Even though he’s based in Jakarta, Sajid Rahman stays connected to a trusted network of co-investors in Silicon Valley and elsewhere by using AngelList to manage his investments.
An international banker who worked all over the world and founded his own digital healthcare business, Sajid made his first angel investment about five years ago while advising for a fintech startup. Fast-forward to today, and he’s made over 500 investments as an LP and AngelList Syndicate lead.
“Being based out of Jakarta, I didn’t have access to deal flow at the heart of Silicon Valley, New York, or Europe,” Sajid said. “When I found AngelList, it opened up the world to me.”
Sajid is calling AngelList “the industry’s first attempt at democratizing access to the startup asset class — and a successful one at that. This is important for someone like me sitting in Jakarta who wants to get into high-quality deals halfway across the world.”
Sajid, who recently launched a new AngelList Syndicate, chooses AngelList to:
- Learn from experienced LPs,
- Gain access to high-quality deals,
- Close deals fast, and
- Manage funds pain-free.
Learn from experienced LPs
Sajid is a “completely self-taught investor” who learned much of what he knows about angel investing from other LPs he met through AngelList or listening to podcasts and reading blogs.
“It’s a marketplace with a lot of quality LPs who have been in the space for a long time and understand the risk,” Sajid said. “The education you get is extremely valuable.”
Gain access to high-quality deals
The quality of the deals on AngelList stands out, Sajid said.
“The number and the quality of deals set AngelList apart,” Sajid said. “The deal flow on AngelList is the best of the best.”
One of the reasons is the number of experienced GPs on the platform who offer deals they’ve done diligence on, he said.
Close deals fast
AngelList makes it easy for Sajid to deploy capital quickly.
“When I’m closing a deal, it’s important things get processed quickly and easily,” Sajid said. “AngelList makes that happen and takes the headache out of the entire process. We can quickly pool and deploy capital.”
Manage funds pain-free
When Sajid started his first Syndicate on AngelList, he gained an appreciation for how easy AngelList makes the entire process.
“AngelList takes care of everything on the back end that I don’t want to do — the legal, regulatory, and logistic work,” he said. “They’ve removed the headache with automation that stands out. The whole process is smooth.”
As a result, Sajid said, “AngelList allows me to focus on deals, rather than the logistics of running a fund.”
Honing his investment judgement
By gaining access to quality deal flow and closing deals fast, Sajid has been able to make hundreds of investments in five years. This has helped him hone his investment judgment, he said.
“(AngelList co-founder) Naval Ravikant talks about how a good deal is difficult to define — you know it when you see it,” Sajid said. “As someone who goes through a lot of deals with several different syndicates, I feel I’ve developed a perfect sense of what works and what doesn’t.”
Sajid pointed to a recent research paper by the AngelList data science team showing that VC returns are strongly correlated to the number of startup investments an angel makes. The more investments he can make, the better his chances of early-stage returns.
Another feature setting AngelList apart is the personalized support he receives.
“I feel more comfortable investing in AngelList because of the personal touch,” he said. “The GPs in the AngelList community clearly explain why they’re leading a deal. We are constantly in contact, sharing deals and information. That’s a much different experience than you get on other platforms.”
His passion for angel investing has prompted friends and family members to ask to join deals — something he can easily do by inviting them to join his AngelList Syndicates.
Advice for new investors
Sajid’s advice for new investors: “Be patient. Recognize there’s a cycle to investing. Don’t invest all your capital at once. Rather, spread it out over time with a clear strategy for how much you’ll invest in different asset classes. This ensures you can hit at the right time in a cycle.”