What is an angel network, and how should we define them?

Author

UK Business Angels Association

27 September 2018

An angel investor refers to an individual investor, who is usually but not always a high net worth individual. (Read here for more info on how Beauhurst can help you target HNWIs). An angel network meanwhile is an official collection of angel investors, who share introductions to companies and often syndicate their funds into a single pot and make joint investments. They are a looser, more personal alternative to a VC fund, with financial backing coming from a network of individuals as opposed to large institutional or corporate investors.

For example Cambridge Angels, one of the UK’s most active angel networks, describe themselves as:

“A group of more than 60 high-net worth investors who have proven experience as successful entrepreneurs in technology, internet, software, hardware, digital healthcare and life sciences. Members invest in and mentor high quality start-up and early-stage companies in these sectors in Cambridge, London, Oxford and throughout the UK.”

An angel network can be an important source of funding to entrepreneurs and startups, either as an alternative to or in conjunction with traditional VCs. Indeed, a significant number of HNWIs have made their money through exiting on their own startups, meaning they can act as an invaluable source of experience and advice to their investees.

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