As someone who has invested in over 300 technology startups, I've reached a juncture where I am re-evaluating my investment strategy. In this blog, I will articulate my evolving philosophy as an investor, emphasizing deeper connections and a more focused approach.
My greatest joy in angel investing has never been about financial returns. It's the heartfelt gratitude and recognition from entrepreneurs that fuels my passion. Witnessing startups withstand the test of time and achieve their dreams brings me immense satisfaction. However, there's a sense of loss when my contribution is overlooked during their triumphs or when founders vanish after a failure. It's not the monetary loss that disheartens me, but the absence of communication and reflection from these entrepreneurs.
The Outlier Investor:
I consider myself an outlier among investors. My fulfillment comes from interacting with exceptional founders and realizing my purpose as an investor and mentor through their success. The emotional value of these relationships surpasses the financial gains. I continually reinvest the monetary returns into new startups, but it's the gratitude and acknowledgment from successful entrepreneurs that truly gratifies me.
Reshaping Investment Strategies:
In my years of investment, I've learned that chasing after elite projects, already pursued by renowned VC firms, doesn't align with my values. My aim is to support those who truly need my investment and guidance. Often, these highly sought-after projects do not guarantee better returns and come with inflated valuations, diminishing the sustainability of angel investing.
A Clearer Vision in Silicon Valley:
Since relocating to Silicon Valley, my vision has become clearer. I am now more inclined to engage with entrepreneurs who truly need my help. I intend to deeply understand their life experiences, personalities, and motivations. For projects I invest in, I plan to have monthly in-depth reflections with the teams, helping them navigate through challenges and forming strong bonds.
Furthermore, I am open to regular updates from founders I couldn't invest in, offering my resources and time generously. Moving forward, I may not invest in hundreds of startups as before, but I aim to cultivate frequent and lasting interactions with each of my investments, fostering mutual growth. Whether these startups succeed or fail, I believe my involvement will be more impactful and appreciated.
In summary, while PreAngel initially aimed to be a co-founder for entrepreneurs, my future goal is to embody this role more profoundly. I aspire to be a true co-founder in spirit, deeply involved in the journey of each startup I invest in. This shift marks a new chapter in my investment philosophy, one that prioritizes meaningful relationships over sheer numbers, and quality over quantity.