An Introduction to Angel Investing - A guide to investing in by Tom McKaskill

By Tom McKaskill

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By Tom McKaskill

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In the US and UK markets some funds have a single industry focus; however, in Australia most funds have a more general focus. VC firms will also often limit themselves to certain development stages, such as start-up, expansion or buy out, where they can add real value. VC firms which spread themselves across too many sectors or too many stages will often be viewed less favorably by investors as they will see higher risks in such a spread. At the same time, larger funds prefer only to invest larger amounts as they can only support a limited number of investments.

In contrast, Australian Angels appear to have a greater focus on the investment returns. Data from Scotland shows similar reasons for becoming a Business Angel. 75 – – 140 100 – – Total Source: Stuart Paul, Geoff Whittam and Jim B Johnston, 2003, The operation of informal venture capital market in Scotland, Venture Capital, October, Vol. 5. No. 4 Amounts invested by Angels tend to vary from country to country. Individual investments tend to be somewhat larger than where Angels act in a group to co-invest.

Angels expect that up to one third of their investments will fail, resulting in significant capital losses. • Angel investors reject seven out of every 10 deals that cross their desks. • Deals are rejected for a variety of reasons, including poor growth potential, overpriced equity and inexperienced management team. cfm Accessed 21/01/06 In their book Angel Capital, Benjamin and Margulis describe the typical USA Angel as follows: • 46-65 years of age, male • postgraduate degree, often technical • previous management experience, started up, operates or has sold a successful business • invests between US$25,000 and US$1 million per transaction • prefers participation with other financially sophisticated individuals • strong preference for transactions which match with technical expertise • 23% prefer to invest close to home • maintains an active professional relationship with portfolio investments • invests in one or two transactions per year • diversification and tax shelter income are not the most important objectives • term for holding investment is eight years • looks for rates of return from 22% to 50%: minimum portfolio return 20% • learns of investment opportunities primarily from friends and trusted associates; however, majority would like to look at more investment opportunities than present informal referral system permits • income is US$100,000 per year minimum • self-made millionaire.

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