Featured image text: "What is an Angel Investor".

What Is An Angel Investor and Where Do They Invest?

What is an Angel investor? In investment circles there is often talk of angel investors, but seldom is it explained what an is and where they invest. This article addresses that subject and we start by describing an angel investor who we shall call Tim.

On This Page

  1. What Exactly Is An Angel, and Where Do They Invest?
  2. Why Choose an Angel Investor?
  3. When to Seek Angel Investors
  4. Where to Find Angel Investors
  5. What Commitment Do Angel Investors Expect from the Business Owner?
  6. Angel Investors vs. Venture Capitalists: Who is Right For My Business?
  7. Where can I find angel investors?

Tim is an angel investor. Tim is maybe better known for his book the 4-hour workweek and all the life-hacking advice provided therein, but Tim is also a very successful angel investor. He got where he is now by focusing on what he knew well. That meant investing in a very particular type of company: typically consumer-facing, products that scratched a very personal itch. He got involved in companies where he could make a big impact as someone with a large network and very specialized knowledge.

Featured image text: "What is an Angel Investor".

The best strategy when you have no reputation, connections or core idea of which companies you want to invest to is to go anywhere you can to find great people. Come with no specific target in mind, you’re simply looking for unique, brilliant founders (and you already know how to spot one!). Best advice for a newbie angel investor is to research the industry you know best and identify what is missing from it. For example, do the customers have a problem nobody solves?

Angel investors deserve the name. They manifest, often at unexpected times, and give a heavenly cash injection to promising startups. But as we know, the life-saving arrivals of ethereal spirits and feathered winged spectres are not a common occurrence for miracle wishing founders when in trouble.

So, it’s important to know how to:

  • attract them to your SME,
  • understand what makes them tick, and
  • what makes them want to invest.

The advantages of gaining an angel investor are clear. A study conducted by Oxford Economics found that businesses backed by Angels between 2010-2015 experienced a turnover of over £9 billion and contributed £4.5 billion to GDP.

Thankfully for us, a global provider of training courses has outlined several key areas where Angel Investors are most likely to deposit their funds.

Why Choose an Angel Investor?

The big advantage is that financing from angel investments is much less risky than debt financing. Unlike a loan, invested capital does not have to be paid back in the event of business failure. And, most angel investors understand business and take a long-term view. Also, an angel investor is often looking for a personal opportunity as well as an investment.

Both angel investors and venture capitalists invest in startup businesses and entrepreneurs. However, there are key differences between these two types of investors.

Angel investors invest their own personal wealth. What they choose to invest in is at their own discretion, subject to no one else’s approval. That's why you can become an angel investor with a modest amount of $50.

An alternative to an angel investor can be to bring in venture capitalists who typically acquire funds through a pool of investors. For example, a venture capitalist may invest other people's money and may even be part of a Venture Capital firm.

When you enter into a negotiation with a VC or an Angel, remember that they are usually more experienced at it than you are, so it is almost always better not to try to negotiate in real-time.

Take requests away with you, and get help from VC or imagine k12 partners, advisors, or legal counsel. But also remember that although certain requested terms can be egregious, the majority of things credible VCs and angels will ask for tend to be reasonable.

Do not hesitate to ask them to explain precisely what they are asking for and why. If the negotiation is around valuation (or cap) there are, naturally, plenty of considerations, e. G. Other deals you have already closed.

When to Seek Angel Investors

Start developing relationships with angels before you need money. They will be more receptive to a conversation about an investment when you're ready.

Angel investments are long-term marriages. Once you've identified an angel you want to pitch, learn as much as you can about them. What are they investing in? Why do they invest?

Angel investors and VCs both take calculated risks when investing in the hopes of earning a healthy return on investment (ROI). So, what is the difference between angel investors and venture capitalists? being able to answer this question can save you time and help you seek funding from the best fit. Learn about key differences between angel investors and venture capitalists below.

One area that is remarkably similar between angel investors and venture capitalists is the rate of return they seek and it is not small. In general, both angel investors and venture capitalists want to see a return of about ten times their initial investment over five years. When the dust settles on this period, it can lead to these early investors having a roughly 30% ownership stake in the company. The reason that the required rate of return is so high for these early investors is that most startups will ultimately go bankrupt, leaving the angel investor or venture capitalist with nothing to show for their initial investment.

Jason Calacanis, one of the most successful angel investors in the world, shares his insights on how to become a successful angel investor at the start me up HK Festival 2020. As an entrepreneur, angel investor, author, and podcaster, Jason Calacanis is reputed to be one of the worlds most successful angel investors. Having previously worked as a reporter and conference producer, Jason started out his journey as an angel investor during the great recession in 2008.

In 2009, he launched the Open Angel Forum, a platform through which early-stage startup companies can seek funding via presentations to prospective angel investors. To date, Jason has invested in more than 150 early-stage startups including 7 unicorns (billion-dollar valuations) such as Uber, Calm, Thumbtack, and Robinhood, just to name a few.

