The most daunting challenge of starting a business is finding the funding to make your idea a reality. For a long time, companies typically were dependent on a bank or lending company for investment funds. This changed in 2010, following the introduction of AngelList.
Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi launched AngelList in April 2010. The San Francisco-based platform helps link investors to startups in need of capital. AngelList’s recruiting platform – Jobs – launched in 2012 to help startups find talented personnel for their companies.
The syndicate model allows investors to make a combined impact on new business. So, what are the syndicates that you should be following? We will examine some of the most innovative and impactful syndicate groups available.
Keep in mind that each syndicate and investor will have a unique background and range of interests. The key is to find where you and your ideas overlap with theirs; taking the time to do the research will make the process of recruiting these investors even easier.
Martin Tobias (Incisive Ventures)
Incisive Ventures lists itself as “a high conviction, low volume, thematic syndicate.” Angel Martin Tobias, the founder, is deeply dedicated to his clients, most of whom are repeat business.
A graduate of Oregon State University, Martin was early in Google, DocuSign, and Microsoft. His instincts have helped him build companies and pave a way for tech sector businesses.
Incisive Ventures has invested in 11 new deals in the past 12 months. They worked with 245 loan partners and the syndicate has averaged $121.5K. He has invested an average of $10K personally into deals.
- (Liberty Lake Cloud) Vega Cloud
- Mango Sciences
- Otherside AI
- Good Idea Drinks
The other deals are listed as private.
Flight VC was the first fund built by leveraging AngelList syndicates. Flight is a venture capital group founded by an angel investor in LinkedIn, PayPal, and Evite. Its premise is to provide funding for companies that show the ability for traction. It seeks out organizations that have a viable business model.
Flight shows $135.1M in investments and seeds. This breaks down to an average of $8.3M spread across 16 investments.
Alec Hsu is a co-founder of Flight. Previously, he was a board advisor for Talk City/Liveworld from 1999 to 2001 and was on the board of directors for TVU Networks from 2006 to 2008. Alec is an alumnus of the University of California, San Diego.
Shawn Merani is a co-founder of Flight and Parade venture capital. He holds degrees from UC-Berkeley and UCLA. He’s an expert at building and creating new partnerships.
Flight has pared down its management structure, but the VC is still viable and competitive. Here is a brief overview of investments made by the group:
- Madison Reed
Zachary Ginsburg ││Calm Ventures
Calm Ventures’s investments range from pre-seed funding to pre-IPO. They focus on venture capital and market and analysis.
The syndicate has done 64 deals within its first year. They have averaged $285.8K through the syndicate and $1K per deal through the venture. They have had 1,395 unique lending partners this year.
Zachary Ginsburg holds degrees from both the University of Southern California and the Columbia University Business School. He’s been involved in over 150 investments via AngelList, including Airbnb and Public.com.
David Weisburd has degrees from both Harvard and Dartmouth. He has made over 35 investments with AngelList, including DraftKings and Wish. He is the founder of multiple ventures, including the late stage pre-IPO Syndicate and RoomHunt.
The portfolio includes:
- Yotta Savings
- Wild Things Snacks
- Excision BioTherapeutics
My Asia VC
Sajid Rahman is the driving force behind MyAsiaVC. Sajid has honed his instincts and skills to find the most profitable companies on the scene. MyAsiaVC is both a syndicate and a fund. This allows for founders and investors to join Sajid to fill the void in the macrotrend higher tiers.
Sajid has degrees from the Universities of London, Oxford, and Dhaka.
My Asia VC has done 85 deals in the past 12 months. The average deal was $123.7K from the syndicates and $1K from MyAsiaVC. There have been 863 unique lending partners for the group.
- MD Insider
- One Month
- Love Seat
Ashley Flucas VC
Ashley Flucas is a graduate of both Duke University and Harvard Law School. She works as a general partner/counselor at a real estate finance fund, and is an angel investor in her off time.
