Tucson’s Desert Angels have been ranked among the top 10 “angel” investor groups nationwide for 2013.

The Halo Report, a yearly update of early-stage investment activity of private-equity angel groups around the country, ranked the Desert Angels the eighth-most-active angel group in the nation based on the total number of deals last year.

The Desert Angels, who have more than 95 members, invested more than $5.5 million into 23 different companies in 2013, the group’s largest investment year to date since its inception in 2000.

In the last four years, the local group has invested $16 million, mainly in Arizona companies in fields including life science, mobile apps, medical software, optics and clean technology.

“Our group is working hard to build and support a strong startup ecosystem in Tucson, and Arizona in general,” Desert Angels Chairman Curtis Gunn said.

Angel investors are groups of accredited investors — affluent individuals whose assets or income qualify them to make private-equity investments — that typically vet companies together but invest individually.

There are more than 220 recognized angel groups in the United States, according to data from the Angel Capital Association. Gunn is in his first year as a board member of the Angel Capital Association.

Contact Assistant Business Editor David Wichner at dwichner@azstarnet.com or 573-4181.