Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Median Angel Round Was $700K in 2011, Up From $500K in 2010

The so-called early-stage funding frenzy seems to be a real phenomenon, with the numbers to prove it. The median angel round for American start-ups grew 40 percent last year, to $700,000 from $500,000.

In the same period, the mean angel round was $1.11 million, up from $840,000 the year before.

The same figures are more than twice as big when you count angel rounds that also included non-angel investors.

All these assessments come from analysis of 573 deals in 2011, worth a total of $873.3 million dollars, as compiled in the first “Halo Report,” a joint project of the Angel Resource Institute, Silicon Valley Bank and CB Insights.

One important caveat, so as not to overstate the report’s findings: Median angel funding for Internet and healthcare companies, which are the two largest categories, was relatively steady year over year; the big growth came from other categories, which included mobile, software and energy.

It’s possible that part of the lift came from a move by top accelerator programs to give participating start-ups on the order of $100,000 in addition to their normal stipend, following the example set by Yuri Milner’s Start Fund and Y Combinator. However, the companies in those programs are mainly Internet start-ups.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik