With economic growth stalling and debt markets snarled it might not seem an obvious time to be examining angel investment opportunities.
However, the Angel Investment Network, a group of websites matching entrepreneurs with investors globally, has seen a sharp rise in registrations from wealthy individuals looking to back young companies.
“We have seen investors quitting the stock market and looking for more tangible opportunities," said James Badgett, who launched the Angel Investment Network three years ago with sites in the UK and Canada.
The company now owns or partners sites in 23 countries and has signed up 30,000 investors, including established venture capital firms as well as individuals. They register for free with the network charging entrepreneurs a small fee to post business plans.
With banks cutting back lending, the network has seen an increase in entrepreneurs looking for funding. Badgett said more-established businesses, which would normally have tapped banks for loans, have been using the site. “For angel investors it is an opportunity to find more-developed businesses offering stable returns," he added.
Badgett said investors are looking for varying degrees of involvement in the businesses they back. “About 60% of the investors registered with us are looking for some input but that varies from being very hands-on to simply wanting regular feedback or figures," he said.
While angels generally prefer to invest close to home, given the desire for a degree of control over their investment, about a third of those registered with the network ask to see proposals from different countries.
Badgett said UK investors in particular have been looking for overseas opportunities as economic conditions deteriorate at home.
He has also noted a sharp drop in the number of real estate businesses looking for funding in the UK, although property ideas remain popular elsewhere in Europe.
Rather, British entrepreneurs seem to be focusing on technology and internet based businesses while tourism and recreation ideas are popular in France and Spain.
URL : http://bx.businessweek.com/angel-investing/high-net-worth-investors-target-angel-opportunities/3187286244435634984-9fcafa5024dacb4921b292f98f97e941/