Where to Find Angel Investors

When you're thinking about seeking funding from angel investors, you should know how to get in touch with these investors. The best way to do so is by following angel websites for investors who may be interested in your company.

By following lists of angel investors, you can learn more about the investors in question before you request funding from one or more of them. Doing your research now will increase your chances of obtaining the funding that you need to grow your startup.

Most angel investors don’t invest in full time. They may have full-time careers or a business outside of your niche. That means you’ll likely have to go out searching for them. But where do you find specialists such as real-estate angel investors?

Most investors who have raised angel capital from private investors say that networking is the best way to find real estate angel investors. Put together your elevator pitch and get out there meeting people to build your investment network.

Startup founders benefit from angels’ expertise as well as money, but they have to surrender some ownership and management control in return. Visit the business insider’s investing reference library for more stories. New companies need money to get off the ground, of course. But where to find it? Banks tend to shy away from infant enterprises. And despite all the ink spilt about venture capital funding, just. 05% of new businesses raise money from VCs, according to Fundable.

Curious about angel investing, but not sure where to start? Then how about following the angel academe writer-in-residence Jodie O’Keeffe for the low-down.  He says the first action is to find your tribe.

Beginner angel investors benefit from investing with a group, particularly to learn from more experienced investors. Check the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) website to find syndicates in your region and sector of interest. There is a female-focused Angel-Academe, for example.

Will the climate change/ decarbonisation agenda impact investors? Clearly so, sustainability features strongly at the Green Angel Syndicate, and with European blockchain angels, along with many region-based or university associated groups like Oxford, Cambridge, Kent, the Northeast and the Northwest UK, Wales and more. UKBAA also gives high-level information on the requirements for joining and membership fees for each group, services provided and investment range.

What Commitment Do Angel Investors Expect from the Business Owner?

One of the most common questions I get from my startup clients is, can you help me find investors? The answer is always a very lawyerly, well, yes and no.

I generally hate it when people say that, but it’s an honest answer.

First of all (and I’ve written about this before ), if you’re a baby startup, you should be able to raise $50k – $100k on your own. That’s simply the expectation around Texas. This money should come from your own savings, friends, family, and your personal network.

If you can’t get the people who know you the best to invest money, or if you’re not willing to put your own money into the company, how would you ever expect a total stranger to invest in you?

Let’s be clear, when people invest in a startup, especially early on, they are investing in you, not the idea.

Angel Investors vs. Venture Capitalists: Who is Right For My Business?

The big problem facing most new businesses is funding. How do you get the money you need in order to make your business grow?

Venture capital money gets invested in those businesses that have tremendous potential to grow. People who invest in venture capital are known as venture capitalists. Venture capital is an essential way for startups and small companies to get finance as they do not have access to capital markets. Venture capital funding has become popular as it provides above-average returns to investors. Uber has received total funding close to $8. 8 billion.

We’ve discussed some of the options in our guide to financing your business, but an increasingly popular choice is angel investment. Angel investors are different from banks or venture capitalists. They invest their own money, either personal wealth or business funds. With fewer people to consult and signatures to obtain, angel investment offers a quick route to funding.

Leads are not limited to serial investors. They range from venture capitalists like Jenny Rooke to Stanford law professors such as Jeff Schox. Many are entrepreneurs. These include Wayne Chang, whose startup CrashLytics had angel funding before being acquired by Twitter, raised £623,000. The majority don’t invest often but some are active. Jason Calacanis’ and the FG angels syndicates have, since 2014, made 11 and 33 investments respectively.

How Do Angel Investors Realise Their Gains?

Angel investors are usually wealthy professionals or serial entrepreneurs. They provide business funding, often to startups because of the potentially high rate of return. Many businesses use angel investment funds to get started.

For example, 41 per cent of technology sector startups said angel investors helped them, while the average deal size was $350,000. Angel investors can be found everywhere, not just in silicon valley. They invest in businesses whose products or market sectors they understand. They also look for a good business team because sometimes people are more important than the proposition.

The early $50,000 investments in Amazon could now be worth $8.5 billion. Unfortunately, any rise in the value of your shares is unrealized gain. You haven’t actually made any money until you sell those shares. Angel investors need to realize or bank at least some of their gains. This means that you need an exit point, or a liquidity event, where you can trade your shares in the company for cash after you’ve made a sizeable return.


Angel investor is a somewhat general term, and you can actually find these types of investors in a few different forms.

Angel investments normally come from family and friends but after that, you might find your own angel if you are lucky!

Family investment is by far the most common source of funding for business startups that are interested in finding business start-up money and is the only option for many.

Given the high rate of failure with new businesses, it is also risky, both financially and in terms of the possible impact on relationships if the business is not successful.

It is important to be upfront about the risk of failure.

The post What Exactly Is An Angel Investor and Where Do They Invest? appeared first on GQ Central.

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