When it comes to raising funds for your startup, connecting with venture capitalists and angel investors is a top priority. In recent years, startup founders are increasingly turning to platforms like AngelList to access funds.
According to the annual report, there are more than 800 VCs running funds and syndicates on AngelList. Last year, approximately 7,000 startups raised more than $3.6 billion on the platform. The report also indicates that more than 11,000 investments were made via AngelList by VCs last year. Overall, the site oversaw about $10 billion of customer assets moving through its platform in 2021.
With so much money flowing through the AngelList website, startup founders are understandably curious about the platform. In this article we’ll detail what AngelList investing has to offer startup founders and how they can use it to connect with investors.
What is AngelList?
AngelList is a platform that connects startup founders with investors, candidates, and incubators. It was founded in 2010 as an online introduction board for tech startups that needed seed funding. The original “angel list” was simply a list of 25 investors with whom AngelList’s founders shared potential companies to invest in.
More than a decade later, the platform serves as an avenue for startups to increase visibility and raise capital with angel investors free of charge. Last year, AngelList closed a $25 million fund to back startups. The company has also features syndicates to facilitate startup financing with accredited investors. AngelList Syndicates allow startups to raise money from accredited investors investing alongside prominent angel investors.
Since its inception, AngelList has also created a platform for job seekers. Today, the AngelList website allows candidates to connect with companies looking to add team members. The AngelList Jobs platform features more than 35,000 recruiting companies, 2,000,000 candidates, and 5 million registered users.
Benefits for startups
In its long track record AngelList has demonstrated ample value for startup founders. Let’s take a look at some of the selling points for tech startup founders:
- Founders have saved $22 million in legal and admin fees
- 190 unicorns are backed by AngelList funds and syndicates
- The platform’s most active sectors include Fintech, Healthtech, Web3, Biotech, AI / ML
In addition to these benefits, AngelList has changed the way early stage startup founders access venture funds. Oftentimes, the world of venture capital is seen as a gated community because many startup founders don’t have the access or capital necessary to acquire funding opportunities. AngelList has eliminated many of these barriers and helped more startups get funded.
How to connect with investors
Before you begin connecting with investors, it’s important to do your homework. Check out what other founders in your industry are doing on AngelList. How are they promoting their startups? What can you borrow and do differently to set yourself apart from your competitors? When it comes to getting noticed by investors on AngelList, your profile is everything. Look for ways to make your profile unique.
In order to connect with investors on AngelList, startup founders need to stand out. The best way to do this is to start trending on the platform. AngelList uses social mechanics to determine whether a new startup is interesting. The site determines which startups are trending and hot by how many people are following and requesting to meet with you. To trend you need a published page and a quality following. Here’s how to achieve it.
- Publish your page: Your page should contain all your basic information and a good teaser. A good teaser is a short blurb about what you are doing. You don’t want to give too much away because your competition can use this against you. You want to give just enough information so that people become intrigued and want to follow your progress.
- Promotion: You need to get people to promote you. Reach out to people with large followings and get them to promote your page on the same day you publish it. You’re not asking these people to invest, you just want social validation to get on the hype cycle and help you trend. Also, ask your partners, employees, advisors, customer,s and investors (if you have them) to join AngelList, set up profiles, and follow your startup’s page. If successful, this will trigger social signals and your company should start to trend.
To learn more about startup investing and funding, see if you qualify for membership to join Founders Network.