Thank Goodness for Super Angels
Have you noticed all the great press given to Super Angels by the Business Week and the Wall Street Journal?
First Business Week introduced us to their top 25 angel investors, who have each funded between 5 and 190 deals, averaging about 40 angel investments per angel. It is a great list! Then, the Wall Street Journal introduced us to Super Angels Aydin Senkut, Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Chris Sacca, Dave McClure and Mike Maples. They have each made many angel investments in seed/startup ventures and several are now managing small funds, which sound a lot like small venture capital funds. (We tend to define angel funds as pooled investments in which all investor/members vote before investing. Venture capital managers generally make all investing decisions.)
I love all this high visibility press on angel investing. We angels have been operating mostly under the radar for a long time. But, I wonder where Business Week and the Wall Street Journal have been for the past decades? Angel investors in the US fund about 20,000 new companies each year putting nearly $20 billion to work in new and existing portfolio companies. Angel groups all over the world fund thousands of new companies each year and have been doing so for years. The Band of Angels in Silicon Valley has funded 209 companies in the past 15 years. I suspect there are hundreds of angel investors who have funded 40 companies or more in the US, but did not make the Business Week list. (Sorry angelic guys and gals!) But, here is the best news on US angels and angel groups: They are located in every state in the union, not just in Silicon Valley and Boston.
Angel investing has been around for centuries (J. P. Morgan and members of the Carnegie family provided funding to Thomas Edison to start General Electric in the late 1800s, and they weren’t the first by a long shot!) While I am delighted that Aydin Senkut, Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Chris Sacca, Dave McClure and Mike Maples and doing what they are doing, they don’t seem to be breaking any new ground – just providing capital and sharing their business skills with promising startup entrepreneurs. Thank you, gentlemen!
It’s a GREAT time to be an angel. Find a group and jump in!