Angel Investors

22 business angels you need to know about 

At iBusinessAngel we have spoken plenty about the virtues of investors, and how to select the angel that’s right for you.

But if you don’t know anybody you can approach, where do you begin? Here’s part one of our list of the top 21 business angels operating around the world today.

We’ve given you a bit about who they are and what sort of projects they favour, so you’ll know where to start.

Due to our own interests, knowledge and focus, this is a predominately UK and USA based list, but many of these angels travel the world looking for best investments. However, if you feel we have missed a key business angel from your part of the world, please add a comment at the end of this list.

 

Dave Berkus

Sector: Technology

Location: California, USA

The founder of ‘Berkonomics’, on which he’s authored a number of books, Dave Berkus is an early-stage investor through his company, Berkus Technology Ventures. He deals largely with entertainment, software and internet-related businesses. He has more than 80 successful angel investments under his belt, with an investment return of 97%. He’s also a much sought-after speaker, a consultant and likes to get hands-on with his investments.

http://www.berkus.com/

 

Simon and Michael Blakely

Sector: Business-to-business

Location: London, UK

The London-based brothers focus on UK-based businesses worth under £5m with established management teams in place. They have between £100,000 and £250,000 to invest in each venture and have a strong track record in business-to-business sectors. Simon is a biochemist with business consulting background whilst Michael developed the Sainsbury’s home delivery network and had been investing in projects before going full-time in 2002.

http://www.avonmoredevelopments.com

 

Martin Bowles

Sector: Various

Location: Glastonbury, UK

Martin is the managing director of Horatio Investments, which has between £30,000 and £800,000 to invest in individual first-stage businesses. In addition to finances, Horatio provides advice, mentoring and expertise and is open to building long-term relationship of more than ten years when required.

http://www.horatioinvestments.com

 

Ron Conway

Sector: Digital

Location: California, USA

Silicon Valley-based Ron is an investor with an eye for potential. He founded Angel Investor LP, which backed Google and PayPal and has been investing independently since 2005, getting involved with success stories such as Facebook, Napster and Mint.com

http://www.twitter.com/RonConway

 

Sherry Coutu

Sector: Consumer, clean energy

Location: Cambridge and London, UK

Sherry is an early-stage investor who has raised more than £150m in venture capital and public equity in more than ten years of investing. She was a backer of LoveFilm, which was recently purchased by Amazon, and she sits on various boards across a range of industries. She is a regular fixture on the public speaking circuit and is a a judge on the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/coutu

 

Peter Cowley

Sector: Technology

Location: Cambridge, UK

Peter is a Cambridge-based mentor and angel investor through Martlet, the investment division of the Marshall of Cambridge group. Martlet provides small sums of capital, between £10,000 and £100,000 for early-stage technology start-ups located in the UK. Peter is also part of the Cambridge Angels and has more than 15 companies in his own investment portfolio.

http://www.petercowley.org/

 

Stefan Glaenzer

Sector: Digital

Location: London, UK

Stefan is a German investor working out of London, where his White Bear Yard acts as an incubator for many of the start-up projects he backs. The 20,000 sq ft offices attract some of Europe’s most exciting talent. A DJ for more than 15 years, he has a particular soft spot for music and was chairman of Last.fm for three years as it grew to 40 million users.

http://www.passioncapital.com

Read a 10 minute interview with Stefan Glaenzer

Nelson Gray

Sector:  Various

Location: Roslin, Scotland

Nelson is an entrepreneur who sold his own business and has since become a hands-on angel investor with more than 20 success stories to his name since 1996. Several of these have floated on the stock exchange and achieved seven-figure turnover figures. He also mentors businesses on a international scale, from Chile to the USA, Sweden to Latvia and beyond.

http://www.nelsongray.com

 

Peter Hackett

Sector: Various

Location: Liverpool, UK

Serial entrepreneur Peter Hackett established Hackett Equity Solutions to back businesses with revenues up to £75m. He combines a network of high net worth individuals with his 25 years in industry to get hands-on and establish start-ups, grow businesses and develop exit strategies.

http://www.hackettequitysolutions.com/

 

Richard Hargreaves

Sector: Young technological companies

Location: London, UK

Dr Richard Hargreaves started in the venture capital world with 3i before leaving to start Baronsmead plc which he developed over 13 years before selling in 1995. Richard later became chairman of the BVCA (British Venture Capital Association) and in 2004 co-founded Endeavour Ventures Ltd, which invests in young technological companies for its 250+ client base of high net worth individuals.

http://www.endven.com

Read a review of Richard’s book – How to become a business angel.

