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Startup essentials: Why you need a robust shareholder and founder agreement


In our latest Startup essentials article, we discuss the importance of having a robust shareholder and founder agreement in place. With founder fall outs all too common, Helen Goldberg, COO at our partner Legal Edge gives you the lowdown on what needs to be covered in this essential agreement.

You’re busy building and growing a business, so shareholder and founder agreements are often deprioritised, forgotten or overlooked while you’re deep in product development or GTM strategy. While you may opt for a verbal agreement and trust in long-term commitment, it is essential to have formal agreements in place when working with co-founders and investors. read more

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Naked Rivals Secures $3 Million in Capital, supported by Angel Investment Network

Australian beverage brand, Naked Rivals has announced a successful capital raise of A$3 million within 3 months of launching its first 100% lemon and lime juice cubes product range across 1,600 supermarkets in Australia.

This remarkable deal, one of the largest of its kind in Australia this year for a startup, was sourced from a single ultra-high-net-worth family through the Australian Investment Network (AIN). AIN is part of the Angel Investment Network, the world’s largest online angel investment community. read more

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Startup Essentials: Understanding Your Buyer Persona: A Startup’s Secret Weapon in the Digital Age 

AIN recently collaborated with our partner HubSpot for Startups to deliver a webinar focusing on Understanding Your Buyer Persona. As part of our Startup Essentials series, we give you the lowdown.

In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, startups face a constant struggle: cutting through the noise and reaching the right customers. In this world buyer personas are a powerful tool. But what exactly are they, and why are they so crucial for a startup’s success?

Buyer Personas: Demystifying Your Ideal Customer read more

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The Motivations of Angel Investors: Insights and Advice for Startups

Understanding what drives angel investors is essential for any startup seeking funding. It’s not just about showcasing your business’s strengths; it’s about stepping into the investor’s shoes. After all, angel investors are more than just financial backers; they bring invaluable expertise, mentorship, and network connections.

This article takes a deep dive into the motivations of prominent investors. What are their priorities? What do you need to know to secure their support?
read more

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Dragon Slayer: how to get funded faster with less time-wasting and pain

A recent Angel Investment Network webinar heard from investment experts Dan Kirby from Founders Are Mental and Tom Moore from Tucker Capital on how to get funded faster with less time-wasting and pain

One of the key take outs was that investors aren’t just looking for a promising product or service – they’re looking for the right leader. Your “unfair advantage” is that unique combination of skills, experience, or background that makes you the perfect person to spearhead your startup’s mission. read more

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Angel Investing for Everyone: Mike Lebus on Creating an Angel Investment Paradise in the UK

Our co-founder Mike Lebus was recently interviewed for an article in Digital Frontier discussing how the UK could become an angel investment paradise by lowering barriers to investment and also supporting more diversity in angel investment.

Lowering the Barriers

Mike Lebus, co-founder and director of Angel Investment Network, argued that the current system unfairly excludes many potential investors. Lebus proposes a non-means-based approach that focuses on education and informed decision-making.

“Anyone can sign up to a crypto trading site or a stock trading website without being either [a sophisticated investor or HNWI]. Anyone can take out an insurance policy without being either,” Lebus commented. “As long as you’re explained what you’re signing up to and the risks of what you’re signing up to, that’s generally accepted to be OK, except in the startup world where they pose these barriers to people. And really, it’s very frustrating.” read more

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Navigating a changed landscape: Investor insights for startup success

The past couple of years have seen a significant shift in the fundraising landscape, with startups navigating a new investor mindset amidst increasingly tough economic circumstances. We conducted a recent survey among investors within our network to gather investor insights on what they seek and, importantly, what they do not, to enhance startup success.

Encouragingly a majority are planning to invest more this year than last highlighting the opportunity for startups. In terms of the present climate, investors are seeking well-capitalised startups with a strong track record. Advice for startups in fundraising includes reducing valuations (49%), planning for longer fundraising periods (44%), and raising smaller rounds (38%).  read more

Mike Lebus writes for EU Startups on Winning over Angel Investors in a New Landscape

Our co-founder, Mike Lebus, was recently featured in an article in EU Startups, a leading publication for the European startup ecosystem. The article considers the significant shift in the angel investor landscape for 2024, offering valuable insights for startups seeking funding. Lebus referenced a recent survey AIN conducted of investors across our network.

