Starting up a business requires a lot of capital. Most startups usually find it tough to get funds to grow their businesses. However, angel investors are bridges for these startups to cross over from start-up mode to full-on business mode.
Angel investors are wealthy individuals, entrepreneurs, or groups of individuals who provide funding for startups. These investors usually invest their funds in exchange for equity in the business.
Firstly, let's talk a bit about the different types of angel investors. Understanding the types is essential as it enables you to choose the one that best suits your business.
These are self-made entrepreneurs who invest in startups, leveraging their industry knowledge and experience. They are usually more hands-on and active with the startups they invest in.
These are investors who have a background in finance and make investment decisions solely based on financial returns.
These are companies or firms that invest in startups that align with their interests. These angels are executives from large corporations that invest personal funds into young companies. Corporate angels bring business acumen, industry connections, and deep resources to startups they invest in.
These are groups of investors who collectively fund startups. They usually pool their resources together to make investments.
Friends & Family
It's common when starting a business to turn to friends, family, and their extended network first as angel investors. It makes sense, especially for anyone starting, without industry connections or in-depth knowledge of where to get investment.
Top Angel Investors in the US
Here are the top angel investors in the US that you should keep in mind when considering getting funding for your startup. These investors have been known to provide incredible support for startups, so you might want to keep track of them. Check out the full list in folk below.
Ron is a legendary Silicon Valley investor and co-founder of SV Angel. He has invested in over 650 startups and has been a significant player in the rise of companies like Google, Twitter, and PayPal.
Naval, a well-known Indian-American entrepreneur, is the founder of AngelList and Spearhead.co, both of which raise money for angel investors. He is also an investor in over 100 companies, including Twitter, Uber, and Yammer.
Esther has been investing in startups since the 1980s and was also an early investor in domain registrar, GoDaddy. With a focus on healthcare, biotech, and internet technology, she backs disruptive startups that push the boundaries of innovation. Beyond investing, Esther's thought leadership, global perspective, and commitment to philanthropy have made her an influential figure in the tech industry.
Elad Gil is a renowned angel investor, entrepreneur, and author known for his visionary insights and investment acumen. With a focus on early-stage startups in biotech, AI, and consumer tech, his portfolio includes groundbreaking companies that have reshaped the tech landscape, such as Airbnb, Airtable, Figma, and Stripe. As an entrepreneur, Elad co-founded Mixer Labs (acquired by Twitter) and Color Genomics, bringing valuable firsthand experience to his investments.
Joanne is an angel investor and an advisor to women-led startups. She has invested in startups such as Blue Bottle Coffee, BlogHer, and DailyWorth. Known for her keen eye for promising ventures, she provides crucial support and mentorship to startups. Her passion for innovation and commitment to fostering diverse entrepreneurial ecosystems have made her a prominent figure in the industry.
Now that you know the top investors in the US, let's focus on how to attract these investors. Here are some essential tips:
Build a strong network
To attract angel investment, you need to build strong relationships and a powerful network within your industry. One of the best ways to do this is to keep track of all your connections in a CRM, whether personal or with your team. folk lets you bring in all your contacts with ease, and syncs to your email account so all your interactions (emails, calendar events) are tracked. You can get started for free with this list of angel investors that you can import straight into your folk, or with this template for business angels.
Understand what investors want
Investors are usually looking for startups that offer something unique and have high potential returns. It's worth thoroughly researching any investors you plan to reach out to, and storing all the gathered data in a CRM system. This not only lets you keep all your data in one place, but it will help you keep track of who you have contacted and when, and you can set yourself reminders to follow-up, etc. In folk you can even use AI to get more data on potential investors or generate custom emails, and send them out in bulk.
Have a solid business plan
Ensure that you have a comprehensive business plan that outlines how you plan to grow your startup and make returns for investors.
Investors want to work with entrepreneurs who are accountable, hardworking, and committed to their startup's growth. A good CRM will help you make sure to follow-up promptly, and avoid ghosting anyone!
Angel investors play a vital role in helping startups grow and reach their potential. When looking for an angel investor, it's important to understand the different types and choose one that best suits your business needs. We've highlighted some of the top angel investors in the US, and we hope that this post has provided you with valuable insights on how to attract investors to your startup. Remember, building a powerful network, having a solid business plan, and being accountable are some essential steps you should take when seeking investment. Good luck!