Invisible start-up profiles on AngelList


I'm still trying to figure out what influences which start-up is visible and which is not on AngelList. Partially, I think it has to do with the personal preferences of the folks at the AngelList, that possibly set some flags, and partially it has to do with who is following the start-up, if any.

I am not talking about "public link" to your profile -- that one is designed for you to share around and drive more traffic to AngelList itself. I am talking about drilling down the start-up by location or market and not being able to see your company anywhere. And that's how the users of AngelList navigate - down the hierarchical link paths.

Do you agree with my assumptions or have a different angle on this?

If you find my premise plausible, let's run an experiment and put it to the test. If you have a start-up profile on AngelList and have no followers, let's exchange "followings"? Simply go to my "public link" ( ) and click "follow", and I will follow your profile in return.

This post was originally posted in in this discussion but I was advised by a moderator to post it as a new question...


asked Jul 6 '11 at 02:18
1,698 points
  • I actually do agree, AngelList looks vague to me, they kinda show to investors what they personally like which shouldn't be their mission at all, I won't be surprised if they've started charging to get featured (sad face). – Ryan 13 years ago
  • Right back at ya! Thanks. – Usabilitest 13 years ago
  • UPDATE: OK, after a couple of months and 11 followers the company profile is still impossible to locate unless you know the link or see someone follow it... Any other ideas why? – Usabilitest 13 years ago

2 Answers


Investors find startups in three ways - Via email, via site activity and via site listing.

Email: If an investor connected to your startup or an AL admin likes your startup, they can share it with a custom note to their followers. This is the #1 discovery mechanism.

Site activity: If you're following X person and they interact with Y startup, the action will appear in your activity feed and the startup will likely be recommended to you in your list of startups.

Site lists: If you browse by markets or locations, you'll see the startups. The startups are sorted by the # of followers that they have. This is what you're probably referring to. All startups are visibile as long as they (a) set themselves to be visible to you or (b) have a public profile. If a startup chose to be invisible to you and does not have a public profile, you'll never see it.

We're working on a new discovery mechanism right now - basically allowing entrepreneurs to introduce themselves to investors via any middleman that connects them.

Hope that answers it...

Naval (AngelList)

answered Jul 7 '11 at 10:50
219 points
  • Naval, thanks for the insight. It sounds like the new feature will give a better chance to "undiscoved" start-ups. Before I posted my note I actually tried to logout on Angellist and try to drill-down to me public profile. There's really no way. The filters don't seem to work. I would select Austin, TX as a location and Usability from a market drop-down, but that does not seem to apply to the list of start-ups that I see. Once I thought I was able to get close, but out of 11 start-ups in this Market/Location I still was not able to see my profile, but saw a company out of Amsterdam... – Usabilitest 13 years ago
  • RE: Site lists. I noticed that when I used filters on top of the page to "Find Startups" I was getting odd results. I tried to report it and Graham Jenkin got back to me with the following response: "@usabiliTEST You have to be an accredited investor to see the complete list. We should be more clear about that in the UI. /cc". I agree with Graham -- what's the point of showing the options if you're not qualified/allowed to use them? Unfortunately I had to use Twitter to communicate this issue. There does not appear to be any feedback mechanism on the site at the moment. Just an idea. – Usabilitest 13 years ago


Our company is never showing up as well .. I logged out of the angelist , and searched from the main page .. selected the location , and industry ours never shows up in the list .. We have our profile as public . And also any update we post never shows up in the public feed , it made us feel like angellist is managing on which updates show up , or which companies are visible.

I am starting to feel during the upgrade / roll out of the new features , startups which were listed early on got lost or not being recognized properly with underlying search functions.. Bridging Online and Offline category for instance has 113 startups . I clicked the next button to cross that 113 mark - each page shows 16 startups , and to my surprise the startups being displayed are more than 113 ,Yes I went through 15-16 pages and did not find our startup ...

answered Jul 23 '11 at 02:04
17 points
  • Apparently this strikes a cord with many, given the amount of attention and votes this discussion received. – Usabilitest 13 years ago
  • I thought only investors can access the full startup database. If you are an entrepreneur, you may be restricted to what your network of followers lets you see. – Alain Raynaud 13 years ago

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