Angel Investors vs. Venture Capitalists

October 18th, 2022

Are you confused about which financing option is right for you? Many businesses look for capital to support their expansion. It isn't easy to secure money for your company, especially if you're starting. However, you will want funds to keep your company's ambition alive. You can seek finance from a venture capitalist (VC) or angel investor, depending on the stage of your firm.

Before you start looking for potential investors for your startup, it is crucial to learn the difference between venture capitalists and angel investors. This article outlines the key similarities and differences between angel investors and venture capital and how to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists successfully, so keep reading:

Who is an Angel Investor?

In most cases, the term "angel investor" refers to a well-established and wealthy individual who invests their funds in early-stage startups or businesses in return for shares in the firm. Although angel investors may offer their business experience to the company, they are often happy to receive an ownership interest in return for their contributions.

Investors had to be "accredited" and have millions of dollars to invest. These angel investors maintained a low profile and worked in exclusive networks. They frequently made investments on their own or in "syndicates" with other wealthy people they often knew or trusted. Your angel investors can give you advice and support in addition to financial aid and help you take shortcuts, avoid mistakes, and save effort, time, and money.

Who is a Venture Capitalist?

A venture capitalist is an organization that has gathered a "fund" to invest in companies with significant development potential. Angel VCs can use these funds to finance in a particular industry or area or during a specific stage of a company's development. 

A venture capitalist, like an angel investor, gives money to a firm in exchange for an ownership share in the company. It is critical to note that these investors are "outside investors," meaning they do not work for the company but instead invest in it, much like a hedge fund.

Difference between Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists

Typically, angel investors put their own money into the venture and occasionally get involved in day-to-day operations. On the other side, venture capitalists use institutional funds to make investments.

  • Risk Tolerance

Understanding risk tolerance is the first step to learning the difference between venture capitalists vs. angel investors. Angel investors are people who want to invest their own money. They frequently have a strong business background and wish to support innovative startups in their industry. 

Venture capitalist investors are organizations or enterprises that aggregate money from several investors into a single fund to invest in startup companies. There appears to be a variance in risk tolerance due to the different investments. Funds investing other people's money may be more willing to accept higher levels of risk than angels spending their own money.

  • Stage of Startup

The second step to learning the difference between angel investors and venture capitalists is understanding the stage of a startup. Typically, angel investors seek out early-stage companies and startups that are just beginning to do market research and engage in technological development. 

Contrarily, venture investors seldom support startups unless there are exceptional conditions, such as well-known or previously successful entrepreneurs. Instead, they typically invest in more established developing companies, supporting them as they grow and eventually go public or combine with other companies.

  • Amount of Investment

The third step to learning the difference between venture capitalists vs. angel investors is understanding the investment amount. Business angels, as opposed to venture capitalists, provide smaller investment amounts, with syndicated investments ranging from $10,000 to several hundred thousand dollars. 

However, the typical venture capital investment might vary from $1 million in a Series A round to hundreds of millions of dollars in the Series C phase. You should be aware that angel investors aren't always able to cover a company's fundamental cash needs due to their frequently constrained financial resources. Contrarily, venture investors make an average of $7 million investment in a business.

  • Duration of Investment

The fourth step to learning the difference between capitalist vs. angel investors is understanding investment duration. Unlike angel investors, venture capitalists frequently make investments that last much longer. Before withdrawing their investment, angels frequently wait two to five years. Contrarily, investors in venture capital firms often hold onto their assets for at least ten years before selling.

  • Level of Responsibilities

The fifth step to learning the difference between venture capitalists vs. angel investors is understanding the level of responsibilities. The primary purpose of angel investors is to provide funding. They are not required to help you, but if you ask, they could give you advice or introduce you to key people. 

A venture capitalist seeks out businesses with a significant competitive edge, a good management team, and a sizable market. Venture capital firms typically invest in a company at a later stage of development when there is sufficient evidence of market traction. A venture capitalist will help determine a company's strategic direction and hire senior executives.

  • Due Diligence

The sixth step to learning the difference between venture capitalists vs. angel investors is understanding due diligence. Over the years, due diligence has been a topic that has sparked a lot of discussion among angel investors. Some angels do little due diligence and aren't required to, considering they possess all the money. 

However, research indicates that angel investors are five times more likely to see a profit when they commit at least 20 hours to their due diligence. Given their fiduciary duty to their limited partners, venture capitalists must exercise more due diligence. Venture capitalists can invest more than $50,000 in their due diligence when evaluating potential investments.

Similarities between Venture Capital Firms and Angel Investors

  • Invest in Familiar Industries

Investors and venture capitalist angels want to invest in industries they are familiar with to boost their chances of selecting reputable firms. It makes sense that if you have experience, you will perform better.

  • Offer Capital for Shares

Angels and venture capitalists offer capital to the businesses they want to invest in for shares.

  • Anticipate 20-30% ROI

VC angels and investors spend money on companies they think will be successful. They both anticipate making a return on investment at a rate of 20%-30% annually, with varying degrees of risk depending on the company's stage of development.

How to Make a Successful Pitch to an Angel Investor?

If you want to know how to get an angel investment and make a successful pitch, then follow these tips:

  • Rather than your startup's immediate financial prospects, an angel investor can be more interested in the ideas or team behind it.
  • While pitching an angel investor on what makes your team a successful bet, provide critical business information, like your:
  • Service or product offerings
  • Size of your market
  • Rivals and their shortcomings
  • Current sales

How to Make a Successful Pitch to a Venture Capitalist?

If you want to know how to get venture capital investment and make a successful pitch, then follow these tips:

  • When pitching to a venture capitalist, highlight the common problem that consumers face and the number of people who require that problem to be solved. 
  • Get ready for your meeting with a business strategy and pitch deck.
  • It would help if you offered a four-year forecast of your company's revenue and expenditures at your pitch meeting. 
  • Your task is to convince the venture investor that the long-term return on investment reduces their short-term risk.

Final Verdict

Ultimately, a mix of the above elements will determine whether venture capital or angel investment is appropriate for you. No hard-and-fast rule specifies which type of money to seek at any particular time, just as no two firms are alike. An experienced business law attorney knowledgeable about venture capital and angel financing can assist you in choosing the appropriate funding option for your particular company.

This is where Angels Partner steps in, helping investors in their search for ambitious and likely to succeed startups.

Our selection process is rigorous and the matchmaking is affinity based to ensure each meeting is qualified and of economic interest to both parties.


About the author

The Angels Partners Team

Angels Partners helps startup founders connect with relevant investors. We host a vivid community of hundreds of investors on the platform and provide a database worth of over 100,000 early stage investors. Our mission is to help founders successfully rai

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