Key Takeaways for Founders
  • Focus on Fundamentals and Impact: Lebus emphasised the move away from inflated valuations based on potential. Investors now prioritise strong fundamentals and a clear path to profitability. Additionally, he highlighted the growing importance of showcasing your venture’s positive social or environmental impact.
  • Craft a Compelling Narrative: As Lebus highlights, simply having a good idea is no longer enough. Craft a compelling narrative that showcases not just your product or service, but also the positive impact it will create.
  • Avoid Common Pitfalls: Overvaluation and inadequate market research are major red flags for today’s cautious investors. Be realistic about your valuation and focus on demonstrating your true potential for growth. Conduct thorough market research to showcase a deep understanding of your target market and industry trends.
  • Build Strong Relationships: Regular communication with potential investors is key to building trust and fostering a long-term partnership.

The full article on EU Startups provides a comprehensive analysis of these trends, along with additional insights and investor wishlist traits. We recommend checking it out for a deeper dive into navigating the new landscape of angel investment. read more

Startup essentials: How to structure your cap table

Over the next few months, with the assistance of our expert partners, we will explore the essential factors that all startups seeking funding need to consider. This will include organising your finances, conducting due diligence, and implementing growth hacking strategies.

First up, Guy Kaufman, Startup Lead at Vestd. He gives us the lowdown on understanding cap tables, a visual representation of your company’s ownership that becomes more crucial and complicated as your startup grows.

New businesses pop up every day, many with their eyes on the prize of a lucrative exit. Even in uncertain economic times, we’ve seen companies like Loom, Uber, and Airbnb rise to the top. read more

Global Investor Survey: Positive impact driving decisions while over valuations most common startup mistake

A new survey conducted among global investors by Angel Investment Network has shed light on the preferences, motivations, and advice from angel investors. 

It reveals angel investors are more motivated by positive impact than ever before while financial fundamentals are crucial, with over valuations revealed as the biggest startup mistake.

Angel Investment Network surveyed investors across our global network to take the temperature of investors in 2024. The key findings include:

Investment patterns

A majority of investors had invested in 10 or fewer businesses, with 28% investing in under 5 and 30% investing in 6-10. Positive impact emerged as a crucial factor influencing investment decisions, with 72% of respondents expressing some degree of agreement with its importance. For many, investing isn’t just about financial gain; it’s about catalysing change and leaving a lasting imprint on the world. read more

How To Avoid The Dark Side Of Success – 5 key take outs

In a recent webinar we had a great hour discussing “How To Avoid The Dark Side Of Success” with Dan Kirby, exited Tech founder and the founder of Founders Are Mental (FAM), a coaching community for entrepreneurs. The course helps entrepreneurs define and follow through on the good habits they know they need to do in just a few hours a month.

Here are the top 5 tips:

1) Reality bites 

There is a big difference between the entrepreneurial life you are sold (ie independence and freedom) and the life you end up having (never switching off, tied to the business. read more

AIN urges UK Government to reverse forthcoming changes to definition of High Net Worth (HNW) individuals for investment eligibility

Together with hundreds of other angel investors, founders, and tech industry leaders, AIN has signed an open letter to the Chancellor, presenting a case for reversing the forthcoming changes to the definition of High Net Worth (HNW) individuals for investment eligibility.

At Angel Investment Network, we are committed to democratising the startup ecosystem, connecting the world to enable investors to back the great businesses of tomorrow.

In order to ensure those connections can flow freely, it is imperative to reduce barriers for startups to raise funding and for investors to access deals and invest. read more

Meet the Investor: Christian Teichmann

In our latest Meet The Investor interview we speak to Christian Teichmann, Managing Director of Burda Principal Investments. Christian is a venture capitalist driven by curiosity and a daily quest for the “next big thing'” in the competitive world of fundraising.

He talks to AIN about the exciting sectors gaining his interest, the common mistakes founders make, how preparation is key and why startups should raise more capital than they think they need.

Why did you become an investor?

I am a highly curious person and, as a VC investor, I have the opportunity to come across the next big thing every day. It excites me every morning to think about what will succeed, what constitutes a business and what is merely a feature. read more

Founder mental health: Interview with Dan Kirby

In the latest article in our Founder Mental Health series, AIN sits down with seasoned entrepreneur Dan Kirby, the exited founder of renowned digital agency The Tech Dept, and host of the widely acclaimed business podcast, “Honey I Blew Up the Business.” 

Dan is the founder of the new wellness program ‘Founders Are Mental’ and in this revealing and honest interview he talks to AIN about the intricacies of his entrepreneurial path — from immense success to burnout to now finding new balance and prioritising mental health.  read more

Meet the Investor: Cristina Bullon Gomez

In our latest Meet the Investor interview, we meet Cristina Bullon Gomez, a seasoned investor with a passion for nurturing and advising startups. She discusses the symbiotic relationship between investors and startups that fuels economic growth, the red flags she watches out for when investing in startups and how startups should tackle fundraising today. Plus her thoughts on why we need societal change to truly democratise the startup ecosystem.

Why did you become an angel investor?

After many years working alongside startups, I recognize the vital role of capital investments. This not only benefits investors in achieving ROI but is equally crucial for startups to foster growth and expansion. This symbiotic relationship is fundamental to any economy, providing markets with new and reliable ideas. read more

Meet the Investor: Ben Legg

In our latest “Meet The Investor” interview, we speak with Ben Legg, an angel investor and startup founder driven by a passion for promising founders and innovative ideas. Ben believes in the long-term benefits of angel investing, from gaining insights into fresh ideas to building wealth for retirement and the “warm, fuzzy feeling” of truly making a difference.

He shares his views on the exciting sectors gaining his interest, offers valuable advice for startups raising in the present climate, and explains why the mentoring power of angel investors is a formidable quality that shouldn’t be overlooked. read more

Regenerative AgriTech: Seeding a greener future

In an era where environmental sustainability and food security are paramount, the world of agriculture is undergoing a profound transformation. Regenerative AgriTech, a groundbreaking approach that combines cutting-edge technology with ecological wisdom, is at the forefront of this change. As the world grapples with the challenges of traditional farming, Regenerative AgriTech offers innovative solutions that are capturing the attention of both investors and eco-conscious farmers. 

In our latest sector focus article Olivia Sibony, AIN’s Head of Impact and founder of Impact Amplified, explores the reasons for the rising interest in regenerative agricultural technology, the hurdles that this sector must overcome, the promising investor opportunities, and the trailblazing companies leading the way in this transformative field. read more

Meet The Investor: Bryony Marshall

In our latest Meet The Investor interview we speak to experienced angel investor Bryony Marshall. She discusses why the present investing climate is a return to ‘normal’, the common mistakes startups make in their fundraising journey and how to avoid them. Plus the importance of networking and community and why we need to first understand the barriers to diversity in the startup ecosystem before we can look at solutions.

Why did you become an angel investor?

For me, angel investing is a way to directly support innovative ideas and help amazing founders on their mission to change the world. As an angel investor you are usually some of the first funding into a start up, and I am using that opportunity to ensure funding reaches a diverse founders.  read more

Meet the Investor: Conor Sharpe

Last year, we introduced a new content series spotlighting our inspiring and diverse network of investors. All leading the way in their respective fields. 

Fast forward to 2023, a very different climate compared to last year, with its own set of challenges. Founders are navigating through a highly competitive landscape, with investors applying more stringent criteria for precious funding.

Against this backdrop we are pleased to announce the launch of Series 2, as we aim to address these challenges and continue our mission of connecting ambitious entrepreneurs with investors. read more

Angel Investment Network launches new investor focused app

Angel Investment Network, the world’s largest online angel investment platform, has launched a new app, enabling investors to access thousands of startup opportunities.

The new app, which is free for investors, provides instant access to AIN’s 40 global neworks. This will  enable investors to grow their portfolios through exploring deals, connecting and investing with entrepreneurs.

The app was developed after a rigorous research and a planning process involving input from investors and experts and is available for download from the App Store and Android read more