Respect Wellness gets venture capital from new New Mexico Vintage Fund
Jul 25, 2022
Santa Fe-based Respect Wellness was among the first four early-stage companies to receive funding from the new New Mexico Vintage Fund 2022 venture capital fund that is a partner of the New Mexico Angels. The vintage fund starts with about $2 million from dozens of New Mexico investors, mostly members of the New Mexico Angels, a loose network of 130 angel investors, defined as individuals typically investing in early-stage companies. The fund expects to invest an average of $150,000 each in about 10 to 14 New Mexico companies, said Drew Tulchin, president of New Mexico Angels and managing partner of the New Mexico Vintage Fund. Tulchin expects to launch a new fund each year with different sets of investors. The “vintage” derives from the vintage or year of a wine, or in this case, the year of the investment fund. “The fund is a really strong step forward [for the New Mexico Angels] to have more investors investing in New Mexico companies,” Tulchin said. Albuquerque early-stage companies Build With Robots and BennuBio and Rio Rancho-based Green Theme Technologies received the other vintage fund investments. “The first four were companies we got to know over spring,” Tulchin said. “These are quality companies. We have monthly investor forums where companies share what they are doing and we have quarterly social events.”
Respect Wellness has developed four CBD-based products for women ages 45 and older that provide menopause balance, restorative sleep, facial treatments and relief for ache and pains. CEO Francine Sommer started the company in late 2020 and expects to offer the products later in the year. “They are a significant investor,” Sommer said about New Mexico Vintage Fund without specifying an investment amount. “It will help us launch our company and market our product.”
Sommer herself is a venture capitalist and was an early investor in Santa Fe tech company Descartes Labs. “I think the vintage fund plays a very important role for early-stage companies,” Sommer said. Early-stage companies, generally still in the research and development phase, typically have little or no revenue and rely on investors for operating funds. “This is a unique fund designed specifically to leverage capital for early-stage and high growth local companies, New Mexico entrepreneurs and entities whose products and services will benefit New Mexicans,” Tulchin said.