Minimum amount of equity angel investors expect?


What is the minimum (not theoretical, but realistic) equity stake an angel investor will be looking for in a new tech startup?

Is it practical to offer equity in 1% denominations?

Ex: give up 1% equity per $10k investment

Equity Angel

asked Nov 26 '10 at 09:26
Mr. Schwabe
147 points
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2 Answers


Generally, angel investors don't have a minimum (in terms of ownership interest) like VCs do. The reason VCs have a minimum ownership interest is that there's a maximum number of investments they can manage (sit on the board of), so they need a minimum ownership interest in order to "move the dial".

Angels, often have a range of investment amount they're comfortable with and if they're making similar types of early-stage investments, they may have a range in terms of company valuation. But, it's often a wide range. Could be anywhere from $250k valuation to $2MM+ valuation. It depends on the situation.

answered Nov 26 '10 at 15:21
Dharmesh Shah
2,865 points
  • Thanks for putting it into context with a VC. Regarding the 'range of investment' I'm primarily interested in the equity % the average angel investor is looking to acquire, not necessarily the amount of money they are willing to invest. Ie- what's the most common equity stake (ie- percentage of the company) a seasoned angel investor will want to acquire? And what's the minimum they would expect (ie- 5%? 3%? 1%? 0.5%?)? – Mr. Schwabe 13 years ago


If your business is worth $1MM, then 1% for $10K would be about right. While you're putting sweat equity into the business, they're fronting dollars. They're going to want to get good value for their investment, that is, a portion of your business that's proportional to the value of their dollars against all other value in the business.

If all you have is an idea and a couple guys writing code, estimate about $50K per year per developer for sweat equity. That's what those dollars are buying.

answered Nov 26 '10 at 14:50
4,692 points
  • Okay, the next question is though - is a 1% equity @ $10,000 investment common? (provided there is a legitimate case for a $1mm valuation) – Mr. Schwabe 13 years ago

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