What Are These Super Angels?

October 5 2010 No Commented

What’s all the hubbub about Super Angels?  Well, some high profile entrepreneurs-turned-investors, mostly in Silicon Valley, have been doing some rapid-fire investing in startup entrepreneurs.  In the process, they began to accumulate some nice press (see our recent post) and lots of attention.  And, wanting to do more investing in startup ventures, many of these well-known Super Angels raised small pooled funds from friends and others to invest in very early stage companies.

But…wait a minute.  Angels invest their own money.  VCs invest other people’s money.  So, once these Super Angels began raising funds and then investing those funds in startups, they became VCs not angels.  Jeff Clavier (SoftTech VC), one of Silicon Valley’s recognized Super Angels has it exactly right:  “For whatever reason, the press has decided that the term Super Angels is … fun. But in fact, we’re VCs. What that means is that we’re full-time, and we have funds that we have raised. I have a $15 million fund. And we have very defined investment strategies and bite sizes.

Let’s try some definitions to clarify:

    Angels:  Accredited investors who invest their own time and money in startup companies.

   Super Angels:  High profile angel investors, mostly in Silicon Valley.

   Angel Funds:  Pooled funds whose members vote on investing in new companies.

   Venture Capitalists:  Pooled funds managed by general partners who invest in startups.

 OK, so Super Angels are really just seed-stage venture capitalists – and no longer angel investors.  Got it?

It’s a GREAT time to be an angel.  Find a group and jump in!