Historically, I’ve always said that someone can call themselves an angel investor only if they actually make angel investments! I’ve been exposed to many “angel investors” who have actually never written a check for an equity investment. These non-angels come in many shapes and sizes and often end up either offering to become “advisers” for equity (or worse, a retainer), “brokers” (where they help you raise money for a percentage raised), or employees (where they end up trying to get a job). Now, there is nothing wrong with this, other than them presenting themselves as “angel investors.” Oh, and there are some people that just like to be in clubs with other people who presumably make investments.


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Historically, I’ve always said that someone can call themselves an angel investor only if they actually make angel investments! I’ve been exposed to many “angel investors” who have actually never written a check for an equity investment. These non-angels come in many shapes and sizes and often end up either offering to become “advisers” for equity (or worse, a retainer), “brokers” (where they help you raise money for a percentage raised), or employees (where they end up trying to get a job). Now, there is nothing wrong with this, other than them presenting themselves as “angel investors.” Oh, and there are some people that just like to be in clubs with other people who presumably make investments.

My historical viewpoint was that an angel investor was defined as someone who makes at least one equity investment in a seed or early stage company each year of at least $25,000. So, if an angel investor has been investing for four years, they have at least four separate investments of at least $25,000 each for a total of at least $100,000 invested. Basically, if you can’t (or don’t) invest at least $25,000 per year, I don’t think you should call yourself an angel investor.

As we worked through the StartupVisa stuff, we realized this wasn’t a high enough threshold for the type of angel investors we thought should be able to sponsor a Startup visa. So, we came up with the definition of a “Super Angel.” A Super Angel is an angel investor who has been investing for at least three years and has made at least two equity investments of at least $50,000 each in each of the three years. This is a total of at least six equity investments totaling at least $300,000. Most of the people I consider Super Angels are substantially above this threshold.

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