Reid Hoffman

Sector: Various

Location: USA, India, Israel

Reid Hoffman runs a $20m Discovery Fund, which is part of Greylock Partners. Greylock dates back to 1965 and was one of the earliest players in the business angel market. Today the company has around $2bn to invest and has offices on both coasts of the United States, India and Israel. Reid was one of the first backers of Facebook and co-founded LinkedIn.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/reidhoffman

 

Magic Johnson

Sector: Technology

Location: Detroit, USA

The Hall of Fame basketball star may have made his name plying his trade in Los Angeles, but he’s originally from Michigan, and he’s putting something back through Detroit Venture Partners. The venture capitalists have ploughed millions into a variety of mobile apps, cloud computing companies and social networking sites in what it calls the Detroit 2.0 movement.

http://www.detroitventurepartners.com

 

Joshua Kushner

Sector: Media

Location: New York, USA

Joshua may yet be several years off his 30th birthday, but his Thrive Capital has around $100m of investment power. As well as tech start-ups in New York, he’s known for his links to Latin America where Vostu, a social gaming company he founded in 2007, had major success. He is close allies with Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, and Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, and has invested in around 30 new businesses since Thrive launched in 2009.

http://www.thrivecap.com/

 

Ashton Kutcher

Sector: Digital

Location: California, USA

One of the most prolific social media users, the Hollywood superstar is using the wealth he’s earned from a number of blockbuster movies and TV shows to invest in tech start-ups. He’s been involved with Skype, Foursquare and Flipboard and has a habit of plugging his favourite projects when he’s on screen.  Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and even MC Hammer all have a number of investment projects in their portfolios, too.

http://www.facebook.com/Ashton

 

Rajat Malhotra

Sector: Various

Location: London, UK

Rajat uses his background as an antitrust solicitor to bring expertise in competition and markets to his relatively new venture, Wren Capital. The Cambridge graduate says he’s particularly interested in ideas ‘which make the world a better place’ and enjoys the thrill of nurturing businesses to success.

http://www.wrencapital.co.uk/

 

Dave McClure

Sector: Technology

Location: Global

500 Startups provides early-stage companies with up to $250K in funding, mentoring services and access to events that bring talent, ideas and investors together. It was founded by Dave McClure, who has previously started and sold a number of companies and now dedicates his time to nurturing young businesses. His portfolio spans the globe in a variety of markets, and boasts more than 300 companies, around a fifth of which reside in the 500 Startups incubator unit in California.

http://500.co

 

Dale Murray

Sector: Various

Location: London, UK

Dale was named British Angel Investor of the Year 2011 after leaving the mobile telecoms sector to become a full-time investor. Her roles include sitting on the board of Incito Ventures, a female-positive investor network. Her own investments range between £50,000 and £250,000 per project.

http://www.twitter.com/dalejmurray

 

Bill Payne

Sector: Engineering

Location: California, USA

Bill is an entrepreneur who sold his engineering business to DuPont in the early 1980s. He’s since been involved in a number of angel investment programmes, which currently include the Aztec Venture Network in San Diego, Tech Coast Angels in LA, Santa Barbara and beyond, Vegas Valley Angels in Nevada and the Frontier Angel Fund in Montana. He has personally invested in 50 companies and mentored more than 100.

http://billpayne.com

 

Keith Rabois

Sector: Digital

Location: California, USA

Keith’s a specialist n transforming early-stage startups into successful businesses and is noted for his expertise in the financial services industry and government affairs. He’s got a lot of projects going on, advising Google, holding executive roles at PayPal and LinkedIn and overseeing a blossoming investment portfolio which includes YouTube and EventBrite.

http://krabois.com

 

Chris Sacca

Sector: Technology

Location: California, USA

Chris Sacca used to make deals at Google, giving him great new business development experience. Now he’s moved into the angel investor market and he’s got a great track record, including household names such as Twitter. His portfolio currently consists of more than 50 consumer web and technology start-ups through his holding company, Lowercase Capital. Chris has also been named ‘possibly the most influential man in America’ by the Wall Street Journal and was the youngest person to ever make the Forbes Midas List.

http://lowercasecapital.com

 

Ami Shpiro

Sector: Various

Location: London, UK

Ami founded the Innovation Warehouse which provides entrepreneurs with start-up assistance, mentoring and investment. The IW works out of 10,000sq ft offices in the UK capital, with fully-serviced desks and professional services available to members, and access to universities and research bodies as part of the package. Through sister company IW Grow, the service offers access to seedfunding.

http://www.theiw.org/

 

Peter Thiel

Sector: Digital

Location: California, USA

Peter is one of the most respected business minds in America. When a number of investors in Silicon Valley were nicknamed ‘The PayPal Mafia’, he was elected as the Don. In 2005, he created the Founders Fund alongside Sean Parker, Ken Howrey and Luke Nosek which has ploughed millions into some of the most exciting start-ups in America. He continues to share his best-practice advice for young businesses by teaching at Stanford University.

http://www.foundersfund.com/

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