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史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

互联网风投与管理者,创业企业是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一

 
 
 

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我是美国风投创始人和管理合作伙伴,曾担任过Jupiter Media公司VP,Paul Kagan Associates机构分析师,我的创业企业Applied Semantics2003年被谷歌收购,是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一。现着重投资互联网领域,对中国互联网和网络新媒体有深刻研究。我写的《零重力1.0》和《零重力2.0》成为彭博社最畅销书籍,比尔盖茨、杨致远也读过我写的商业报告。在中国,我给网易科技独家供稿。hapn.cool try it!

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天使投资者简介  

2010-09-13 14:14:19|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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很多人曾问我他们的科技初创企业如何才能获得投资者的投资。很多时候,风险投资者并非合适的选择。这些企业的创意对他们来说还是不成熟的想法。

 

这时候你更需要的是天使投资者。

 

什么是天使投资者?天使投资者指的就是那些拥有大量资金并为初创企业提供启动资金的个人,他们常常单独或以团体的形式投资。之所以称之为天使,是因为他们就像带着翅膀的天使一样,在创业者困难无助只能向上天祈祷的时候出现。

 

天使投资者常常并不出名,但是他们却是在互联网和科技投资领域最为活跃。在任何一年里,天使投资者所投资的资金要比风险投资者的投资多出一倍以上。据估计,互联网行业获得的来自天使投资者的投资已经超过100亿美元。

 

从性质上讲,天使投资者要比自己的好友或家人更具吸引力。一般情况下,互联网或者科技领域的天使投资者都是成功的CEO或者是公司创办人,他们已经将自己的成功转化为大量的流动资产,足以对他们最了解的事情——科技初创企业——进行投资。如果作为创业者的你认为自己有不错的创意,却不知道该如何开办一家公司,天使投资者们将为你带来帮助。很多的天使投资者曾经从事这方面的工作并清楚如何帮助公司发展。但是,有一点也必须要牢记,天使投资者也是有利有弊的。

 

很多时候,成功的CEO认为再投资能够允许他们分享建议、帮助形成同盟并且在你需要的时候为你介绍关系。在有些情况里,创业者会发现天使投资者更加的灵活因为投资收益仅由他们自己独享,并且这些钱他们也不急于用来养老。他们丰富的经验能够帮助你避免失误,在创业者们无法单干的时候,他们还能够通过自己的关系网帮助达成战略合作关系。

 

创业者们如何才能找到天使投资者呢?朋友和家人就是途径之一,他们可以通过自己的关系或者同事的关系为铺桥搭路。单单从外貌、身材是无法判断一个人是否天使投资者的,很多创业者也常常在不经意间将他们“娱乐”一番。例如,如果你创办了一个网站,你可能不会知道谁曾经登陆过这个网站,使用过网站里面的功能,并认为网站具有投资吸引力。或者你在一个贸易展上展示了某样东西,围观的人群中可能就有一位某个公司的高管,认为你的创意充满潜力。

 

天使投资者一个最直接的优点在于他们可以非常快速的作出行动,对你的梦想进行检验并快速作出是否投资的决定。有时候就在一两个星期间。由于天使投资者本身并非专业的投资人,在很多情况下他们可以与你签订一些对你更加优惠的投资条款。当然天使投资者也是投资者,他们都希望自己的投资能够获得巨大的回报。

 

但是,并非所有的天使投资者都是天使,有些可能是魔鬼,因此创业者们需要予以留心。你需要考虑的缺点在于天使投资者对你的业务的干涉程度。风险投资机构一般都会设定发展目标,然后跟你一起合作以确保成功的机会,因为他们的投资是需要负责任的。天使投资者可能较为深谋远虑,但是他们不能给你太多的时间和资源以快速发展公司。或者有时候他们可能会过度干涉企业的业务,并认为该企业是他们新的业余爱好,从而将你的计划撇到一边。

 

Angels Can Sometimes Answer Entrepreneur’s Prayers

 

Many people ask me how to get an investor in their technology startup idea. A lot of times a venture capitalist just isn’t the right fit. Ideas are too early for them.

 

Enter the “angels” (Silicon Valley jargon for wealthy investors who invest their own money).

 

What’s an “angel?”

High net-worth individuals that invest alone or in groups. That may feel like someone with wings when all you got is a prayer.  So be it.

 

Angels describe one of the least-known but most active Internet and technology investors. In any given year angels invest more than twice in dollar terms what the venture capitalists do. Estimates are that the Internet sector sees more than $10 billion invested by angels alone. If you recall the funding gap that implies a high number of deals if you think about $10 billion divided by $500,000 per deal or so.

 

Angels may be more attractive than friends and family if for no other reason than what an angel typically is. Or at least the ones you should seek out. In the Internet or tech space an angel is often a successful CEO or founder of a company that has turned their success into liquidity in enough amounts to be able to invest themselves in the thing they know best: technology startups.  That’s advantageous for you if you have a few clues but not all of them in how to start a company. Many angels have done so and know how to grow one, they’re operational people, entrepreneurs themselves. Venture capitalists are professional investors. A key difference to remember. Both have their pros and cons.

 

Many times successful CEOs find that re-investing allows them to share advice, help alliances happen, pull out their rolodex for you when you need it. In some ways you may find angels more flexible since their ROI is to themselves and not pension funds. Their hands on experience may help you avoid mistakes and their connections could open up strategic allies you couldn’t reach solo.

 

How do you find an angel? Your friends and family may provide a route to angels through their contacts, co-workers, etc. Angels come in all shapes and sizes and many have entertained them unawares. For example, if you have a Web site up and running you may never know who has seen it, tried it and thinks it's compelling to them as an investment. Or you do a demo at a trade show and catch the eye of a high-tech exec that sees promise. Marc Andreessen invested in Replay TV after happening on the company since it was so close to Netscape's corporate headquarters. More than geography something attracted Marc to it to invest--Replay's technology for capturing TV for playback whenever a viewer wanted.

 

One of the immediate advantages of the angel lies in their ability to move extremely quickly, to kick the tires on your dream and decide fairly rapidly to invest or not. A week or two sometimes. Since angels aren’t professional investors per se they are able to work with you on terms that can be more favorable than a VC in many cases. Angels do want a return on the investment to be great, as would any investor.

 

Not all angels are angels, some can be devils so beware. Drawbacks for you to consider are the level of involvement an angel can bring. VCs will set goals and work hard usually with you to ensure some chance of success since the capital they invest is accountable. Angels may be prudent investors but may not be able to give you the time or resources to grow the firm fast. Or they may get too involved and believe the company is their new hobby and sidetrack your entire plan.

 

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