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2x startup Founder & CEO who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. His first company, BuildOnline was sold in 2005, his second, Koral was acquired by Salesforce.com and became known as Salesforce Content, while Mark served as VP Product Management. In 2007 Mark joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner.  He focuses on early-stage technology companies, usually looking at Series A investment, and blogs at the aptly titled Both Sides of the Table.

9 responses to “Raising Angel Money”

  1. Chris Yeh

    Great post, Mark. I tweeted the link already with my hearty endorsement.

  2. Ilan

    Mark, what do you think of small angel rounds with low tickets (like $10K) to bring in many influential people to the round?
    That’s what I did, and it worked, I have some of the best BAs from the US and Europe, but I am wondering if at the end of the day, some of those angels feel really involved in the fate of the company since they haven’t put a lot of money?

  3. Gregory Y

    How does one find “experienced money”? All my personal connections are heavily invested in enterprise software market. My professional reputation and experience are also heavily based in Enterprise IT. Meanwhile my new start-up is, on the surface,looks like a technology enabled competitive intelligence/market research play. Therefore people who know me well, have little to offer in terms of advice and rolodex, while people who do, do not know me and vice versa. Would you suggest “cold calling”?

  4. Mark Suster

    Ilan, I think your approach to get influential people for $10k / pop is a good one. It’s small enough for the person to not really care and preserve the upside if they decide to write a bigger check later. I must admit that I have gotten lured into investments this way – especially when I perceive that I get more out of the investment (e.g. like working with the other co-investors who I might want the chance to work with). My suggestion to people who do this is to be generous on price – you want the people engaged.

    It is surprising to me how much more committed people are when they put in $10k versus getting free share options of equal value but no money in. Money does somewhat buy commitment.

    Great comment – thank you.

  5. Mark Suster

    Gregory, I’m afraid the answer is “the old fashioned way” – you need to rebuild your network in the area where you will be working. It will help you anyways as your business develops and in a way gives you an “excuse” to go and talk with these people. I don’t believe in cold calling – I think you should get to know people who know them and get introduced if possible (ok, I know that means you need to cold call people who know them!).

    Your point also highlights one of the reasons I generally like to invest in people who have domain knowledge (and relationships) in the industry from their previous experiences. I generally prefer that my teams be able to leverage their previous contacts and knowledge. Thanks for the question and good luck!

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