How long to wait for angel investor?


I have a big web project which I and my co-founder began our development on. We've been talking to our angel investor for a long time. He is very responsive but we cant get a final investment number from him. What is a delicate way to approach him to see if he's in or out. We want to form legal documents. What do you think?

Angel Investment

asked Mar 23 '10 at 13:16
86 points
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4 Answers


Angels are the ones who are investing their own money. Naturally, they wouldn't take a call as soon as you'd expect them to. They are driven by their personal tastes and choices. Also, they would take longer time to get convinced about your position if you are not within their areas of expertise. In such a case you may have to go an extra mile to convince them.

With regards to a specific number, that's a stage which comes much late. First you need to make sure that the angel is really 'in' for your startup.

If you don't yet know how far you have gone in establishing the relationship, I think it would be too early to even think of any legal formalities. (Is it that you are, inadvertently, shooing the angel off, by thinking about legal aspects so soon?) As far as legal documentation is concerned, it's more a need for the investor than that of yours. After all it's his/her money at stake. So don't get into it so soon.

Concentrate on addressing the apprehensions of the angel. And remember, don't deviate from your main business. You shouldn't concentrate so much on securing an investment that your business get affected. In a worst case scenario, if the angel backs off, you shouldn't be in a situation where this exercise has taken a toll on your business and you are doomed.

answered Mar 23 '10 at 18:26
Sandeep Satavlekar
325 points


You have one of several possible issues:

  1. the angel doesn't want to invest, but doesn't have the courage to tell you "No"
  2. the angel would invest, but has no reason to invest today
  3. he is not a "lead", so he is waiting for another angel to decide on terms. It's often called "social proof"

Each problem has its own set of solutions. You first need to find out which it is. For instance, if the angel has been quizzing you about "who else is investing", you know you are in scenario #3.

answered Oct 12 '10 at 05:48
Alain Raynaud
10,927 points


In the angel game, it's all about the relationship. For whatever reason, this angel is still not convinced that your idea is worth investing in. As Sandeep said, focus on getting your product done if you can. Maybe this person wants to see some progress before they put any money in.

For an angel, you have to make the case that the opportunity is worth the risk of their investment and that they are involved with something great. It can be an ego thing with angels since they usually made their money by working in a startup. So, cater to their ego a bit.

The legal stuff is secondary and in some cases, puts them off. Of course, they want a good deal and protection but the main thrill is finding the diamond in the rough that will give them 10-20x return on their money.

answered Mar 23 '10 at 21:45
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points


Tell him bluntly that you need to focus on your business. Ask him if he is interested in investing and when. If he is not or can't make a decision then you should move on - it is all sunk cost.

answered Mar 24 '10 at 10:49
Tim J
8,346 points
  • "Tell him bluntly " - I'd rather take a diplomatic and polite approach to conveying this point. Bluntness may spoil the relationship with the angel and possibly other angels may also keep a distance from you. In my humble opinion, bluntness is not a good idea. As Jarie has said, building, nurturing and enhancing the relationship is crucial to your success. – Sandeep Satavlekar 14 years ago
  • Building, nurturing and enhancing your relationship with someone who has no skin in the game can be deadly to your business. Being blunt does not mean being rude or impolite. I stand by my answer - you need to move on. If he can't commit, why waste your time? – Tim J 14 years ago

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