The network funds everything from “kitty litter to rocket ships.” The 2015 investment total was $10 million more than the previous year.
Keiretsu Forum Northwest poured $43.5 million into 57 companies last year — a $10 million increase from the year before for the network of angel investors.
The Seattle-based network invests in companies all over the world, but focuses especially on its home turf. Thirty-five of the companies it funded in 2015 were from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.
The network funds everything from “kitty litter to rocket ships,” said Sherry Zins, president of the forum. Companies in the medical field were especially big last year, and real-estate companies made up 31 percent of total funding, she said.
Keiretsu has been growing its investor network, adding 96 members last year, and plans to keep investing more in the region. Its total funding increased by $10 million from 2014 to 2015, as well as from 2013 to 2014. The forum acquired Zino Society, another local investment group, in October.
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Traditionally, the forum has invested only in companies that complete its pitch-training program. Last year, it opened up a capital fund that could invest in companies that Keiretsu angels had already invested in individually or through other networks.
Keiretsu has chapters across the world and funds companies by taking startups through a training program, then having them pitch to member angel investors. Nearly 78 percent of the companies that finish the training program receive funding from Keiretsu investors.