In London, Ivy Mukherjee, 28, a product designer, and Shashwat Shukla, 30, a private equity investor, also started investing money in startups this year to learn new skills and network with others in the industry. They said they were proceeding with caution, with checks for $ 2,000 to $ 5,000, knowing they could lose everything.
“If we get our money back, that’s enough for us,” Shukla said.
The new angels have the potential to transform a venture capital industry that has been stubbornly partisan. They could also pressure bad actors in the industry who get away with things ranging from rudeness to sexual harassment, said Elizabeth Yin, general partner at Hustle Fund, a venture capital firm. The firm also created Angel Squad and shares agreements with its members.
“More competition leads to better behavior,” Ms. Yin said. (In addition to investing in startups, the Hustle Fund sells “Be nice, make billions” mugs).
The Los Angeles boom, in turn, has created a miniboom of companies that aim to streamline the investment process. Assignments, the startup led by Mr. Advani, offers group deals. Assure, another startup, helps with administrative work. Others, including Party Round and Sign and Wire, help angels with money transfers or work with startups to raise money from large groups of investors.
AngelList, which has allowed these types of deals for more than a decade, has constantly expanded its menu of options, including revolving funds (for people to subscribe to offers from an angel investor) and accumulated vehicles (for companies to sign up for deals). startups consolidate batches of small checks). ). Kohli said his company has a “fund factory” that compresses a month of legal paperwork and bank transfers with the push of a button.
Still, accessing the next cutting edge startup as a total outsider takes time.
Ashley Flucas, 35, a real estate attorney in Palm Beach County, Florida, began investing in startups three years ago. He said it was an opportunity to create generational wealth, something that underrepresented people often don’t have access to.
“They are the same people who make deals with each other and share the wealth, and I think, how do I get into that?” said Mrs. Flucas, who is black.