Top 50 “Business Angels”, according to their investments and their success

Who are the 50 biggest business angels right now? How to contact them?

Good and effective fundraising for a start-up does not stop at the number of people and companies you can count on. It’s about meeting the right investors and having a solid pitch. A recent DocSend study shows that, on average, successful funded startups contacted only 58 investors, held 40 meetings and took only 12.5 weeks to close their fundraising round.

Once you know who to contact, it’s time to perfect your pitch. For a great pitch, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel. Thiel was Facebook’s first business angel with a $500,000 check, which turned into more than $1 billion in cash. Another example is an Uber competitor’s pitch, which raised over $400 million.

To get you started, below are the best business angels to contact, with links to their LinkedIn profiles, to save you time. According to Crunchbase data below, here are the top 50 business angels, ranked by number of investments made.

To make this work, I recommend finding one of these investors’ portfolio companies and asking the founder to introduce you. It is the best pitch you can have as it has the highest degree of social connection to these investors.

1) Fabrice Grinda (245 investments)

2) Paul Buchheit (135 investments)

3) Wei Guo (129 investments)

4) Alexis Ohanian (126 investments)

5) Scott Banister (126 investments)

6) Naval Ravikant (121 investments)

7) Daniel Curran (114 investments)

8) Marc Benioff (113 investments)

9) Mark Cuban (110 investments)

10) Simon Murdoch (99 investments)

11) Ron Conway (89 investments)

12) Esther Dyson (86 investments)

13) Kevin Moore (85 investments)

14) David Tisch (83 investments)

15) Dave McClure (79 investments)

16) Semil Shah (74 investments)

17) Max Levchin (72 investments)

18) Jason Calacanis (72 investments)

19) Benjamin Ling (70 investments)

20) Brendan Wallace (67 investments)

21) Tim Draper (66 investments)

22) James Sowers (65 investments)

23) Auren Hoffman (65 investments)

24) Lee Linden (64 investments)

25) Joanne Wilson (63 investments)

26) Farzad Nazem (60 investments)

27) Joshua Schachter (59 investments)

28) Garry Tan (59 investments)

29) Rajan Anandan (57 investments)

30) Xavier Niel (57 investments)

31) Dave Morin (57 investments)

32) Jose Marin (57 investments)

33) Reid Hoffman (55 investments)

34) Keith Rabois (55 investments)

35) Will Herman (55 investments)

36) Scott Belsky (53 investments)

37) Rick Marini (53 investments)

38) Charlie Songhurst (52 investments)

39) Hesham Zreik (52 investments)

40) Bashar Hamood (52 investments)

41) Brad Harrison (51 investments)

42) Gary Vaynerchuk (50 investments)

43) Clark Landry (50 investments)

44) Wayne Chang (50 investments)

45) Dharmesh Shah (50 Investments)

46) Mitchell Kapor (50 investments)

47) Ullas Naik (48 investments)

48) Raymond Tonsing (48 investments)

49) Kevin Mahaffey (48 investments)

50) Elad Gil (45 investments)

The best business angels, by market

We all know that venture capital can be difficult. The best businesses and the best timelines are not always in focus when the financing takes place. Some of the largest startups, with multi-billion dollar valuations, have continued to raise new rounds without selling and/or going public. And it can turn out to be among the best long-term investments. However, it is important for entrepreneurs to know which potential partners have had real success.

Here are the five best business angels in descending order:

  1. Fabrice Grinda (48)
  2. Ron Conway (48)
  3. Naval Ravikant (38)
  4. Paul Buchheit (37)
  5. David Tish (35)

Ron Conway and Reid Hoffman also have a success rate of over 50% based on the number of investments they have made.

Check sizes and industries

Business angels invest their own agent and the typical amount is between $150,000 and $2,000,000. Since these business angels very often occupy important and often decision-making positions in large companies, they can be very good advisors, and help you pitch and introduce you to investors, in addition to bringing you funds.

A Harvard study has proven that start-ups funded by business angels have a better chance of survival. In fact, as we can notice from the names above, most of them are serially successful entrepreneurs.

What business angels are looking for is a good team and a good market that can return 10 times the original investment over a period of 5 years. Liquidity events mostly occur via an initial public offering, secondary market transactions or an acquisition.

According to a Halo report, business angels particularly like start-ups operating in the following sectors: Internet (37.4%), care and health (23.5%), mobile and telecommunications (10.4%), energy and utilities (4.3%), electronics (4.3%), consumer products and services (3.5%) and other industries (16.5%).

Data collected by the Kauffman Foundation further shows that business angels’ best estimate of return is 2.5 times their investment, even though the odds of a positive return are less than 50%. Which remains absolutely competitive with venture capital returns.

Silicon Valley is the dominant geographic area in terms of the number of business angels, but Silicon Alley is quickly catching up.

(“Silicon Alley is an East Coast counterpart to Silicon Valley, located in the heart of Manhattan. It is a technology park that concentrates companies specializing in the Internet, media, publishing, advertising.Note).

Summary

Ultimately, as a founder, you want to meet investors in the best possible network. Good relationships count as one of the most important factors as a start-up. If you can get money and connections, all at the same time, it can only benefit you.

Trust, power, good connections can take years and significant investment. But sometimes all it takes is the right connection at the right time for a startup to become huge, very quickly.

It’s the same concept as celebrities. If the right celebrity advertises and recommends your product to the right people, your business can explode. Of course, most young startups can’t afford the backing of celebrities or big brands like Nike or Adidas, at least not in a sustainable way.

Increasing your capital via an investor with good relationships, on the other hand, shifts this equation. You are actually getting paid to be promoted. This isn’t just about celebrity product placement, it can also be about incredibly powerful broadcast channels.

Well-connected investors can always open doors for you in financing rounds, business development deals and potential acquisitions.

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