Angel investing

How much info should you share on Angel List?

Douglas Tarr Entrepreneur and Software Architect

September 19th, 2014

I'm working on my angel list profile for my company. You can share a lot of information, which is then available to "accredited investors". I'd like to control who sees what, and it seems the only way to do that is to not put the information up there, until someone asks.

Curious if this matters or not, and if you've had any experience on Angel List vs just approaching investors directly. I'm viewing it as a "LinkedIn" for investors but obviously they are pitching it as much more than that.

What information did you share on Angel List, and did it matter?

Yin Li Founder at NurtureList

September 21st, 2014

I really like the answer that AngelList gives for this question in their help section: 

"If you're obviously fund-able (e.g. you previously started a company that made lots of money for its investors), don't add a lot of information to your profile. If you're not obviously fund-able, consider the risk of sharing your idea to be a cost of doing business. If you're not willing to take this risk, don't use AngelList. 

Also, keep in mind that it is rare for someone to care enough about your idea to “steal” it."

Corey Blaser Sailor. Mormon. Entrepreneur.

September 19th, 2014

Personally I think it is important to be completely open. If you are holding back information while looking for money, investors may perceive it as dishonesty (even if it is unintentional) and you will be black listed. The investment world is a small one. Use integrity and openness and don't hold back. It will say a lot about your character.

Having said that, if you really have something so uniquely original and revolutionary that you are afraid an advisor working with your competition may see it and pass it along, then you are in the wrong place to find money. You need to be working personal, face-to-face connections. It is more than rare to have this kind of a component to your project as a start-up. You need to have some insights and pivots while developing your company to realize any real secretive processes. So you need to be dead honest with yourself about why you are withholding info from potential investors.

Kelly McIvor Product Commercialization | Mobile Strategy | Opportunity Developer

September 19th, 2014

It's a bit of a hold-over from the dotcom days when every startup wanted and NDA before they would say anything of substance about their idea. The reality - then and now - is that if the idea is so compelling there are likely plenty of others pursuing the opportunity and the secret isn't your 'sauce' it's your execution. Be open about your approach and plans and be rock-solid on the team who will execute it. Bottom line: tell all per Corey's explanation above but plan to prove you have the 'right' team to pull it off.

Mackenzie Hughes Head of Business Development at Akimbo

October 30th, 2014

I think the best way to go about explaining your startup is always quick, short, and easy to understand. A really concise elevator pitch is key on angel list, a 7 slide pitch deck that tells your story, and I'd say as much quantitative data you can put up for your traction will get investors interested. You want to wow investors by basically laying out how much traction you have gained, and how big the potential market space is. Also- if you are fundraising, I'd suggest only opening up a round if you're already about 50% of the way to your goal.

Joseph Sullivan Founder & CEO at Aerial Applications

October 17th, 2014

I work with OfferBoard which has a similar platform listing format, and privacy is a legitimate concern on an ongoing basis, not merely for the ideas themselves, but for the information on valuation, revenue, etc. Does anyone have an opinion on what kinds of information a company should reveal and should keep private?