Nihal Mehta is no Super Angel, but it’s likely he will have a big impact on wireless startups.
Mehta and three other University of Pennsylvania graduates are today announcing the launch of their mobile-focused, seed stage investment fund, ENIAC Ventures.
Based in New York, the angel fund raised “a couple million dollars” from strategic LPs in the mobile industry, according to Mehta, who declined to disclose the exact size of the fund or the names of his investors. An SEC filing also does not list the firm’s offering amount.
The firm takes its unusual name from the first computer that was developed at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering, where the four partners met as undergrad engineering students back in the ’90s.
Mehta (pictured) is no stranger to angel investing. He was an investor in mobile ad marketplace AdMob, which Google bought for $750 million earlier this year. AdMob previously raised more than $46 million from Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, DFJ Growth Fund and a host of angel investors.
Joining Mehta as managing members of ENIAC are three other veterans of the wireless industry: Hadley Harris, Vic Singh and Tim Young. The four ENIAC partners, who each contributed to the seed fund, have already invested in six wireless startups from the new fund, including Localytics, MightyMeeting, Instinctiv and Philo. Mehta says the firm will look at deals across the mobile sector, including mobile apps, infrastructure, advertising and even cell tower transmitters.
Mehta says that the firm expects to invest in between 30 and 50 startups over the next few years, with investments ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. About half of the fund will be reserved for follow-on rounds. “We want to be able to double-down on Series A rounds on companies that we think are worth it,” says Mehta, who adds the firm will not take any management fees for its investments.
“The four GPs don’t need it,” he says. “We all have day jobs.”
Mehta, for instance, is CEO of buzzd, a New York-based provider of a social city guide that raised VC funding from the Blackberry Partners Fund, Qualcomm Ventures, Greycroft Partners and Monitor Ventures. Before that, Mehta founded ipsh!, a full-service mobile marketing agency in 2001, which he sold for an undisclosed price to Omnicom in 2005.
Although it will primarily do deals in Silicon Valley, Boston and New York, ENIAC is open to doing deals outside of those hot spots, Mehta says. For example, the team is currently looking at a wireless startup in India.