Tag Archives: Investment

Angel Investing – It’s all about the Execution!

Crackers jump 1This past week I had the opportunity to spend the week with my daughter Charlotte, watching her compete at a horse show. Charlotte, now an adult, has been riding and competing for a number of years and I never cease to be amazed by the strength and beauty of these incredible horses and how the riders can control such powerful animals. In much the same way I feel that being an angel investor enables me to be a “vicarious entrepreneur”, being a “HorseShowMom” allows me to imagine myself in the saddle. Now, in terms of full disclosure, I did take some riding lessons early in my daughter’s riding career which were quickly ended when I flew over the jump (without the horse!) and decided at that point that I was best suited for ground crew! Continue reading

Angel Investing – Term Sheet Economics

RechenschieberIn my last post, I listed four areas that Term Sheets cover. This week, I thought I would focus on some of the “Economic” terms. The terms below apply to Convertible Preferred Stock, although there are clearly other types of securities used to fund early stage companies.  These “economic” terms outline who gets what and cover such concepts as:

Valuation: For a Preferred Stock Offering, this represents the per-share price that you will be paying for the investment as well as the “pre-money” company valuation that this price implies. In addition, the term sheet will typically indicate the “post-money” valuation which includes in the company valuation the new funds being invested. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Financial Models

Gold Guy With Business Reports“I am a serial entrepreneur with a business idea that will generate $100 million in sales in 3 years!!!!” , sound familiar? As an angel investor, I meet many passionate entrepreneurs who present a very optimistic outlook for the future of their business concept. Building financial projection models is a very difficult process for the CEO of an early-stage company and an even more difficult process for the investor to believe in.

So, is there any real value in financial projections? Continue reading

Angel Investing – Rules for Investing

stockpile 05There are many screens that angel investors employ when trying to decide which investment opportunities make sense for them. Selection criteria often include:

  • The “big” or “disruptive” idea
  • Quality Management Team
  • Large addressable market
  • Significant barriers to entry
  • Plausible Exit Strategy & “reasonable” valuation Continue reading

Angel Investing – Follow-on Rounds

DecisionIn my last post, I discussed planning your angel investment strategy for 2013 and taking into consideration not only new portfolio additions but also participations in “follow-on” rounds emanating from your current portfolio. So how do you decide, if you have the option to invest, whether or not to participate in a “follow-on” round? When I am considering this question for my own portfolio, I first determine what type of “follow-on” round this investment opportunity represents. I use the following three categories: Continue reading

Does Angel Investing Generate Investment Returns?

A recent article by Andy Rachleff published in TechCrunch entitled Why Angel Investors Don’t Make Money … And Advice For People Who Are Going To Become Angels Anyway, paints a very dismal picture for the potential returns to angel investors.  Rachleff uses as a proxy for potential returns to angel investors, data from the venture capital industry where he cites that ” about 3 percent of the universe of venture capital firms – generates 95 percent of the industry’s returns” and that overall returns for the industry are less than compelling. Rachleff cautions angel investors not to enter this investment class with an expectation of making money.

In response,  Robert Wiltbank, PhD a professor at Willamette University, has shared the research he has conducted on angel investing in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation, NESTA, the University of Washington, and Willamette University. In his recent TechCrunch article entitled  Angel Investors Do Make Money, Data Shows 2.5x Returns Overall, Professor Wiltbank concludes from his research that the best estimates  of overall angel investor returns is 2.5 times investment over a four-year holding period.

As an angel investor, this is a very interesting debate to follow and both Rachleff and Wiltbank have interesting perspectives to share. Where Rachleff and Wiltbank agree is that a portfolio approach is important when investing in this sector as the probability of success for any one investment is less than 50%.

Cap Tables – Puzzles for Investors

A Cap Table, which is an abbreviation for capitalization table, is a record that outlines the ownership of a company. The details of a cap table include not only the names of the shareholders but also the type of equity security they own, the prices they paid and any other options or future equity that will impact the fully-diluted ownership of the company. Continue reading