Ariel Savannah Angel Partners (ASAP), an angel investing group based in Savannah, has named Richmond Hill resident Carl D. Francis as its new board chairman.
Francis has been an ASAP member since 2006. He has served on the group’s board since 2017 and was appointed vice chair last year. Francis’ new role became effective this month as he takes the takes the reins from former Chairman Beau Anders, a Landings- based retired Silicon Valley KPMG Managing Partner.
Angel investors provide capital to startup businesses, typically in exchange for a stake in the company or a debt security.
ASAP, founded in 2005, has become one of the biggest angel investment groups in the Southeastern U.S. and currently has investments in 35 companies. ASAP’s portfolio includes a number of interesting and high-potential businesses that are developing high-tech medical devices, new surgical procedures, genetic engineering solutions, advanced breastfeeding technologies, agricultural technologies, the use of artificial intelligence in skin care and cancer detection, a high-end bourbon distillery, a manufacturer of ancient- grain-based vegan buttermilk products that just launched into Whole Foods, and more.
Francis recently retired as CEO of Eyoto, a European MedTech business based in Birmingham, England that specializes in the development of advanced engineering and AI software platforms for the optical and ophthalmic industries.
Before joining and investing in Eyoto in 2017, he spent eight years as CEO of P2i, a nano-technology spin-out from the UK Ministry of Defense based in Oxford, England which he grew from a pre-revenue start up into the dominant global player in the functional nano-coating industry.
Francis also spent three years as CEO acquiring, running, and successfully exiting Adria Ltd., Ireland’s largest textile business, in a leveraged buyout on behalf of a small private equity group in which he was a founding partner.
Francis has also held several non-executive roles, including chairman of London-based HSD Communications Ltd. from 1998 to 2007. He started his career as a certified public accountant, is a member of Mensa, and has a BSc from the University of Cincinnati. Francis and his British wife Lesley live in Richmond Hill.