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How To Look for Angel Investors for Your Startup

jean pierre fumey

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Angel investors are private individuals with high net worth who have the financial capacity to provide capital to startup businesses. They receive equity in exchange for these investments. While these people can choose when to invest in the fundraising round, they usually do so in the pre-seed or seed funding rounds. 

Since their investments are in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, investing early only means getting a higher equity percentage. Biotech startups needing access to early business stage funding highly need these investors. 

However, not all angel investors focus on biotech. There is also a rising number of angel funding in the software development industry. It is a lucrative niche, considering that tools like equipment management software have become more in demand among businesses. 

You may not be ripe for venture capital firms if you’re still in the research and development phase to achieve proof-of-concept. These angel investors understand the need to go through these early stages of forming the company.

Who Are These Angel Investors?

After family and friends fund the business, the “most accepting of the investment risks” are the angel investors. These investors are usually retired executives interested in joining their previous industry. When they invest in these startups, they put their experience and skills to good use. 

Where Can You Find Angel Investors?

If you’re among the many hopefuls to receive angel funding, the most crucial question is: Where can you find these willing angel investors? 

You’d be glad to know that angel investors invest in online websites. These people invest individually, so you can expect they don’t work with a team to find investment-worthy companies. You’d see these people networking with other investors on online startup platforms, offering due diligence assistance and help in syndicating investments with other investors.

Suppose you’re looking for an angel investor; the best place to start is on these angel investing websites. However, you must remember that each angel and website has a unique investment focus. You must look for an angel investor interested in your niche or industry. You can be more confident that you’ll get a response through this. It would look like you did your research before pitching your ideas. 

These investors talk to each other, which is one of their best ways to identify which startup to invest their money in. An investor who truly understands how startups operate won’t be surprised to discover that it’ll take around five to ten years to see a return on their investment. 

Most of these investor networks and angel investors keep blogs that you can find on social media. There’s no reason you can’t conduct proper research before pitching your idea and company. 

Here are the top three angel investor websites you might want to consider:

1. AngelList

This website is dedicated to assisting tech startups in launching their companies by raising money and recruiting eligible team members. The angel investors are hands-on in these processes, increasing the company’s chances of success. Once you join the website, finding jobs at different startups will be easy. Finding companies to invest in will also be a breeze if you’re an investor. These are the reasons this website is popular among startups looking to grow. 

2. Life Science Angels

This site is another top-notch angel funding group focusing on the diagnostics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology industries. Most of the group’s angel investors are company founders and senior executives in the healthcare industry. If you want to apply for angel funding, visit their website for tips. These tips can help you avoid mistakes in your startup funding application.

3. Tech Coast Angels

This well-known angel funding firm has an overarching network from the Central Coast to San Diego. Tech Coast Angels has more than 400 angel investors providing various startups with assistance, connections, knowledge, and mentoring in building their firms. The firm caters to information technology, software, biotech, and science startups.

How much return on investment (ROI) do angel investors expect?

The greater the amount an angel investor contributes to your business, the higher their anticipated return on investment will typically be. The specific ROI expectation can vary depending on the angel investor and investment opportunities. It’s common for them to expect a 30% ROI on their investment.

They usually incorporate their ROI expectations into their exit strategy, where they often sell their equity to the company to recoup their initial investment and profits. However, venture capitalists who provide more substantial funding often expect a higher ROI.

How can you be an angel investor in Toronto, Canada?

The mission of the angel investing community in Toronto is to expand its network to boost prosperity, generate employment, and fortify communities. To be an angel investor there, you must meet one of these criteria:

  • Have an annual income exceeding USD 200,000 (or USD 300,000 with a spouse) for the past two years, with a reasonable expectation of maintaining this income in the current year, using the relevant exchange rate to convert from Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars.
  • Possesses net financial assets totalling CAD 1,240,000, individually or jointly with a spouse
  • Represent an entity with net assets exceeding CAD 6,200,000.
  • Be part of an entity entirely owned by individuals or entities meeting any of the first three criteria

Consult a lawyer if you need help assessing your qualifications as a prospective investor or grantee. You must protect yourself in case you encounter legal issues, like receiving investments that later become the subject of a divorce proceeding. In instances such as these, it’s best to seek the help of a family lawyer in Toronto or from your province or state. They can help shed light on the issue.  

Is Angel Funding for You?

Not all startup businesses seek funding. Your company’s objectives and competitive strategies will determine whether or not you need angel funding. Most angel investors prefer to work closely with startup CEOs, especially when advising on how to run the business. Whether this is appealing or not, look for and work with angels who fit the bill.

Suppose you prefer the hands-off approach. You can seek investments from willing venture capitalists. On the other hand, if you choose to eschew investments, you can apply for grant funding through a program called Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). No matter your investment route, starting with extensive research is best.

Jean-Pierre is a polyglot communication specialist, freelance journalist, and writer for startup.info with over two decades of experience in media and public relations. He creates engaging content, manages communication campaigns, and attends conferences to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. He brings his wealth of experience and expertise to provide insightful analysis and engaging content for startup.info's audience.

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