protect our investors. Our job is to make sure that only accredited investors are accessing these opportunities and that these investors are taking risks that are suitable to their financial and personal situation. For example, we want to make sure all investors have some investing background, sufficient liquidity, understand that these are speculative investments etc. Hence all the questions to register. We are merely fulfilling our obligations to our investors.
Next, why are companies not visible without creating an account. Short answer – it’s the regulation. Since these are high risk opportunities, we are required to ensure that only those individuals who can bear the risk actually invest in these. In other words, accredited investors only. Hence the password barrier.
Finally, and most interestingly, what kinds of companies are available on Propel(x). This merits a longer discussion. We have now closed 70+ deals and have had several exits. So we have some track record here. Feel free to review some of the companies that have been featured on Propel(x).
We focus on deep technology startups – companies founded on scientific or engineering breakthroughs. These typically fall into six big sectors:
- Life Sciences (includes therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, software relevant to life sciences and similar)
- Energy and Greentech (includes things like batteries, recycling solutions, alternative fuels etc.)
- Aerospace and Transportation (satellites, propulsion systems, software, electric vehicles etc.)
- Industrial Technologies (manufacturing and process industries, IoT, etc.)
- Food and Agtech
- Information Technology and Communications (Hardware and software related to computing and infrastructure)
Heres a matrix of the sectors and technologies that we work with:
We include both hardware and software in our offerings. Most sectors include companies offering ‘AI for …’. Examples: AI for drug discovery, AI for determining cancer therapies, AI for improved grid management, AI for improved water resource management, AI for … you name it.
Although our startups typically began at research labs or institutions, they are not science projects. Far from it. We look for meaningful customer traction. Successful companies have substantial traction in the form of revenues, pilot projects, joint development agreements, investment from corporate strategics, investment from VCs etc.
In terms of stage, we have done everything from pre-seed to pre-acquisition! However, the sweet spot is Seed / Series A. Startups raising anything from $500K – $5M or more. Companies that succeed on Propel(x) tend to have raised much of their round off-line, before coming on to Propel(x).
Our Director of Investments, Mark Zhu has helpfully put together this table of what we typically look for:
If you are a company that fits the criteria above, please create a profile here.
Finally, most of our companies have come from referrals. If you know a company that fits these criteria, please have them reach out to us here.
And, if you are an accredited investor, and these startups are of interest to you, please join the community here.