June 15, 2023

The most active Angel Investors in Southern California

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Are you a start up or an early stage company looking for an angel investor in California? Finding the right investor can be a daunting task especially if you are new to the world of raising money and entrepreneurship.

Many emerging companies turn to angel investors to get the funding they need to grow and if you are one of those companies, this blog post is for you. Here you'll find a comprehensive list of the most active angels who invest in California, along with some featured angels that we've chosen to highlight.

If you're feeling daunted we'll also share some of the benefits of working with angels, and some tips on how to pitch successfully to get that money, and handy links to angel groups in California.

Benefits of Working with an Angel Investor

The benefits of working with any type of investor may seem obvious: they are providing resources to help you fund your business idea. But there are many types of investors – what is it about angel investing in particular that might be best for you?

Access to Capital

Unlike venture capitalists, angel investors do not require as strong a track record, but are willing to take a gamble on a new business idea.

Industry Expertise

Angel investors typically have a wealth of business knowledge and can offer valuable advice to entrepreneurs.


Angel investors will often be available for further discussion and mentorship, helping to ensure the success of their investment.

Featured: 5 Angel Investors in California

Here are some highlighted profiles of 5 top angels in California. Scroll to the bottom of the list for a comprehensive life of the most active angels in CA.

Photograph of angel investor Cindy Padnos

Cindy Padnos - Illuminate Ventures:

Cindy Padnos is the founder and Managing Partner of Illuminate Ventures. Cindy has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry and has been named one of the Top 50 Women in Tech. Her investment focus is on early-stage enterprise software companies that leverage technology innovations. She counts amongst her investments companies such as Mavatar, Yozio (now Brand Metrics) and Hoopla Software.

Photograph of angel investor David Lee

David Lee - Refactor Capital:

David Lee is a seasoned venture capitalist and angel investor. Some of his notable investments include Square, Twitter, and Dropbox. David is also a successful entrepreneur and founded a number of successful start-ups. His investment focus is on companies that spin off new concepts and software. He has invested in companies like Twitter, Pinterest, Dropbox, Airbnb, Product Hunt, Snapchap, amongst others.

Photograph of angel investor Fabrice Grinda

Fabrice Grinda - FJ Labs:

Fabrice Grinda is a renowned entrepreneur and angel investor who has invested in over 450 companies. He co-founded and served as CEO of OLX, a large classifieds platform. His entrepreneurial history and industry expertise have turned him into one of the most reputable angel investors in Silicon Valley. His wide-ranging investments include AngelList, Black Limba, and Happn.

Photograph of angel investor Gil Penchina

Gil Penchina - Flight Ventures:

Gil Penchina is a seasoned investor with over 20 years of experience. Gil has backed some well-known startups like LinkedIn, PayPal, and Wealthfront. He focuses his investments on talented entrepreneurs that are solving tough problems in new ways. Companies in his portfolio include Fandom, HealthTap, and Modal.

Photo of angel investor Aydin Senkut

Aydin Senkut - Felicis Ventures:

Aydin Senkut is a Turkish-American technology entrepreneur, executive, and investor. He is the founder and managing director of Felicis Ventures, a VC firm that he established in 2006. His notable investments include Shopify, Adyen, and Credit Karma. Aydin's investment focus is on early stage company founders with promising business models. He counts amongst his portfolio companies such as Notion, Canva, and Fitbit.

But that's not all of them! There are many more active angel investor individuals and groups. Here you'll find a comprehensive list of the most active angels in California that you can duplicate straight into folk, instantly and for free.

Pitching angel investors

Some top tips on how to pitch to potential investors and maximize your chances of getting that all-important funding:

1. Know your business model

Your pitch should clearly outline your business plan and demonstrate that you know what makes it unique. Investors are looking for companies with solid growth potential, so be prepared to articulate why your product or service will stand out from the competition and how it can scale quickly.

2. Do your research

Before presenting to investors, make sure you have done your homework on the background of each investor and their investment focus areas. Understand what they are looking for in a company so that you can tailor your pitch accordingly. Be sure to highlight any competitive advantages over existing market players and emphasize the potential return on investment.

3. Network

A great way to get access to angel investors is through networking events.  

Here is a list of some of the most well-known angel investor networks in California. Take advantage of these resources to meet investors, hear pitches from other entrepreneurs and get advice on how to pitch effectively:

  1. Tech Coast Angels
  2. Band of Angels
  3. Bay Angels
  4. Silicon Valley Angel
  5. Keiretsu Forum
  6. Pasadena Angels
  7. Golden Seeds
  8. Sand Hill Angels
  9. Cove Fund
  10. Sacramento Angels

These networks provide an excellent platform for connecting with potential investors and building relationships which can be invaluable when you’re looking to raise funds. Take advantage of these resources and don't be afraid to reach out and get your foot in the door. Don't forget to use folk to keep track of all the new connections you make. The mobile version of folk will be especially handy for in-person networking events. Good luck!


Angel investors are a compelling alternative source of funding for startups and small businesses that need working capital. They offer access to funds, experience, and industry expertise that can help entrepreneurs to bring their visions to life. Although there are various angel investors within California, it is always important to do your research and find investors who will work best with your business and its vision. In conclusion, it's vital to get a good understanding of the various investors before settling on one, and this guide is only the first step in that process. Identify your priorities as a business and choose an investor that aligns with them to ensure that your investment blossoms into a profitable venture.

You can check out more lists of investors and other useful contacts in our Famous Lists gallery.