– Find CoFounders, Employees, and Investors

Starting a startup, and wanting to find fellow cofounders, employees, and investors?

AngelList has garnered significant attention for the opportunities it offers to the startup community. There are several websites that offer these services in some form, but AngelList is miles ahead of competition. It has become the go-to platform for startups looking to raise capital and investors looking to form syndicates.

Plug: TeamWave – Simple CRM, Project Management & HR Software for Small Business

An easy way to hire the right talent

The fact is that AngelList offers a rather effective means of getting a new job or finding the right person for a job you have in mind. There are currently (February-2017) around 1,723,000 people (excluding investors) using this site, as well as 24,000 companies currently hiring. The number of active candidates and jobs on this website doubled last year with 6,000 candidates joining every week.

There is no doubt that the technology industry is a competitive place for those who are looking for a job, and there is a constant stream of fresh startups looking for highly motivated and skilled individuals that can get the job done. AngelList offers a fast and effective way for startups to find the talent they need without forming a full-fledged human resources department.

The best thing about AngelList is the fact that it’s absolutely free. Moreover the founders or the recruitment head can proactively identify and reach out to the very best talent. The simple interface and the option to directly communicate once there is mutual interest makes sure that both of the parties have success on this platform. While it’s true that LinkedIn is popular, it doesn’t match up to AngelList in terms of active startups. Apart from that we must note that 50% of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from the matching of recruiters with talents. Considering startups need be lean and they need to save all the money they can, and using an active site like this for free is a definitely a great option.

A tech-focused startup community

One of the vital elements of AngelList is that its members are predominantly focused on tech startups. On LinkedIn companies and candidates belong to wide range – from students, early stage employees to large multinationals. This makes the community focus diluted. On AngelList the connection between startups and the candidates can be more personal and direct – which means, as founders you’ll get to meet people who are actually interested in working at your company. In other job boards, including LinkedIn the recruiters or the headhunters are more interesting in getting their fees. AngelList is building a stronger community around the startup ecosystem and this is quite evident from the acquisition of Product Hunt – a community that showcases latest products every day.

A great way for startups to raise capital

AngelList has some impressive statistics from 2015 on its website. It shows that the platform facilitated a staggering $163 million in funding! This was more than double of the amount ($60 million) in comparison to 2014. The platform had 441 startups, over 3300 individual investors, and 170 active syndicates.

One of the very important and impressive function of AngelList is its ability to effectively bring startups and angel investors together. Those who have a startup and need financing will find that they can use it to announce their intention to raise capital. Investors can use AngelList to get in touch with startups to get the details they need to make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to invest.

AngelList’s platform allows for a clear and open line of communication between startups and potential investors, allowing both parties to come together without any of the hassle associated with other similar websites. They feature various startups that the site’s internal team and a changing group of VCs find interesting, which in turn provides additional exposure to that startup and potentially accelerates the whole process.

The syndicate functionality is something that both investors and startups can benefit from. It allows well-known and established investors to lead a funding round with the participation of smaller investors. The strong network effects of AngelList can be a great boost for both investors and startups.

Ease of Use

AngelList is incredibly easy to use, and doesn’t come with all of the hassle of other online platforms. Investors that use this website are able to quickly and efficiently get the information they need about potential investment opportunities with startups with just a single click. Job posting and job seeking activities are a breeze via simple yet powerful filtering mechanism. It is clear that AngelList has made a conscious effort to make the usability as simple as possible.

A place for all startups

AngelList is a great platform for startups across the globe, although startups from the Silicon Valley have more advantage. There is a very level playing field for businesses that are just beginning, providing them with an equal opportunity for finding the financing they need to get their business going. There are many established angel investors and employers on this website, so the chances of both parties getting what they need are significantly higher than other online platforms. Hence, AngelList is one of the best for many reasons. With its tech-focused startup community as well as an easy-to-use platform, it has become quite popular with investors and startups alike.


An Interview with Singapore’s Most Active Accelerator and Investment Firms

Singapore Merlion LandmarkStartups in the Southeast Asia are growing at a healthy rate, as more and more entrepreneurs along with investors are creating a robust ecosystem. Singapore is undoubtedly one of the most prominent places when it comes to startup scene in the SEA region. In order to get more insights on the startup ecosystem of Singapore we got in touch with Hugh Mason (Co-founder & CEO, JFDI – Joyful Frog Digital Incubator), Jeffrey Paine (Founding Partner, Golden Gate Ventures)  and Menka Sajnani (Corporate Development at Jungle Ventures). Before we go ahead, let us first introduce you to JFDI, Golden Gate Ventures and Jungle Ventures.

JFDI (Joyful Frog Digital Incubator):

Established in Singapore by Hugh Mason and Meng Wong in 2010, JFDI creates and invests in new digital ventures, building them systematically from startup to success. JFDI is best known for its Accelerate program, which has until now launched 70 startups with around 50% of the startups securing follow-on investment of more than S$500,000.

Jungle Ventures:

Jungle Ventures is a Singapore based venture capital firm with a focus on early stage investments in the regions across Asia Pacific (specifically in Singapore, India and South East Asia). They also operate a seed fund and incubator in Singapore and India, which is in sync with the concept of angel investments.

Golden Gate Ventures:

Founded in 2011, Golden Gate Ventures invests in early stage companies predominantly in the Southeast Asia. Till now they have invested in more than 25 companies present in more than 7 Asian countries. This VC firm has built strong bond with Valley and currently playing a major role in establishing Singapore as Asia’s hub of technology and innovation.

Hugh Mason Jeffrey Paine Menka Sajnani

Given below are the questions and their respective answers:

Q. What are the hurdles for Singapore to produce a disruptive billion-dollar company? Can such a company emerge in the next 5 years?

