North Bay Angels develops new 'Flex-Mezz' financing

SANTA ROSA and NAPA -- The North Bay Angels is going into the loan business and Napa technology company Visicon stands to gain.

[caption id="attachment_64580" align="alignleft" width="162"] Che Voigt[/caption]

Dubbed Flex-Mezz, the flexible loan model is intended to help grow companies that slip through the cracks between equity investors and banks, according to angel investor Che Voigt.

“Some companies are profitable and growing, but don’t plan on a sale to pay off investors,” said Mr. Voigt, founder of early stage investment company Crossover Ventures.

“Others have not yet reached the volume and revenues that will quality them for debt financing. We wanted to reach these companies with a flexible loan program that will take them to the next level without taking a large bite of equity.”

The current return interest rates are kept in the “generally low double digits, in line with similar types of financing,” he said, set so that both investor and recipient can make a profit. There can be a further upside for the investor if the company is successful in its growth.

Just launched, the Flex-Mezz model has already aroused the interest of other angel groups, he said. It’s among several new programs started by the Sonoma County-based North Bay Angels (, which is attracting new members and a wider variety of companies seeking investment funding.

Visicon, the new model’s prime test case, typifies the company the Angels are targeting. The maker of highly automated machine vision systems for medical device manufacturers has a proven track record and is profitable and growing, but needed operating capital.

[caption id="attachment_64581" align="alignright" width="360"] Viscon sells its vision systems to makers of stents and other medical devices all over the world.[/caption]

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