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On this episode on Who Are These Investors Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network. Listen to this rapid fire interview where you get to know just who are these investors.
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Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network on Who Are These Investors Transcript (Automated)
Angel One Investor Network
The Startup Coach: Welcome to who are these investors podcast shorts featuring interviews with investors in Canadian startups. Welcome to who are these investors? I’m the startup coach. Founder of Toronto starts one of the largest startup communities in Canada. And with me today is Suvid Ajmera of angel one network. Welcome.
Thank you, Craig.
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: Good to be
The Startup Coach: here. What is the stage you invest in the average size of
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: investments across equation angels. We’ve invested in seed and pre-seed startups in 2021, we invested about the average size, which we saw was $300,000 to about $375,000. The maximum we did in 2021 was about 1.3 million.
For in a single round, we usually ask for about $250,000 to be left and around. If you’re looking at joining other organizations who are looking to raise. Angel
The Startup Coach: one network seems to be fairly active. How many investments has the network made over
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: the years? We started off in 2011 and Angel one has made her close to 170 Investments over the years, we’ve invested over $35 million across our members.
Currently we’re starting at about 40 members at angel One and over close to 125 angel investors across Equation Angels.
The Startup Coach: Do you have a preferred exit timeline?
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: The preferred exit timeline would be earlier the better, but some business owners are here today and they literally go on tomorrow, but five to seven years is what we look at sometimes even 10.
All companies are coming to us. We would usually look at about 18 to 24 months if you’re able to get a liquidity opportunity. But again, when we look at seed and pre-seed investments, it’s not possible to get an 1824 months exit timeline in place.
The Startup Coach: What are some of the things that angel one network does to support companies?
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: So education, mentorship and connecting with industry experts, engine one, and our angel group invests in companies from two primary reasons. One is the financial aspect and the other is that providing some kind of support to the companies, right? Successful business, people who want to be involved with the startup communities or to startup companies.
They look for making sure that the startup or the. Company is ready to learn and grow with the investor itself. Some of the angels are retired themselves, so they have a lot of knowledge, wisdom, and experience that they like to share and make sure guidance help the companies grow overall as a founder finding right, the right angel with the right experience is what it’s all about.
It’s not always about the money.
The Startup Coach: It’s April one network looking
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: for investments. Yes, we are. Angel one is always looking for investments. We are looking at companies who are with the right fit right now with primarily focused on tech investments across the industry. Yes, we are always looking for companies to invest in.
The Startup Coach: Do you like to lead an investment round or join an existing round?
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: So that’s a 50 50 negotiating the deal with the founder. The lead investor has to believe in the company. So we believe that our, if we have a member of ours who is leading the deal, we like to lead the round. But having to say that finding a lead is not.
The easiest task. And we also end up joining hands with other injuries groups or so that we can get a seat on the board. We also look for active investors instead of passive investors, because we look at active investors who have the potential of being able to join other people and guide and mentor the companies.
The Startup Coach: What is a red flag for you? When a startup is pitching or negotiating?
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: Confusing pitch, confusing pitch deck. Every interaction you have with an early stage company is a signal of what the entrepreneurial ability is. Communication itself is one of the key predictors, body languages, and other one, we have five things which we look at time, traction team and deck.
One of the other things is we look at that traction. If a company is too early, companies are ready to scale in a rapid stage. Good fat, good founder who is stubborn and bullish needs to have the right balance. So that is a red flag. If it, a founder is a little too stubborn or bullish a team, a team is usually one of the major factors that we look at.
A good team with a bad product might do well rather than a good bad team with a good product. So it comes back to the forties, which is the, having the balance, a common one, which we see is that understanding of the technology they’re trying to present. Sometimes the technology is too unproven and too early stage, which tries, which lends up being poor attraction.
So. While it looks like a good idea on paper. There might be no customers and no traction at all, which might be a red flag for us.
The Startup Coach: What one thing do you like to see in a pitch that you don’t see? Very often
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: competition acknowledging that there is enough competition out there, a product, a database, a realistic evaluation.
Also what a customer is spending their money on and a old school solution.
