Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dealing with Angels - Private Equity

There are not many Indonesians have chance to work directly with worldwide angel investors and venture capitalist. I was fortunate enough when I met one global investor and he hired me just couple hours after our meeting. He asked me to lead the acquisition projects, setting up the company, hiring people and run the operation.

Wealthy investor or angel usually invests less than $1 million per startup at concept or early product development phase. They seek to boost the value of a company as quickly possible with less regard for intangible factors such as company history, culture, or workplace environment.

Looking back on my personal experiences dealing with angels, here are some tips for raising money for your project from wealthy investors, angels and venture capitalist.

If you have to give up your equity, you have to consider a portion for future partners. Give the angel at maximum 60% equity and keep the remaining portion.

If your project still need other financing to reach the optimum condition, first thing to check is the credibility of your angel. If the angel has bad reputations in the past then do not partnership with him unless the angel commits to go to the next rounds with your terms.

Unsophisticated angels; usually come with simple investment structure, easy to understand but full of flaw. Hire a strategic analyst to check the structure!

Angels with no industry experience, they may come to you again and again with bad advices. There would be more tension between you and the angel

Arrogant angels; make sure from the beginning that you will run the company not the angel. If both of you agree to hire professional CEO then put your own criteria from the beginning

Consider your relationship with your friends who working for the project, they may vanish one by one. Angel has no heart for your historical relationship with your co partner, co worker and your team

Last, make sure you have a lawyer with you

If you can bring one reputable angel into your project, then your project is feasible to most of the angels. So best to research them before you blindly marry.

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