* Artigo em inglês
May’s nine categories focus not just on an angel’s financial resources, but how much time they want to put into investing and what they care about. Some angels want to help their communities grow. Others want to help women entrepreneurs or support alumni from their university. Others favor a vertical market segment. Because angel investing is a marathon, and not a sprint, non-financial goals play a big role.
Here are the nine investment approaches, ranging from the least to most involved:
- Friends and family: These are people who invest in someone they care about. They are investing in the founder more than the product or company. They may never make another such investment and often are not financially sophisticated. While not technically “angels” because many aren't accredited investors, they are making important investments in early-stage companies.
- The solo angel: This angel invests on their own, often after they see a company they are interested in through an incubator, a venture fair, a lawyer, or through their business and social networks. This entrepreneur is not part of the angel’s friends or family. Many don’t have “deep pockets” and most invest money but not their time in these companies. This is likely the largest population of angels.
- Ad-hoc group of angels: This could be three guys or gals on a golf course who talk about a deal and make a "hand-shake" agreement to invest. The group does little formal due diligence, may never do a deal again, has no formal partnership, and their involvement is generally money only.
- Accredited platforms: Also known as online investing or accredited crowdfunding, accredited platforms allow angels to invest and remain fairly passive, letting others do their due diligence and organize the capital. Angels who invest in accredited platforms can easily diversify and spread around their investments. A new phenomenon we're seeing is angels following a big name angel on an accredited platform (such as AngelList) and investing in deals they lead.
- Accelerators: Angels have a variety of opportunities with accelerators. They can invest in accelerator funds that provide working capital to the startups in their multi-month program, invest directly in companies who finish the program, and/or mentor many of the participating companies in return for a small equity stake. Angels decide how active they want to be. Some choose to get very involved with their time and money, while others choose to remain passive by simply investing.
- Angel Networks: These are structured angel groups where angels pay dues, select which companies they will invest in, and get involved in vetting of only the companies they are most interested in. Some angels join these after being burned as a solo angel or in an ad hoc group. They realize they need a more sophisticated group with a structure, to better hedge their bets and provide better service to the entrepreneur. Angel networks offer different options for learning good investment processes and for getting involved in due diligence, mentoring and monitoring of their own self-selected portfolio companies.
- Angel Funds: In these angel groups, investors pool their capital up front, participate in deal selection, and vote as a group on which startups to invest in. If a majority of the members vote to invest in a company, the angel fund invests. Members of funds generally need to pay attention to all deals coming before the group since they will be voting on each deal. While the investor may not have voted for every deal their funds go into, they often have great diversification of their angel portfolios.
- Super Angels and Family Offices: These investors are extremely experienced, are sophisticated, have considerable money under management, and have access to great deal flow. Although they may co-invest with other angels when a deal calls for it, most make investments on their own, have staff, and also serve on portfolio company boards or mentor their CEOs.
- Active Limited Partner in a small venture capital fund: These angels contribute capital to small VC funds and/or act as an advisor, an entrepreneur in residence, or a venture partner. The variety of activity and time in this option is quite wide.
The great thing about being an accredited angel is that you don't have to choose only one investment option. You can be involved in several, depending on how much time, money and interest you have. For example, I belong to two angel networks and a few accredited platforms. The networks fit my interest in supporting companies in my hometown, learning from experienced angels and connecting directly with entrepreneurs. The platforms connect me to interesting deals across the country with less work and smaller size investments, helping me diversify my angel portfolio.
Autor: Marianne Hudson