What to expect from your business angel – Machinations

“Present angel investors with challenges upfront and get some value before getting them on board.”

Mihai Gheza- Co-founder Machinations

During what phase of your startup development have you started to work with angel investors?

We’ve gotten help from angels during our pre-seed and seed funding stage, so from product development and initial traction up to go-to-market/monetization.

Did you choose your angel investors? What were the thinking and criteria behind?

Yes, we did choose them and they chose us back 🙂 Criteria was field expertise in the areas most strategically relevant at the time. So in our case, games industry and SaaS experience.

Did you choose to work with one or with more angel investors?

We have a few super-angels on our cap table and a couple or syndicate groups. When needed, we reach out to the most relevant of them that we believe might help on a specific topic.

Looking retrospectively how was your cooperation with the angel investor(s)? 

Everything from ad-hoc brief coaching sessions when needed to long-term engagements eg for setting up our sales team.

How did the angel investors contribute? 

Mostly on-demand, when needed, over a call with specific advice on topics such as funding, recruiting, strategic moves, sales.

In what areas was the cooperation the most useful? 

Probably fundraising negotiations and sales.

In what areas you couldn’t get specific help from your angel investors?

We mostly asked questions where we knew they could help with at least useful advice, ie we didn’t ask for help on product UX ‘cos we knew that wasn’t relevant.

If it would be to start all over in this relationship, would you do the same? What would you change?

Yes, probably do the same. Perhaps in the very early stages we would’ve skipped some irrelevant leads and save everyone some time.

Would you say that the angel investors supported you in a significant way, or it was difficult to gain access to them as a resource?

They usually jump on a call next-day or similar.

Do you have now a preferred way to work with an angel investor?

Write email with very concise question and/or jump on 15-30m call when needed.

What advice(s) you could provide for a startup looking to find angel investors?

Look for the ones with the most relevant expertise in the industry you’re active in, present them with challenges upfront and try to get actual value from them before getting them on board, ask for references from their prior investments.

Once they identified the investors, what would your advice be for your fellow founders to engage with angel investors?

Send them a monthly 1pager update and ask specific concise help in the TL;DR. When needed, call the ones that helped you the most on the topic. A 15m call with the right person can change the course of your company. Glhf!

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Download The Good Advice Booklet

Season 1, 2021

Pitch season is always on at TechAngels, we meet over 70 startups per year and we are screening other 200. Every team we meet is unique but there are also some common traits, especially in business organization and management. We asked our angel investors, who have unique experiences and act as individuals when taking investment decisions, to share one piece of advice they see as being constantly needed, as response to the recurrent problems founders may encounter or as a reflection of their own struggles as entrepreneurs, mentors, business professionals. Thus resulted The Good Advice Booklet which in the end looks like a crash course in management.

As Malin Stefanescu, TechAngels President put it: “Learning from your mistakes is great, learning from other’s mistakes is definitely cheaper.”