Friday, December 17, 2010

Venture Capital or Angel Finance?

Many entrepreneurs who have successfully raised business finance for their business plan will tell you very quickly whether they prefer Venture Capital or Angel Investment. Both of course have their benefits and drawbacks and in may ways it just depends on what you are looking for. Scott Rafer (former CEO of MyBlogLog), talks about 5 reasons why getting angel investing is better than VC money:

1) Focus. “Angels can concentrate on the individual strategy of your company, rather than the larger portfolio management strategy a VC must bear in mind.”

2) Deal Terms. Angels generally don’t demand as much in liquidation preferences and other deal terms.

3) Future Funding Rounds. You will generally have more control over future negotiations in getting additional funding.

4) Transactional Control. “You won’t have to seek permission from investors who aren’t on your board or worry about what a VC needs to have happen vis รก vis managing his limited partners… Angels have no LPs, so their agendas tend to be far more transparent.”

5) Exit. “Angels aren’t compensated in ratios. Angels get 100 percent of the profit they generate with their investment in your company. A VC only gets a fraction of the ‘carry’ generated on your deal. This is one reason a VC might be motivated to urge you to sell bigger.”

Rob Conway, a well known “super angel”, follows up with 3 more reasons why Angel money is more attractive than VC money.

1) The due diligence process will be less rigorous since angels are acting in their own interest and not investing OPM (other people’s money).

2) Angels are generally more vertical specialists than compared to VC’s.

3) “Angels have one-degree of separation from people in their professional network — not two, or three, or four. But because angels tend to be operational types, the business relationships they bring to the table are personal, not transactional. ”

Finally, Allan Leinwand, follows up with a counterpoint on why Entrepreneurs should prefer VC money over angel money. He claims VC’s will be better able to stick with the startup over the long term, if things don’t work out quickly. However, Tom Perkins, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, says they put companies in the “ICU” if they are not performing well. They either see if they can get out of it or they shut off everything right away.

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