The first investments out of Cascade Angels’ 2017 fund went to two Oregon companies, one of which makes devices for “internet of things” connectivity, and the other a women’s clothier.

Cascade Angels announced Wednesday its investments in Rigado Inc., based in Salem, and Wildfang, of Portland. The precise amount of the investments was not disclosed, but Cascade Angels typically invests $100,000 to $250,000 per company, said Julie Harrelson, CEO of Harrelson Group Inc., fund manager for Cascade Angels.

About 75 companies answered Cascade Angels’ call for applications this year, Harrelson said. Cascade Angels invested along with the Oregon Angel Fund in Rigado, which in 2016 launched devices that help product designers connect to the “internet of things.” The internet of things refers to networked devices that provide content and information no matter the user’s location. Wildfang sells menswear-inspired women’s clothing online and in two Portland stores.

Rigado received $3.3 million from the group led by the Oregon Angel Fund, and Wildfang received $2.35 million in the Oregon Angel Fund round.

Rigado, which has 250 customers and several million in annual revenue, describes its products as “building blocks” for the internet of things, said Kevin Tate, chief marketing officer.

The company makes modules that use low-energy Bluetooth technology to connect “smart” products to the cloud. Rigado also makes an internet-of-things “gateway,” which hospitals, shops and restaurants can use to manage and control the connectivity of multiple cloud-connected devices.

Rigado, which raised $1.9 million in addition to the Oregon Angel Fund-led round, will use the capital to keep up with demand for its products and expand overseas, Tate said. Founded in 2010, Rigado previously did custom work for electronics manufacturers and was self-funded, he said.

Wildfang will use its capital to expand its line of apparel and open stores in Los Angeles and New York, according to a Cascade Angels press release. The company was started in 2013 by Emma McIlroy and Julia Parsley, both former Nike employees.

Rigado and Wildfang will not be Cascade Angels’ only investments this year. “We anticipate the fund will invest close to $1 million this year,” Harrelson said.

Cascade Angels usually invests in companies competing in the Bend Venture Conference, and it may also fund other companies that directly submit applications, Harrelson said.

Cascade Angels has invested $2 million in 15 early-stage companies since 2014. The venture fund’s mission is to fuel economic growth in Oregon while creating opportunity for investors.

Though it was created in Bend, the fund has investors from around Oregon and outside the state, Harrelson said.

— Reporter: (541)617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com

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