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Types of Angel Investors


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It is very important that you try to determine what type of angel investors you need for your investment deal so that you don't waste your time.  The following list, prepared by a well known venture capitalist, classifies angel investors into different types.   

A subset of serial angels (also known as celebrity angels) consists of former entrepreneurs - people like Netscape's Jim Clark and Microsoft's Paul Allen.   Although their fortunes take them way beyond typical angels, entrepreneurs who have built major companies and sold them usually retain their appetite for the game.

Some venture capital firms and investment banks have rules against this practice because conflicts of interest can get tricky.   For example, the VC firm and individual partner may invest in the same enterprise but a different price levels. However, many banks and firms encourage angel investing as a way to keep the pipeline flowing.


These angels are often the most desirable because of the so-called chaperone rule, which states that the odds of a startup company succeeding are significantly enhanced when the company has a chaperone from the get-go, an

experienced guide on the trip from the embryo to the IPO.

Often restless and looking for something to do - charitable and other pro bono activities soak up only a portion of their energy - many naturally turn to angel investing, but with a distinct point of view. They aren't looking to become passive investors; they're looking t add their skills and experience to the companies in which they invest, often serving on their boards and, in most cases, at least as advisors.


Some good examples of retired angels include Bill Gates, Ted Turner and Warren Buffet

Angels are significantly more entrepreneurial than venture capitalists, with 75 percent to 83 percent having operational start-up experience, compared with only about a third of venture capitalists. One study found that the average number of entrepreneurial investments made by business angels during the last five years was 2.45, while two West Coast studies claim that angels typically make two or three investments every three years.


Around 75 percent of angels claim that their principal source of wealth is their own past business, while the remaining 25 percent earned it from quoted investments. The size of angel investment ranges are as follows:

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