Angel investors in Europe are very much like their counterparts based in the United States. Angel investors are individuals who fund startup companies using their own money. Overall, angel investors in Europe and elsewhere are generally more willing to take risks than venture capitalists or banks. Angel investors also tend to be more flexible in terms of their expected return on investment (ROI).
There are other advantages to working with angel investors too. First, they tend to be more open to smaller-scale investments and second, they also almost always provide mentorship to the startups they fund, making them an ideal growth resource. But finding one and getting one to back your idea might be harder than you would expect.
Most Active Angel Investors in Europe
While there are significantly fewer angel investors in Europe than in the United States, they do exist—founders just need to dig a little deeper to uncover them. The individuals below are just a few of the more widely-known angel investors in Europe.
Christophe Maire is CEO and Founding Partner of Atlantic Labs in Berlin. Named the best European Seed investor in 2011 and 2012 by TechCrunch, he now has more than 20 years of track record of investing in digital startups.
The Stanford graduate has received several awards for her work in the digital European tech space. Recently, Paola Bonomo received the 2017 Golden Aurora for European Woman Angel of the Year and the award for Italian Business Angel of the Year that same year.
With 15 years of investment track record, Morten Lund has founded or invested in over 115 high-tech startups. The entrepreneur is based in Copenhagen and is currently focusing his efforts in the fintech sector.
Eileen Burbidge is a Founding Partner of Passion Capital (which is actually a venture capital firm) and the Chair of TechCity U.K. Eileen was also appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2015.
How to Find Angel Investors in Europe
To find angel investors in Europe, you can check out online databases such as AngelList (angel.co). A quick search of the database shows that there are currently near 3,000 angel investors in Europe listed on the site.
How to Approach Angel Investors in Europe
You might be wondering how you can approach the angel investors you find in lists. We understand why it would be hard, since not every angel is specifically looking to invest in your business sector.
Hence, the first steps to take should involve removing every investor that won’t invest in your startup from the list. Some investors will only invest in companies at a certain development stage, like Series A and Series B rounds. As a founder, it is incumbent upon you to do your research. You can use a database such as Crunchbase to conduct your research.
Some angel investors are also not seeking to invest in areas other than the one they’re in, so remove them from your list too. When doing your research, look at past investment trends to understand their preferences. If all of their investments have been in their home geography, then you should drop them from your list. Lastly, don’t even consider approaching angel investors who are in a different industry than you.
What you will be left with is a list of angel investors in Europe you need to contact. The best way to do that is to find people who can introduce you to them. There is no better way to approach a potential angel investor than through a warm introduction through a mutual colleague or friend. Uncovering those connections is often time-consuming, but the reward is well worth the investment. LinkedIn is a great tool for uncovering mutual connections shared between you and your potential angel investors.
You can also look to connect with potential angel investors by attending networking and industry events. A direct email to a prospective angel investor has very little chance of being successful. Most angel investors I know don’t respond to unsolicited email pitches.
The process of uncovering and connecting with angel investors in Europe is very much like the process here in the United States or anywhere else in the world. It takes time, effort, strategic-thinking and persistence.
Interested in learning more about connecting with angel investors in Europe? Contact me today and let’s talk!