26 Dec CAV Angels Defies the Venture Capital Slowdown, Investing $1 Million in Three UVAStartups just this week
As 2023 has seen a noticeable slowdown in venture funding and a surge in startup failures,
CAV Angels, the angel syndicate composed of University of Virginia alums, students, and
friends, is making waves with three substantial investments in the past 10 days. In a time when
most businesses are winding down for the holidays, CAV Angels is actively supporting UVA
startups, emphasizing its role as a pivotal force in nurturing entrepreneurial talent.
The Venture Capital Landscape: A Year of Slowdown
The venture capital landscape in 2023 has been marked by a year-long slowdown, creating a
challenging environment for startups seeking funding. According to a recent report by The New
York Times with data compiled by Pitchbook, a staggering 3,200 funded startups faced failure
this year, highlighting the increased difficulty in securing supportive capital in the current
economic climate. CAV Angels is not immune from this slowdown, with their team estimating
that their total dollars invested down 25% year-over-year, which is a factor of deal quality,
economy, and level of investor pickiness. However, when comparing Q4 of 2022 to this quarter,
CAV saw a staggering 165% increase in investments, with a slate equally as full going into Q1
CAV Angels Bucks the Trend with $1 Million in 10 Days
Amidst these challenges, CAV Angels has remained a critical resource for UVA startups. The
angel group has invested over $1 million in the past 10 days across three promising ventures:
One Health Group, Alfie Health, and Clockwork. This rapid injection of capital not only defies the
prevailing venture capital slowdown but also positions CAV Angels as a steadfast, crucial
supporter of UVA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Year-End Rush and the Unconventional CAV Strategy
While the end-of-year rush typically witnesses a decline in business activities, CAV Angels is
breaking from this tradition, displaying a strategic approach to investing when support is
needed. The group’s recent investments demonstrate a commitment to propelling UVA startups
forward, even in the face of broader economic challenges.
Albert Di Rienzo, Co-founder and President of One Health Group, shared his perspective on
working with CAV Angels: “From application submission through investment, and onward, it has
been, and continues to be, amazing working with CAV Angels. They are thorough, responsive,
collaborative, and highly engaged. It’s exciting and encouraging to see how CAV Angels have
come alongside OHG as a strategic partner. I look forward to OHG achieving great success with
them as a partner.”
CAV Angels: Nurturing UVA’s Entrepreneurial Spirit
Founded with the mission to catalyze UVA alumni’s engagement in burgeoning entrepreneurial
ecosystems, CAV Angels goes beyond traditional investment. Through tailored educational
programming, hands-on student engagement, and curated access to robust deal flow, CAV
Angels has become a driving force behind the growth of UVA’s startup community and student
exposure to VC-quality deal flow.
Alexander Singh, founder and CEO of Alfie Health, shared his unique journey with CAV Angels:
“I’d heard of CAV Angels before, as I was a 2019 SEAS graduate very involved in the
entrepreneurship programming while at UVA. However, it wasn’t until the Galant Challenge this
spring that I had the opportunity to connect with the CAV team. Their commitment to supporting
UVA founders and their teams set them apart from other investing groups.” Mark Galant, a
McIntire ’80 grad and member of CAV Angels, founded The Galant Center for Innovation and
Entrepreneurship at UVA McIntire and leads the annual Galant Challenge pitch competition.
Reaching Milestones and a Vision for the Future
CAV Angels reached a major milestone earlier this year, surpassing the $20 million mark in
cumulative startup investments by June of 2023. Rich Diemer, Managing Director of CAV Angels
and UVA McIntire ‘80 grad, projects that the group will surpass $25M early in 2024.
Furthermore, 30% of these portfolio founders were women, accounting both for the percentage
of founders themselves as well as dollars invested, a metric that is a staggering 28 percentage
points higher than the industry average.
The last of the third investments closed this week was into a CAV Angels partner, Clockwork.
Headquartered in Charlottesville, Clockwork offers a platform and technology to streamline
private investment portfolio monitoring. Clockwork serves as the hub for CAV investing
members, tracking their specific investments and portfolio companies. Alex Goodman,
Clockwork Founder wrote of this special partnership, “For Clockwork, the CAV relationship
represents one of high mutual trust and respect. We are thrilled to receive investment from CAV
as it provides us with inherent validation given the true sophistication and activity levels of the
CAV angels themselves. So we would like to express our gratitude, and we look forward to
further helping power CAV as its deal volumes and member base continue to expand in 2024
In Conclusion: CAV Angels Leading the Charge
As the year comes to a close, CAV Angels stands out as a key supporter of UVA startups,
investing consistently in excellent ventures despite the larger market trends. The group’s
commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurial growth paints a positive picture of the
future of UVA’s startup ecosystem.