AngelList was founded on a simple premise: serve the founder. Founders need help with three problems: fundraising, hiring, and finding customers. Over the past decade, AngelList brought together three distinct businesses to pursue each problem: AngelList Venture for fundraising, AngelList Talent for hiring, and Product Hunt for finding customers.
Today, ten years later, AngelList Venture is enjoying its own founding moment. We originally started by building software that makes it easy to set up syndicates and venture funds. Our software reduces friction and costs by a factor of ten: you tap a button, you get a syndicate or venture fund. This enabled more people — founders and operators — to become venture investors. For startups, this grew the pool of venture investors they could raise from.
Then, we launched the ability for angel investors to discover and invest in these syndicates and funds. As a venture investor, you could now tap a button and raise even more capital. For startups, this grew the size of checks coming from venture investors.
These two product innovations — software for funds and the evolution into a platform — have enabled enormous scale. Over the past decade, more than 4,000+ startups raised money from thousands of syndicates and funds. These syndicates and funds in turn raised capital from LPs across 100K+ investments. In 2019, 36% of all top-tier U.S. venture-backed startups raised capital from a venture fund on the AngelList platform. In Q1 2020, AngelList funds took part in an even greater portion of top-tier deals. From this position of strength, we believe we’re well suited to expand our mission to increase the number of successful startups.
We believe this mission is more critical than ever. With the current pandemic, we’ve increasingly come to rely on companies that were founded with venture funding: Twitter, DoorDash, Amazon, Instacart, Zoom, and many more. The venture-backed startups of today will become the essential services of tomorrow.
To further advance our mission, we need to:
- Increase the number of operators becoming venture investors.
- Increase the capital available to these venture investors.
- Increase the number of startups that are founded and funded.
Our products address these three focus areas. And, 2020 is already off to an exciting start:
Syndicates: We continue to improve our syndicate products. We’re reducing the friction for syndicates who want to privately invite their investors and we continue to grow our private, curated investor network.
Traditional Venture Funds: We continue to expand our services for traditional venture funds of all sizes. Unlike other providers, we offer a one-stop solution complete with legal docs, bank accounts, portfolio management, software, and other back-office services needed to run a fund.
Rolling Venture Funds: We recently launched rolling venture funds, which make it easier for investors to manage and grow a fund. Rather than the big-bang fundraise that’s typical of a traditional fund, a rolling fund allows a fund manager to accept auto-renewing investor subscriptions. Investors can accept capital at any time, meaning they never need to raise another fund again.
Access Fund: The AngelList Access Fund is a rolling fund that participates in the best deals on the AngelList platform. We already have several million dollars under management, and it’s growing quickly. Soon, with the tap of a button, select investments will pre-qualify for additional capital from the AngelList Access Fund. For the founder, this means the potential for larger checks from their preferred investors.
We also are exploring opportunities to enable venture investors to gain early liquidity for their LP base and reduce the friction further for founders to raise capital for their startups.
We’re thrilled about the road ahead for AngelList Venture. We're innovating on the very infrastructure of innovation — all with a singular mission of increasing the number of successful startups in the world. Thanks for joining us on this journey. We hope you enjoy a look back on some great milestones from the past decade below. Here’s to the next ten years.