Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

AngelList Now Matching Start-Ups With as Much as $12M Funding and 100 New Hires Per Month

AngelList, the matchmaking site for start-ups and investors, facilitates all sorts of early-stage technology funding deals. But the site is free and mostly open, so it often doesn’t get formal recognition for its role.

Today, AngelList announced that start-ups had raised $12 million on AngelList in the past 30 days. Actually, according to the brand-new tracking tool on the site’s homepage, the current number is $12.3 million.

So how does that relate to previous months? It’s not something that had been formally tracked before, but it’s likely on par, said AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant. In an average month, AngelList probably matches start-ups with at least $10 million in funding, and December is generally a bad month for fundraising.

Aggregate funding numbers are “hard to track and lumpy,” said Ravikant. Even when venture capitalists meet promising start-ups on AngelList, they tend to keep it quiet because “a lot of the VCs still cling to the idea of proprietary deal flow,” he said. Plus, funding found through AngelList is almost always accompanied by funding found elsewhere.

AngelList is going to try to better track these numbers through new self-reporting tools and its online investment tools, which launched last week to give start-ups free and standardized tools for raising money. The tools have already been used for $600,000 worth of investments.

Surprisingly, Ravikant said that these days, AngelList actually has a bigger impact on recruiting than fundraising — probably triple the volume and expected financial value, based on some very rough math.

In addition to introducing start-ups to investors, AngelList also matches entrepreneurs who try and fail to raise money on AngelList to companies that succeed in raising money. It makes more than 600 introductions per week on behalf of these candidates, resulting in 80 to 100 hires per month. People who try to start companies are excellent job candidates, Ravikant noted.

So why is AngelList suddenly more interested in talking up its role in these funding and hiring introductions, especially considering it doesn’t charge for them? Well, it’s known that the company is raising its first outside financing, at an expected valuation of $150 million or more, as TechCrunch first reported.

Ravikant said that he couldn’t elaborate on the fundraising process, but that he expects to “be in a position to talk about it more when the ban on general solicitation ends.”

What he means but cannot say is this: When the JOBS Act rules go into place early next year, AngelList will have more flexibility about disclosing that it is raising funding and making such a round available to a broad range of investors — as would be in keeping with the spirit of the site.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald