Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News:

Business Plans & Pitching:

Fund Raising:

Marketing & Social Media:

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship:

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or visitregister for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world:

  • Bitbar, the startup behind cloud-based mobile app testing platform Testdroid, has closed $3 million funding
  • Bitium, a powerful SaaS management tool that lets you get more out of the apps you work with every day, closes $2.4M seed funding
  • Crowdtilt, the simple-to-use platform to pool money online, has closed $12 million Series A funding
  • Yodo1, a leading publisher of Western smartphone games for China’s iOS/Android market, has raised $5 million Series A funding
  • Evolve Vacation Rental Network, an online booking platform for vacation rental properties, has raised $2.7M Series A funding
  • Motain, the company behind The Football App, which brings all manner of information to football (soccer) fans, lands €10M Series A funding
  • Zonoff, creator of the Intuitive Home platform for home automation, has raised $3.8M venture capital funding
  • Tastebuds.fm, the social service that helps you meet new people through music, has closed a $600k seed investment
  • GoCardless, a UK startup that helps businesses set up automatic bill pay, direct debits & recurring payments, gets $3.3M Series A funding
  • Online lifestyle marketplace Pepperfry.com has raised $8 million Series B funding from Norwest Venture Partners
  • Ionic Security, delivering the first unified cloud & mobility security platform for the enterprise, closes a $9.4M Series A investment
  • LevelEleven, a company focused on enterprise gamification and CRM technology, has secured $1.5M seed financing
  • BodeTree, an online service that helps small business owners better understand their finances, has raised $1.4M seed funding
  • PhoRent.com, a Peer to Peer rental community where you can list any item you own “Pho Rent”, receives $100,000 seed funding
  • Upstart, which allows you to back promising college graduates for a small share of their future income, raises $5.9M Series A funding
  • Skimlinks, a platform that gives publishers control over affiliate links and content monetization, completes a financing round
  • Bluetrain Mobile, a start-up that offers tools to easily craft mobile marketing websites, has raised $1.53M seed funding
  • ZooZ, a consumer-driven payment platform startup, has closed a $2 million Series A funding round
  • Seelio, a startup where users can create an online portfolio to highlight their work, has raised $900,000 seed funding
  • Nativo, a startup aiming to make it easy for online publishers to run sponsored content, has raised $1.8M seed funding
  • CrowdMed, which harnesses ‘the wisdom of crowds’ to solve even the world’s most difficult medical cases, just raised $1.1M seed funding
  • Gcorelab, developer of a new technology to control the thermal issues that plague lithium-ion batteries, attracts S$589,000 funding
  • Mavatar, a shopping app that searches for deals on items in your cart and applies coupons automatically, raises $1 million seed funding

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

 

Crowdfunding is great for start-ups but is it so great for investors?

I want to start by clarifying two things. Firstly that I am a big fan of donation-based crowdfunding, where people can donate money to creative or social projects that they’re interested in and want to support.  And secondly that I think crowdfunding sites are a very valuable tool for start-ups as they offer an additional route to raising capital (and maybe more accessible for those who aren’t connected to angels or VC’s). However, from my experience in angel investing, I see some big issues for investors who choose to use crowdfunding sites.

1) Lack of Experience

A report written by Robert E. Wiltbank, Ph.D (Associate Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship at Willamette University, Oregon), showed that angel investors with entrepreneurial expertise outperformed those without it, especially in earlier-stage opportunities (see figure 2 below taken from the report).  The same study also showed that angels who invested in opportunities where they have specific industry expertise failed significantly less (see figure 3 below). Since crowdfunding is open to the general public, many of the investors will be inexperienced without entrepreneurial or industry expertise, which means their chances of making a good return on investment would be significantly reduced.

2) No Due Diligence

Formal venture capital investors regularly spend hundreds of hours evaluating potential investments before making a commitment. It has been proved that even a relatively small amount of due diligence can help avoid failure. Crowdfunding investors are expected to make their final decision based on reviewing whatever documentation is available online, maybe asking a few questions by email and having no face-to-face interaction with the team at all. In short, I feel the inability for investors to do proper due diligence is a recipe for disaster.

3) No Investor Involvement

One of the main advantages of traditional equity funding is that the company gets the benefit of the angel’s or VC’s experience, contacts and expertise. Research has shown that, where investors become involved in businesses in which they invest at a strategic level, leads to significantly better final results.  However, this obviously isn’t possible with crowdfunding, as most crowdfunding sites stipulate that the investors must remain silent partners.  Also, no founder in their right mind would want a crowd of hundreds of investors breathing down their neck.

4) Bad Dealflow

I think most entrepreneurs revert to crowdfunding as a plan B after they don’t manage to raise funding from angel investors or venture capitalists. Why would anyone want the hassle of hundreds of silent shareholders who add no strategic value when they could have a small group of investors who will use their experience, expertise and contacts to help drive the business forward? Surely that means that a lot of the companies on crowdfunding sites are the deals that have already been turned down by angels, which means you’re basically investing in angel investors’ leftovers?

Entrepreneurship and start-up creation are critical to any country’s economic development, so I think it’s great that entrepreneurs have a new way to raise funding.  On the flipside, my main concern is that if you apply the same stats from angel investing to crowdfunding, the investor returns are going to be worryingly low.

What’s your view?  Have you (or someone you know) had any problems investing through crowdfunding sites? Or on a more positive note have you invested in a crowdfunded company that has gone on to become a success?

Infographic – What Are The Best Ways To Engage Social Media Users?

So you want a Twitter Profile for your business? And maybe a Facebook Page, too. Perhaps you’re thinking about doing something on Pinterest. And you keep hearing all this good stuff about Instagram. Now what? How do you go about actually engaging your audience?

As always, we’d love to hear what you think.  What do you feel are the best ways to engage with social media users?

Infographic – The State of B2B Content Marketing

Content marketing has quickly become one of the most popular mediums for marketers. This infographic from Uberflip looks at how B2B brands are leveraging these tactics, including common objectives, promotion tools, metrics and reported results.

Highlights:

  • 68% of CMOs will increase their budget for content marketing in 2013 [CMO Council].
  • 87% of marketers listed social media as their favorite content marketing tool; followed by website articles (83%) and eNewsletters (78%) [CMI].
  • 94% of brands create content from scratch [IDG Enterprise].
  • Young social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are growing as content distribution tools [CMI].

Source: https://www.uberflip.com/

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News:

Business Plans & Pitching:

Fund Raising:

Marketing & Social Media:

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship:

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

 

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world: 

  • LevelEleven, a Detroit-based company focused on enterprise gamification and CRM technology, has completed its $1.5M seed financing
  • AutoRef.com, a website that’s improving the used car buying process, has raised $850,000 in seed funding
  • Indian online financial services platform Policybazaar.com has secured $5M series B funding led by Inventus Capital Partners
  • PrePlay, whose mobile & tablet games enhance the experience of watching sports, reality, talent & award shows, lands $4.7M Series B funding
  • Mumbai-based Total Dental Care Pvt Ltd, which runs MyDentist brand of dental care chain, has raised Rs 50 crore Series B funding
  • OpenCoin has closed angel funding for the Ripple, a currency and payments system that makes it fast & easy to trade money in any currency
  • Teddle, a UK startup that lets you easily find and book a home cleaner, has closed £255,000 funding from angel investors
  • ZipDial, the company based in India that has turned missed calls into a business, has raised new funds from Jungle Ventures
  • LearnZillion, a platform for students, teachers & parents to access a video library of math & literacy lessons, gets $7M Series A funding
  • BuyReply, a new platform for e-commerce that allows consumers to purchase items from offline medium, has raised $1 million seed funding
  • FlightCar, a peer-to-peer airport car rental startup, has raised $5.5M Series A funding
  • Product review portal Reviews42, run by Delhi-based Solvy Tech Solutions Pvt Ltd, has raised Series A funding
  • Fusebill, a leading provider of automated, flexible and affordable subscription billing & payment solutions, lands a $2M investment
  • Mumbai-based PICKmE eSolutions, which offers a doorstep service to get your gadgets repaired, has secured $500,000 angel funding
  • Bubbles, a web-based email platform that lets users create and send handwritten notes over email, picks up $100,000 angel funding
  • SocialFlow, the leading social media marketing company, has announced a $10 million Series B funding round
  • The RealReal, a leader in luxury online resale, has raised $14 million in Series B funding
  • The Hunt, the first community-driven online shopping experience that makes social media photos shoppable, lands seed financing
  • Idibon has closed $1.4M seed funding from Khosla Ventures to keep building out natural-language-processing software
  • Larky, the world’s largest platform of member benefits, perks and discounts, has raised a seed round of $650,000
  • Nosto, which increases online store revenues by delivering customers a personalized shopping experience, closes $2.8M seed funding
  • Fits.me, which develops virtual fitting room solutions for online clothing retailers, has closed €5.5M Series A funding
  • BodeTree, an online service that helps small business owners better understand their finances, has raised $1.4M seed funding
  • Nitrous.IO, Action.IO’s software development platform and key product, just got $1 million seed funding from a handful of VC firms
  • Walkbase, a next generation analytics and actionable metrics for retail, has received seed funding from two Russian investors
  • EQuala, a social radio app where you can play your friends’ music with the touch of a button, has raised seed funding

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

Infographic – Social Media Is Not Only For Marketing Your Business

Today it’s not enough for small businesses to solely use social media for their immediate marketing needs.  They need to sew it through the fabric of their entire business strategies – from customer service to collecting and prioritizing ideas – in order to derive the most value.

This infographic from Get Satisfaction shows how small businesses can go beyond just marketing by using well-set social media channels to respond immediately, 24/7, to customer concerns while projecting a more personal approach to customer service.

Angel Investment 2012 Year in Review – The Halo Report

CB Insights just released their year-end 2012 Halo Report in conjunction with Silicon Valley Bank and the Angel Resource Institute.  The full 33-page report recaps the entire year of 2012, including quarterly trends as well as annual comparisons versus years prior.

To download the entire 33 page 2012 year-end Halo Report, login here. The underlying angel investment data is also available and proprietary to CB Insights. (note: report and data are only available to subscribers)

Highlights of the 2012 angel investing report include:

  • Median Deal Size Shrinks in 2012: medial deal size among angel groups and their syndicates falls to $600k in 2012, down from $625k in 2011.  In good news, however, median deal size reaches a five-quarter high in Q4 at $690k.
  • Early Stage Valuations Hold Their Ground: amidst all the recent talk of an early stage bubble, angel investors remain unphased as pre-money valuations hold steady with those of 2011 at $2.5M.
  • California Loses Investment Share in 2012: while California still remains the top destination for angel group investment in 2012, it loses significant share to various regions including New York, New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Northwest.
  • Mobile Dials Up, Healthcare Slows Pulse: Mobile more than doubles its share of investment dollars in 2012.  Healthcare loses significant share in terms of deals and dollars slipping to the #2 spot behind Internet as a destination for angel investment.
  • A New Face Atop the Leaderboard: New York Angels skyrocket up the charts to become the most active angel group in 2012.  Tech Coast Angels slips to the two-spot.

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world:  

  • Showpad, which makes iPad software for sales teams, has raised $2 million Series A funding
  • Playdek, a mobile portal, developer and platform for tabletop gaming, has closes $3.8M Series A funding
  • Deliv, a startup that helps national retail chains provide same-day delivery services through a crowdsourced model, raises $1M seed funding
  • Bespoke Post, a subscription-based e-commerce startup offering a hilariously titled “Box of Awesome”, closes $850K seed funding
  • Cumulogic, a Java Platform-as-a-Service company, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding
  • Dashboard.io, a platform for funded startups to connect with and benchmark against their investors’ portfolios, gets $750k seed financing
  • Food52, the crowdsourced cooking website, has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments
  • ZoomCar, a membership-based, self-drive car rental service based in Bangalore, raises $215K in angel funding
  • Chewse, a B2B marketplace for group meals focused on getting offices of workers fed, has raised $1 million in seed funding
  • Cooleaf, a company focused on making living healthy more fun, has closed $375,000 seed funding
  • Grand St., an online marketplace for buying “creative technology” products, has received $1.3M seed funding
  • BusyLife Software, a mobile software company offering business and consumer software products, closes an oversubscribed funding round
  • ElectNext, a startup that helps anyone, anywhere engage on their most important political issues, raises $1.3M seed funding
  • Larky, a startup that helps users take better advantage of discounts and benefits from various organizations, raises $650,000 seed funding
  • Lagoa, an impressive browser-based 3D rendering platform, has raised $1.6M in seed funding
  • NetSocket, a leading provider of network service assurance solutions for unified communications, secures $9.2M Series B funding
  • UrgentRx, developer of fast-acting over-the-counter flavored powder medications, has closed $2.5M Series B funding
  • EAT Club, a Palo Alto-based food delivery service, has raised $5 million Series A funding led by August Capital
  • Haiku Deck, a free presentation app for iPad that makes presentations simple, beautiful, and fun, raises $3M Series A funding
  • MokiMobility, a cloud-base mobile device management (MDM) platform, lands $2 million seed funding
  • Dublin start-up Converser, a CRM and cloud communications platform which can be embedded within mobile apps, closes US$1.2M seed funding
  • IndoorAtlas, a Finland-based indoor location and positioning technology startup, has snagged a seed investment of about $640,000
  • DailyLook, a fashion site that offers one complete look on sale for 36 hours every day, gets $2.5 million seed funding

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

 

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News:

Fund Raising:

Marketing & Social Media:

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship:

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.