Don’t be shy!Alin Rosca, RepsMate, co-founder and CEO
During what phase of your startup development have you started to work with angel investors?
We’ve started working with one angel investor since idea phase, and gradually we’ve involved more angels to cover most of the areas that we were considering most important in order for our startup to succeed.
Did you choose your angel investors? What were the thinking and criteria behind?
Yes, we’ve chosen the angels investors based on specific backgrounds, skills and knowledge.
Did you choose to work with one or with more angel investors?
We’ve started to work with one angel investor and during our pre-seed investment round we onboarded another 6 angel investors.
Looking retrospectively how was your cooperation with the angel investor(s)?
Personally, I believe, one of the most important aspects in startups, but also in life, is to have the right people to learn from. Because the life of a startup can be very short, you don’t have enough time to learn by trial and error, and having the necessary knowledge and skills is directly impacting the life of the startup.
How did the angel investors contribute?
One of our co-founders has more than 25 years’ experience in sales and sales related activities, he is also an Angel Investor and he helped us to position ourself, to onboard other angel investors and to raise capital.
We have also an angel investor that has run the financial department of a global company and he helped us how to create a realistic financial plan and also in all legal related activities.
We have also an angel investor that is the CEO of a software development company with an annual turnover of more than 1m euro, that helped us in to develop our software even from the beginning to be enterprise ready and to be modular enough to change or to add any new functionalities very fast.
We have also an angel investor that has experience in the Contact Center industry for more than 20 years, he helped us to understand the Contact Center needs and how to position ourself in the discussion with the Contact Center managers and decision makers, he also helped us with introductions by actively participating in meetings.
We have also 2 angel investors, both of them having academic background and AI related knowledge which guided us to choose the AI algorithms and with the necessary resources to train them. They also helped us to choose, write and apply to different EU funding calls.
In what areas was the cooperation the most useful?
Value Proposition, Business development, Product development, Raising Capital, Financial, EU Funds, Artificial Intelligence Knowledge and Introductions.
If it would be to start all over in this relationship, would you do the same? What would you change?
I would start following the same direction.
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 helped us in a significant way, they were always behind us, no matter if it were weekends or late evenings, by working actively together with us.
Do you have now a preferred way to work with an angel investor?
Yes, I’m contacting them directly, with very specific needs or questions.
What advice(s) you could provide for a startup looking to find angel investors?
Identify your needs, not any angel investor is right for you and most of the time you are not right for them.
Be persistent until you find the right angel investor to catalyze the team’s potential.
Once they identified the investors, what would your advice be for your fellow founders to engage with angel investors?
I like direct approach, but in today ecosystem is very easy to have referrals.
Don’t be shy, they are angel investors because they want to be actively involved, otherwise they would be just investors.
Stand out of the crowd, do something else than others do when you approach them, do something they should remember.