Hugh Mason:
Well Grab is apparently a $1.5b company already so for sure it can happen. The barrier is probably in our heads rather than in anything more material.

I wonder if the billion dollar opportunities for Singapore are to build businesses that are about business model innovation, making products and services available to the 600 million people in South East Asia, rather than technology innovations.

I sat next to an Indian guy on a panel at a conference a few months back. He said – you know there are 500 million Indians who just need a toilet. They don’t disruptive toilet technology, they just need a toilet.

I am not suggesting that sanitary-ware is the next frontier for unicorns but I guess his comment makes the point.

Jeffrey Paine:
5-10 years yes.
If its for global markets – need more future tech entrepreneurs who can play at the big leagues.
If its for SE Asia – its timing. The timing will be  there in 5-10 years. SEA is like China in 2003.

Menka Sajnani:
Talent is the biggest bottle neck in the region. Getting execution right is a real challenge, and therefore working with the right partners is critical.

With smart capital, the right support framework, and a regional business model, it is possible to create billion-dollar company in Singapore.

Q. Which emerging trend excites you most in 2016, particularly in Southeast Asia?

Hugh Mason:
The rise of the middle class and the opportunities to re-invent the basic infrastructure of an advanced society for the developing population in our region. For example: unbundling healthcare.

Jeffrey Paine:
Anything consumer facing and addressing a real local problem, solving it in a local way.

Menka Sajnani:
Robotics is exciting, the Sharing Economy is also something to watch out for.

Q. What’s your opinion on crazy valuations of some of the startups in recent times? What’s the effect on Singapore based startups?

Hugh Mason:
It feels like we have seen a necessary correction in the US that may still have some way to shake out. Singapore entrepreneurs might wish to re-calibrate their expectations if they want to get funded or to avoid future down rounds.

Jeffrey Paine:
US valuations do affect SEA valuation a little, especially Indonesia but it has started to cool off since Jan 2016.

Menka Sajnani:

We expect the hype to cool down and markets to rationalize over the next 6 to 12 months. We would like large winner-takes-all funding to stop, however it may not.

Q. Where do you see Singapore in the startup space when we compare with Valley, Tel Aviv and London?

Hugh Mason:
I think it has a great future ahead of it that will be different to all those places because the culture and ecosystem of this part of the world are very different.

Jeffrey Paine:
It will stand its ground but it is too early to tell for now. Right now it seems to be a great hub to address SE Asia.

Menka Sajnani:
We believe things are evolving in the right direction to make Singapore a real startup hub, and the support from government initiatives has been tremendous.

Q. As per a report published by e27, Singapore has seen 25 exits since 2013 and 9 exits in 2006 – 2012. Over the next 3 years, how do you think the M&A scenario will take shape?

Hugh Mason:
I guess it all depends on the macroeconomic situation. A real, rather than imagined, downturn could just kill risk-taking for a while.

Assuming that doesn’t happen I think it’s helpful to think of M&A being something that happens at the top of a staircase where startups have to hop up the stairs to become M&A candidates, getting funding rounds and passing milestones along the way. So it makes sense to think of the whole system generating deal-flow on a continuous basis.

Looking at the bottom steps on the staircase, right now some fear has hit angel investors, for whom investment is always discretionary, so they are sticking their money into gold not startups. The fact that founders’ expectations of valuation is overcooked is also a factor IMHO.

So that means that there may be a dearth of strong businesses to make it through to Series A and beyond, a bit further up the staircase, limiting the M&A opportunities a few years’ down the line.

In the meantime there are a few candidates for M&A still making their way towards the acquisition stage, not least some of JFDI’s strongest alumni, so I think we will still see M&A happening so long as the economy doesn’t fall off a cliff.

Jeffrey Paine:
If the overall economy and markets are strong, there will be more acquisitions. Lots of startups are creating value as we speak but it does takes time to fully scale out.

Menka Sajnani:
We expect to see a high level of interest from Chinese companies, in fact it has already started.

Following was asked only to Hugh Mason.

Q. How has been your experience while running JFDI Discover? What’s the success rate of teams taking part in this, in terms of launching prototype or raising fund?

A. Actually JFDI Discover doesn’t aim to help teams launch prototypes or raise funds. It’s a pre-accelerator program that is much more fundamental. It helps teams step up the lowest level of the staircase and aims to help teams discover the following:

1) who is their customer

2) what problem are they solving for that customer

3) do they want to be an entrepreneur

4) what’s it like to work with these team-mates

All in 21 days without having to give up your day job. Only then, if they want to, would making a prototype be a next step with fundraising still a long way off.
By and large the roughly 900-1000 entrepreneurs who have been through it say that they have found it very useful. Many weren’t doing it with the intention of starting a business – they just want to find out what entrepreneurship is like – just as some people go along to a basic drawing course even if they don’t intend to become full time artists. That said of course some have gone on to raise funding – for example QLC and Greyloft, both of which went on from JFDI Discover to JFDI Accelerate, or teams that raised money independently, like Teach!Me.

Following was asked only to Jeffrey Paine.

Q. Golden Gate Ventures started operating in 2011 and by the end of 2015, the total number of investments has crossed 30. How many deals one expect in 2016? Will you look at regions other than Singapore in the SEA?

A. We included Hong Kong and Taiwan in our strategy for fund 2 and will continue to invest in 2016.

Following was asked only to Menka Sajnani.

Q. How many investments can someone expect from Jungle Ventures in 2016?

A. We would prefer not to disclose this. However, we expect to have an active 2 years in terms of deal-making.

Note: TeamWave is an integrated and free software suite for startups. Apps include CRM, Project Management, HRMS and Contact Management. There is more to come!