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Angel groups

Some angel investors band together with like-minded individuals to share investment opportunities. They evaluate and invest in entrepreneurial ventures. The angels can pool their capital to make larger investments, but they do not operate a fund like a venture capital firm. They each write individual checks.

The Angel Capital Education Foundation has 300 American angel groups in its database and lists many of them on its Web site

The average ACA member angel group had 42 member angels and invested a total of $1.94 million in 7.3 deals per year in 2007. Between 10,000 and 15,000 angels are believed to belong to angel groups in the U.S.

How Angel Groups Work

Angel groups follow a typical structure as follows:

  • They meet regularly to review business proposals
  • Selected entrepreneurs make presentations to the membership of the group
  • Member angels decide whether to invest in the presenting business
  • Angels work together to conduct due diligence to validate the plans, statements and history of the entrepreneurial team
  • Groups invest in innovative firms in a range of industries. The most common areas are software, medical devices, telecommunications, and manufacturing.
  • While some groups focus on a specific industry area, the majority are open to a variety of areas and select those markets with which some of their members have expertise

With angel groups, social proof can work in your favor or against you. If you can convince the “alpha angel” in the group, that can mean you can quickly create a group that will close your round. If, however, you cannot convince the “alpha angel” in the group, the phenomena of social proof can work against you as an outspoken no by a notable angel in the group can sour the entire group on your idea (maybe not fair but the reality).

So if possible to identify the “alpha angel(s)” of the group prior, and get in front of them to get them on board prior, it may be advisable.