Ashley Flucas VC has done 16 deals in 12 months, with an average of $176.1K from syndicates and $1K from Flucas Ventures. Ashley has had 503 unique LP’s invested.
During the last three years, Ashley has worked on over 100 deals, including Xos Trucks and Axiom Space.
New Stack Ventures
New Stack Ventures seeks to connect with founders before any capital is raised. By getting in at the seed or pre-seed stage, the company tries to help startups avoid any early missteps. Focusing on early-stage investment, New Stack finds businesses changing the landscape of markets and creating new ones.
That being said, you may be able to find your risk-taking investors within this syndicate. Although they prefer early-stage investments, New Stack will typically only work with those they are confident in when it comes to growth potential.
Typical investments for New Stack average $138.4K from the syndicate with $10K from New Stack. In the past 12 months, they have done 7 deals and they have 273 unique LP’s.
The New Stack Team
Jeff Heitzman is Syndicate Co-Lead for New Stack Ventures. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is managing partner at CTC Ventures. He has been with New Stack Ventures since 2015.
Nick Moran is General Partner of New Stack. He has degrees from Indiana University and the University of Virginia. In 2013, Nick and his brother began Moran Capital Ventures. Two years later, they joined with Jeff Heitzman and formed New Stack Ventures.
J.R. Moran is Chief Operating Officer and Legal Counsel for New Stack. With a law degree from Boston College, J.R. has been involved in patent litigation. He provides legal advice and services for new entrepreneurial startups.
- Regroup Therapy
- Scope AR
Duro Ventures is open to interesting opportunities, focusing on the climate sector. Their portfolio is deep, diverse, and extensive. Tech, climate, and e-commerce sectors are the big tickets for this pair of angels.
The numbers for Duro are impressive. With 71 deals in the last 12 months and averaging $126.8K per deal, Duro is set to provide funding for the future.
Sundeep Ahuja provides venture funding in both the tech and climate sectors. His tech sector venture fund has provided funding for over 100 companies and he has advised on 15 others.
Ethan James Appleby has an extensive background in art, business, and technology. He has combined these interests with a portfolio of startups and created a space for art e-commerce. Ethan has degrees from Stanford and the University of Virginia.
- Sandbox VR
- Shef (YC W19)
- Akito Labs
SaaSholic is the dreamchild of Diego Gomes, Gustavo Souza and William Cordeiro. Their combined experience in fintech and SaaS is the driving force behind SaaSholic.
While SaaSholic’s numbers are unavailable, the numbers from Rock Content are impressive. With $12.5M raised, Rock Content has made SaaS venture investing an impressive choice.
Diego Gomes is a graduate of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. His background includes CEO and board member of RockContent. He is incredibly passionate about SaaS, mobile, and subscription-based businesses.
Gustavo Souza is also a graduate of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. His background in law has been a benefit to the creation of SaaSholic. He provides insight into the laws surrounding business startups in Brazil.
William Cordeiro is a graduate of the Fundação Getulio Vargas. His business background and previous experience as co-founder of GVAngels complement the team’s skills and network.
The companies represented here are from SaaSholic:
- Conta Simples
- Atlas Governance
- Cuenta Mono
- Lynk Capital Markets
While all investments carry risks, these angel venture syndicates offer great potential. AngelList has some of the top talents of investment strategists. With degrees from the top universities in the country, as well as previous investing experience, the members of this group represent them well.
Remember that you should research both the syndicate and the prospective company before getting together. The right choice for you will be someone with both the qualifications and experience in the field within which you’re operating.
It’ll be important to maintain a relationship with your investors where everyone is on the same page. Doing so will encourage future investments and potentially new investors in general. Many of these investors are also doing so at a high rate or volume.
Make sure you have a clear pitch before contacting anyone, as it shows a lack of professionalism to jump the gun. The most important bit of parting advice is to not give up if your startup struggles to find funding. A few tweaks in your business model or a revamped marketing strategy may be all you need – just keep at it, and good luck!