You have a business idea but if you don’t have money, you need an investor.
With less than 3% of seed deals being funded by venture capitalists, seed startup fundraising has become more accessible thanks to the rise in angel investor activity in the past few years. Between friends & family financing, which is estimated to be a $100 billion industry and angel activity estimated at $20 billion, more than $120 billion dollars are invested in early-stage startups annually.
1. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos is the Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Amazon.com. Under his leadership, Amazon.com became the largest retailer on the Web and the most widely adopted model for Internet sales.
In 1999, Time Magazine named him Person of the Year. In 2011, The Economist gave Bezos and Gregg Zehr an Innovation Award for the Amazon Kindle, and in 2012, Fortune magazine named Bezos Businessperson of the Year. Businessweek ranked him the no. 7 Top Angel in Tech in February 2010, and the Harvard Business Review also has listed Bezos as the second-best CEO in the world, after the late Steve Jobs of Apple.
2. Paul Buchheit
Paul Buchheit is a partner at Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley-based seed accelerator that has funded more than 550 companies in more than 30 different markets. These companies include Reddit, Dropbox, and Airbnb. In 2012, Forbes named Y Combinator as a top startup incubator and accelerator.
He was the 23rd employee at Google, where he created Gmail and implemented many of its innovative features. He developed the original prototype of Google AdSense, and was responsible for Google’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto. In July 2012, Businessinsider.com included him in its list of Top 50 Early-Stage Investors in Silicon Valley.
Investments: 61, starting at $70k (as a partner at Y Combinator: more than 450)
Recent investments: Lob and URX (as a partner at Y Combinator: SimplyInsured and Goldbely)
Big exit: FriendFeed sells to Facebook for $47.5m
3. Jeff Clavier
Jean-François “Jeff” Clavier is the founder and managing partner of SoftTech VC, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley that has closed more than 150 investments since its founding in 2004. Among the successful startups that SoftTech VC has backed are Mint (sold to Intuit for $170m), Kongregate (GameStop), Milo (eBay), Wildfire (Google), and Class Dojo.
Time Magazine named Clavier as one the top 25 most influential people on the web in 2008. In July 2012, Businessinsider.com named him as one of the Top 50 Early-Stage Investors in Silicon Valley. In February 2010, Buinessweek.com ranked him 19th among their Top Angels in Tech.
Home: Silicon Valley
Interested in: Mobile/cloud saas, monetization infrastructure, marketplaces and e-commerce
Investments: 17, from $50k to $6m (as managing partner of SoftTech VC: 145, from $200k to $40m)
4. Paul Graham
Paul Graham is a partner at Y Combinator. In 1995, Graham and Robert Morris created Viaweb, the first ASP, which in 1998 became Yahoo! Store. In 2002 he devised a spam-filtering algorithm that has inspired the current generation of filters.
Businessinsider.com named him to their Top 50 Early-Stage Investors in Silicon Valley in July 2012, and February 2010, Businessweek.com listed him as number 11 Top Angel in Tech.
Home: San Francisco,Bay Area
Investments: 8, from $100k to $1.6m (as a partner at Y Combinator: more than 450)
5. David Lee
David Lee is Founder and Managing Member at SV Angel, LLC, an angel fund with investments in companies such as Twitter, Foursquare, Flipboard, Dropbox and Airbnb.
In July 2012, Businessinsider.com included him in its list of Top 50 Early-Stage Investors in Silicon Valley.
Home: Los Angeles
Interested in: Advertising, Analytics, Big Data, Bioinformatics, Bridging Online and Offline, Consumer Internet, E-Commerce, Fashion, Local, Marketplaces, Mobile, Mobile Advertising, SaaS, Small and Medium Businesses, Social Commerce, Social Media.
Investments: 101, $25k to $250k
Biggest exit: StumbleUpon sells to eBay for $75m