The Startup Coach: What do you wish more founders understood before negotiating investment terms?
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: So understanding the obligations, why they’re taking that money, right. And why are we giving that money to investors? So, because they need to keep them updated, always understand, making sure that the investor is updated with the information that the startup is providing or the founder is providing, having.
Regular communication with the investor is necessary. So we wish the founders understood that rather than presuming that the startup, the FA the angels already know everything. We expect that there is enough conversation and enough updates provided to the investors. What do you look for in a startup angel?
One investment thesis is that technology. Traction and startups that promise to deliver averages turns into large market opportunity. Typically a billion dollar market opportunity. Is that what we’re looking for, but then early stage that is not always easy to predict when it comes to the evaluation.
Each angel makes their own. As to what they are investing in the investment thesis is that is, it is a subset of ours. We have some members that only invest in companies that have do a social good, but then there are, there are people who invest in because they’re just women founders. So really we’re looking for many things.
The Startup Coach: When should startups with.
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: When they have their commercial viable product ready, a good evidence of product market fit, ready for scaling and scaling their product. A serious look at companies and who are ready to look and grow a successful companies, have relationship with products and good products and relationship with good investors.
Making sure that the investors and the company are on the same line and the same vape lounge.
The Startup Coach: One book, every entrepreneur should read before talking to investors.
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: So what every angel investor wants you to know? This is a book by Brian Cohan and John Kadar. I personally really liked that book. If you are a starter, which is looking for an angel investor, you need to know that what other angels, what are the things it’s really looking for?
Understanding what motivates them and excites them. This book gives you an insight about the angels viewpoint. Brian is a creative writer and is also an early stage investor in Pinterest. He’s also one of the chairman of New York angels. So he’s put together his experience from that perspective. The titers would see as every investor, this principle and advice he shares in the book are common to most angel investors.
So, which is why I would recommend all startup founders to read that book before they get into the world of investing.
The Startup Coach: Best cold outreach technique. You’ve seen by startups.
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: There are many coal outreach techniques that startups use. One of them is sending long emails. I can first tell you that long emails are not really always good.
Get to the bind, cut to the chase, make, make sure that what you are looking for or what you are asking for is clear. And in the first few lines, right, what really happens is that. Tons of emails on a regular basis that we’re looking for funds, but it’s a copy and paste. You know, that the person has sent it to many people and they’re just Manning your mailbox.
So you need to be really clear what you’re looking for. Sometimes even dealer it as for the investment group, you’re looking at one of the other things is that networking. To the in today’s world, networking is the key towards success. Making sure that you have enough advisors and lead investors or enough people who are looking at you for the, and following your success.
So making sure you network at the right places is required. So that would be a great cold outreach technique.
The Startup Coach: Where do people go to find out more about you and angel one
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: day? So you can go to a website angel, one network.ca or you can connect with us on LinkedIn or equation angels. We are, we signed in 2018 injured, one signed the joint agreement where the equation ages.
So there are four injured groups, which is Gita. We can swole and angel one, all of us together. We are non-for-profits. So we do not take any commissions out of the TVs that you invest in. We are primary. Focused on pre-seed and seed investments. The best place to reach out would be on LinkedIn or directly through our company website.
There is a form that you can fill up and reach out to us directly. We also work with. Mostly all regional innovation centers across Ontario, and we have great relationships with them. So you can connect with them, get coaching, get your mentorship guidance, and then they can connect to us. We host a first look events, one of the, with all the regional innovation centers or stroke events.
Primary and looking at companies, not for money, but it’s a chance for companies to develop a relationship with angels. There’s a five minutes of pitch with five minutes of question and answer session. We usually host it every month. Then first local events are usually hosted through the year. If you’re a part of a regional innovation center, you would be getting a chance to come to our first local events and pitch your company to.
The Startup Coach: I really appreciate you taking the time today to be part of who are these investors.
Suvid Ajmera of Angel One Investor Network: Thank you, Craig. Good to be here.
The Startup Coach: This has been who are these investors find out more at? Who are these investors.com and follow our live events at torontostarts.com slash events.