By American-Statesman Staff
The original article can be found here
Two Austin investors have started a new investment firm that will back early-stage companies in exchange for a share of future revenue.
Next Step Capital Partners will invest in companies seeking between $100,000 to $500,000 to expand sales, launch new products or carry out other growth plans, said founders Dan Keelan and Patrick Drew.
Unlike venture capitalists or angel investors, Next Step will not take an equity stake in the company in exchange for the investment. Keelan said Next Step’s investment horizon is one to three years, and returns will be capped at a negotiated amount.
“For a lot of young companies, debt financing is undesirable if not unattainable, and angel and venture capital comes with too many entanglements,” he said.
The founders are investing their own money and have not raised money from outsiders, Keelan said. They will plan to make 10 to 15 investments, mostly in Texas, over the next year and a half, he said.
Next Step’s first investment is in Austin-based Hellfire Games, which said it used the funding to launch a new game for the Sony PlayStation.
Gavino Morin, Hellfire Games vice president, said the game, “Novus Prime,” is generating revenue and that Hellfire has begun making payments to Next Step Capital.
Keelan has held executive roles at companies including IBM Corp., Oracle Systems and i2 Technologies, and has invested in startups including Austin-based BizGreet and Challenge Games, which was acquired last year by Zynga.
Drew has held executive roles at Accenture, Trilogy and i2, and his investments include BME, an orthopedic implant startup in San Antonio, and Challenge Games.