A lot of people have been craving to start their own businesses, but they lack the wherewithal to actually get started. Some they approach several banks and other lenders to access funds all to no avail. They have lost hope and thrown away their lofty ideals. Some have resorted to going back to the jobs they have lost passion for or take ‘okada’ riding.
However, there are people who have money that are looking for where to put it and at the same time impact others positively. One of such people is an angel investor.
An investor is a wealthy individual that agrees to invest in a small startup company that has little access to capital. Typically, an angel investor is entrepreneur who may also be a friend or relative of the person starting the company. He believes in the company’s founders, as well as their business concept, and they loan the capital needed for the fledgling company to get off the ground, generally at more favourable loan terms than other lenders. Often, angel investors want their investment to remain private.
In return for their support, angel investors usually receive ownership in the new company, often in the form of preferred stock. Angel investors are generally savvy business people who can offer crucial insights and expertise to the new company’s management, especially when the startup is in the angel investor’s niche.
An angel investor is different from a venture capitalist. An angel investor is usually an individual who wants the business to succeed for personal reasons, as well as business reasons, while a venture capitalist is partnership that pool money from wealthy groups, investment banks or other entities in the hope of reaping a huge profit.
Entrepreneurs who need funds to get their business going can benefit from an angel investor. But some angel investors may too closely monitor how their investment is growing and performing, which may not be what the entrepreneur has in mind.
To attract an angle investor, there are some fundamentals you have to put in place. Nobody will just throw his money into a business. So, these basic prerequisites when met angle investors like Tony Elumelu, who runs a foundation that helps in empowering startups across the African continent.
Develop a creative business plan
Anybody planning to invest a business wants to have an idea of what the business is all about. He wants to know where the money is in it. This is what a creative business plan should do. It is your opportunity to disclose what your business is about and what you need and want in a partnership with an investor. Make sure it is unique.
Angel Investors want to ensure they are protected. They will scrutinize your business plan to ensure that you are who you say you are, that your company is what you say it is, that you own the legal rights to IP and the ability to use that IP as stated in your business plan. Keep the basic components of a business plan, but don’t assume that another firm’s terms are right for you.
State all figures
Your business plan should go beyond being a term sheet. It should be your business in paper. An economist once said, “As an economist, the way I view a term sheet is like an equation where you have variables including an interest rate variable, a discount variable, and you have a time variable, and I really feel like nobody has looked at how those things work together.” So, to steal the heart of an angle investor, you have to state all the variables that are involved in the success of your intending business. For instance, spell out how you intend to over tackle the challenge of glut if you are delving into poultry business.
And to achieve this, take time to figure out how these variables work together. Don’t rely just on round numbers. Give some thought to economic terms that make sense to you and make sense for your potential investors.
Do scenario planning.
Numbers are important, but angel investors will also be looking to you to acknowledge how you cover the things that can go wrong. Make sure to spell out what is property of your business and what are your personal assets.
Make sure you think through multiple scenarios. For example, what if your startup is acquired sooner rather than later, before investment is converted? Will your investors get a multiple of their money, or will they be able to convert prior to sale? Think through these options, even if far reaching, and spell it out. And be sure to follow up on any unanswered questions; it’s a great way to establish a relationship.
Know that angel investors are team players
Angel investors tend to be a cross-section of domain and industry expertise. When they are reviewing potential group investments, each angel brings a specific set of questions and perspectives to the table. Though an individual angel’s investment is not substantial in the broader scope of a startup’s angel investment, the founding team should consider the perspectives that each angel may bring to the table, account for those interests in the term sheet, and take advantage of that expertise as the founder is building out the agreement.
For example, an economist investor ill focus on the numbers and the interactions between different financial scenarios, while an investor with a legal background may be focused on what is and is not included in the declarations included in the term sheet. If something is missed or misrepresented in your business plan, it will be disclosed through the angel investor group’s dialogue about the opportunity you are presenting to it.
Take time in making decision
While it is important to keep momentum in your fundraising round, angel investors are not going to commit their money on the basis of an unfounded urgency. It is unrealistic to expect an angel investor hastily throw his hard earn money on the laps of a startup without taking his time to double check the risk factors involve.
Given the wealth of deal flow, your desire to rush matters may be the reason an investor needs to pass on your deal. Educate yourself on how long it takes to fundraise, and plan your timing and deadline accordingly.