As an angel investor, having a strong deal flow of startups is essential for having a solid portfolio. Deal flow is the access to startups looking for funding. It is the first step of angel investing.
Deal flow is especially critical for early-stage investing, namely pre-seed and seed stages. This is due to a large number of companies within these stages. No single entity or network can track all the early-stage companies at once and know which companies are looking to fundraise. For later stages, the deal flow may not be this crucial due to the low number of companies: having a network of professionals may be enough to provide you with access to who is fundraising.
Our focus here will be on angel investors looking to finance early-stage startups. You need to be visible and sure that people know you’re interested in investing. Here we will show you four ways to achieve that.
Four Ways to Increase your Deal Flow for Early-stage Startups
1. Online Presence
By online presence we mean being searchable and active on social platforms where founders and fellow angel investors are.
Spend some research time on which platforms founders and investors use within your region of interest: most regions use LinkedIn and Twitter.
You can be active by writing small posts, writing blogs, or making videos. These are great ways to let the majority hear about you. More importantly, it will communicate your areas of expertise to others and how you can be of help. This attracts focused founders looking to partner with angel investors who can provide them with their expertise and advice.
It’s okay, though, if you don’t want to develop social content. Another way to ensure your online presence is by being easily searchable. For example, make sure you would be visible to a founder searching on LinkedIn. If the founder searches with “angel investor” and filters the location in the country you invest in, they should find you easily in the search results. The same goes for any other platform. Put yourself in the founders’ shoes and check how they can look you up.
Forming a professional network is key for high-quality deal flow. A lot of investors depend on recommendations made by friends or professionals they trust.
You can start by letting your network know you are actively investing and would appreciate their recommendations. Your network includes family, friends, current founders, and legal & strategic consultants. Basically, inform anyone from your network slightly engaged with the startup scene.
Additionally, expand your network by going to social events for entrepreneurs and investors. The more relevant the event is to industries and countries you invest in, the better.
3. Follow Accelerators and Incubators
Many accelerators and incubators work with startups in the earliest stages. When their startups graduate, they typically look for additional funding from angel investors or other sources.
Following these accelerators is an easy way to find new companies periodically. You can also attend their demo day to see the startups’ pitches and meet the founders. As you already guessed, this could be another source of networking!
4. Join VeFund
At VeFund, we care about angel investor branding and recognize how critical it is to the ecosystem.
Angel investors can open a branded profile with us to showcase their interests and the deals they would like to receive. You can determine the industries, countries, check sizes, and other specifications tailored to you.
Using your profile, you can share it on social media for founders to easily know about you. You can also create investment programs and share them to directly receive applications from founders.
Finally, every account with us is featured on our active investor database for easier accessibility for founders and publicity for investors.