Even Your Allergist Is Now Investing in Start-Ups
In London, Ivy Mukherjee, 28, a product designer, and Shashwat Shukla, 30, a private equity investor, also started putting money into start-ups together this year to learn new skills and network with others in the industry. They said they were proceeding cautiously, with checks of $2,000 to $5,000, knowing they could lose it all.“If we happen to make our money back, that’s good enough for us,” Mr. Shukla said.The new angels have the potential to transform a venture capital industry that has been stubbornly clubby. They could also put pressure on bad actors in the industry who get away with things ranging from rudeness to sexual harassment, said Elizabeth Yin, a general partner at Hustle Fund, a venture capital firm. The firm also created Angel Squad and shares deals with its members.“More competition brings about better behavior,” Ms. Yin said. (In addition to investing in start-ups, Hustle Fund sells mugs that say “Be Nice, Make Billions.”)The angel boom has, in turn, created a miniboom of companies that aim to streamline the investing process. Allocations, the start-up run by Mr. Advani, offers group deal making. Assure, another start-up, helps with the administrative work. Others, including Party Round and Sign and Wire, help angels with money transfers or work with start-ups to raise money from large groups of investors.AngelList, which has enabled such deals for over a decade, has steadily expanded its menu of options, including rolling funds (for people to subscribe to an angel investor’s deals) and roll-up vehicles (for start-ups to consolidate lots of small checks). Mr. Kohli said his company runs a “fund factory” that compresses a month of legal paperwork and wire transfers into the push of a button.Still, getting access to the next hot tech start-up as a total outsider takes time.Ashley Flucas, 35, a real estate lawyer in Palm Beach County, Fla., began investing in start-ups three years ago. She said it was a chance to create generational wealth, something underrepresented people did not typically get access to.“It’s the same people doing deals with each other and sharing in the wealth, and I’m thinking, how do I break into that?” said Ms. Flucas, who is Black.