New Data on Angel Investor and Angel Fund Returns

Posted by Pierre de la Fortune on April 4, 2015 @ 12:01 a.m.

Written by Basil Peters

Every year, angel investors and venture capital funds invest about the same amount of capital -- around $25 billion in the US and $3 billion in Canada.

When it comes to returns, there is a great deal of information available on venture capital funds, but almost no information on angel returns.

Fortunately, the first large scale study on angel investor returns was published this week by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Angel Capital Education Foundation.

The study was authored by Robert Wiltbank of Willamette University and Warren Boeker of the University of Washington.

This was the largest study of angel investment returns ever conducted, analyzing results from 86 organized angel investor groups throughout the United States, involving 539 individual angel group investors who have experienced more than 1,130 exits in which investment-receiving companies were acquired, went public, or were closed.

Average Angel Investor Returns

The study’s results showed that, on average, exits generated 2.6 times the invested capital in 3.5 years from investment to exit.

The angel investors achieved an average 27% internal rate of return on their investments. Angel Fund Returns Website

While even less data is available on Angel Funds, the very new website has been launched as a medium for angel fund managers to present their fund returns. The website shows returns for funds that are in the same range as those reported by the study on angel investment returns.

When comparing the fund returns to angel investor returns, it is important to remember that fund returns are reduced by tax, expenses, and the equity participation, or carry, of the fund managers. Comparable and Confirmed Returns

These angel investment and angel fund returns compare favorably to those of other private-equity investments, including early-stage venture capital, which is probably the highest performing equity asset class of all. Some data on early stage venture fund returns is available here.

The results cited in the angel investor study and on confirm what angel investors have known intuitively for a long time - if you invest early, and make non-monetary contributions by mentoring or serving as a director, the returns from early stage investing can be very rewarding.

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Angel investors- This group of people comprise of wealthy, accredited individuals (as defined by the SEC- see “accredited investor”) who provide necessary funding to business owners. While they are known to finance companies in its “seed” stage, many angel investors are now investing in later-stage enterprises. They are not related to nor are friends with their invested company’s founders. Angel investors usually invest in businesses that need anywhere from a few thousand dollars to up to $1 million or more, depending on the investor.

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