Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?
Our mission is to make sure that every world-changing startup has access to capital. AngelList runs a platform (angel.co) where GPs can raise and manage funds and deploy them into startups, primarily at the early stages. Moving all of the complexity of venture onto a platform means that a good investor can run a fund well without friction and support staff. CEOs of successful startups, GPs spinning out to make their own funds, successful angels managing first-time funds—all of these build and deploy their funds on AngelList. Our platform benefits both GPs and LPs, connecting these two stakeholders at scale.
Where did your firm’s name come from?
Our firm actually originated from a blog called Venture Hacks. Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi launched it to help demystify the fundraising process for entrepreneurs. Along with it, they created a list of angel investors who entrepreneurs could connect with. It was their “angel list,” thus the name AngelList.
By the way, publishing a list of millionaires who are known to write checks openly turned out to not be such a great idea. AngelList didn’t really take off until we designed software that also helped manage communications and deal flow within this close, trusted community of investors and entrepreneurs.
What defines your portfolio?
AngelList Venture has over $1 billion in assets under management, and the growth of these assets is only accelerating. It’s spread across more than 3,800 different early stage technology companies brought to the platform by over 250 angels and VCs.
How is the firm different today than when you first started?
When we first started the company in 2010, we were introducing founders to angel investors. UberCab (now Uber) raised an early round on AngelList, as one example. After the regulatory environment changed in 2012 and 2013, we launched Funds and Syndicates (single-investment funds), enabling far more capital to flow to startups through GPs.
Why is your firm a part of NVCA?
Because of our mission to make sure every world-changing startup has access to capital. Enabling the next generation of aspiring and emerging investors is fundamental to our success, and it aligns with the mandate of the NVCA. We believe very much in the policy, research, coordination, and education work the NVCA does and want to be a part of it.
Tell us about the current VC landscape in your geography/region.
AngelList has facilitated investments in more than 38 countries, and we have offices in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and India. The biggest change we’ve seen over the last decade is that access to venture capital is now more mainstream and global, which has led to a massive influx of capital into the asset class. So while innovation is happening across all corners of the globe, it’s still incumbent on fast-growing startups to have connections in developed capital markets in order to raise follow-on funding and seek exit opportunities.
What’s ahead for your firm in 2019?
We endeavor to be part of the entire lifecycle of a VC’s career. In the past, AngelList was the place where investors started out. Today, we’re closing larger funds (>$20M) and raising larger rounds (>$10M) on the platform, helping GPs to scale. We’re also serving a larger part of the LP landscape, including family offices and investment advisers, by providing institutional strategies and customized approaches to investing.
Describe your firm’s culture in 5 words or less.
Startups will save the world.