VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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In June, Peter Walker, Head of Insights at Carta, posted a chart showing the decline of angel investing in 2023.
Incidentally, Peter recorded some episodes for VC Minute, which will be coming out in a few weeks. Standby for that. And if you’re not following him on LinkedIn, you should be ASAP. I’ll link to him, and to this post in particular, in the show notes.
I digress. Back to his post.
In 2021, there was a monthly average of over 1200 angel investors who made at least one investment in pre-seed companies.
In 2022, that was down a bit to just under 1100 on average, but still over a thousand angels per month.
2023, through May, was down about a third to only 731 “angelic people,” as he called them.
Peter speculates on why this is, all of which are great points. Again, go check out the post.
I’ve seen this impact on the fundraising market. Founders have been increasingly asking me, Where can I find angel investors?
My answer is: they’re everywhere and nowhere.
That may sound unhelpful, but let me explain. Angels are nowhere because there’s no single repository of angel investors. I suppose you could search some of the databases to look for individual names. But realistically, any angel that lists themselves publicly is probably getting hit even more than VCs. And quite likely, they’re only investing in people that they know and are probably overwhelmed by inbound because angel investing is not their full-time job.
So, they’re nowhere.
But yet they are everywhere.
People often think of angel investors as only friends and family. But they could also be a former boss, a former colleague, a client, a vendor, an advisor, an industry contact. Really, they could be anyone you’ve had a business relationship with in the past.
Make a list of all the people you’ve worked with from any of those roles. Go through your LinkedIn extensively. Think about who you had rapport with and think about how they may be able to support the growth of your company. Not from a financial standpoint, but from an advisory capacity or that has industry connections. That is a place to start when looking for angel investors that are hiding in plain sight.
Another path is that they could be a startup founder. We’ll hear from Abby Mercado of ReScripted this season about the benefits of taking angel investments from other founders. I’ll let her talk about that.
My point here is that angels are everywhere. You’re just not asking enough.
And as my grandma always said, you never know unless you ask.
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