Fundroom.com looks to match investors with start-ups - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Fundroom.com looks to match investors with start-ups

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A start-up business is hoping to start-up investment in other small businesses. A Richmond-based web company called FundRoom.com matches entrepreneurs with angel investors.

It's hard for entrepreneurs to get seed money because most of us like to invest in established companies on Wall Street. FundRoom.com hopes to make it easier for investors to discover new companies.

FundRoom is like a matchmaking website for investors and new businesses.

Explains CEO Matt Dellorso, "An entrepreneur will come to our website looking to complete their fundraising route. Oftentimes entrepreneurs with great companies will need additional capital."

It was started by two University of Richmond graduates. CEO Matt Dellorso says the site has already attracted and vetted 80 investors and 250 start-up businesses.

Said Dellorso, "Companies that are in the green energy space, or software as a service, consumer internet, or medical devices, sometimes therapeutics."

He says angel investors can choose companies they like and usually invest $50,000 to $250,000. Friends and family of an entrepreneur can also get involved, usually investing a couple thousand dollars. The result so far: Dellorso says FundRoom has funded two ventures with a total of $3.5 million.

"We had a company based in Norfolk, Virginia that was creating a software system around electronic medical records and we helped them get substantial capital," Dellorso tells us.

Scott Bleicher invested in FundRoom.com itself because he hopes it will bring new opportunities to the forefront.

"The chance to see businesses you wouldn't usually see on CNBC, network news," Bleicher says. "It really gives you a chance to be a part of something from the bottom up."

FundRoom operates like an investment bank through a partnership with a licensed broker dealer. When an investment is transacted, FundRoom takes 4% to 8% commission, and hopes to bring to bring a new business to bear.

Said Dellorso, "In a startup, there's a lot more excitement, a little more risk, usually a lot more hands-on, tangible passion for what they're trying to accomplish."

FundRoom is concentrating on Richmond area businesses now, but hopes to expand nationwide this year.

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