We once wrote the story of how technology changed the VC industry — in fact, venture capital was born from the marriage of vision and technology. Yet, even in this age of digital dynamism, some beginner angels have just heard that ChatGPT is "a cool thing" and are still relying only on good old Excel, Gmail, and crystal ball.
The truth is, there's a treasure trove of IT services out there, waiting to transform the way investors operate, supercharging their productivity and precision. You can easily unearth many apps on the web, but here are our favorite basic tools for day-to-day angel workflow.
To be aware of market trends
- TechCrunch is a go-to source for breaking tech news, in-depth analysis, and coverage of tech companies.
- Sifted is a media platform focused on Europe. It provides insightful news and analysis on the region's startups, technology, and innovation.
It's also worth checking out CB Insights and PitchBook (the only downside is the cost). And don't miss our list of 25 European angels and 16 European newsletters to follow.
This one is obvious, but we just want to put it out there: use Google Trends and Google Alerts. These tools are so easy that many investors overlook them.
To discover and track startups
- Crunchbase provides detailed information on startups, founders, funding rounds, and other essential data — a proven tool for tracking portfolio companies and reviewing new investment opportunities.
- ProductHunt is a popular online platform where tech enthusiasts can share, discuss, and upvote the latest and most innovative products.
What else? GitHub, Mattermark, StartEngine, and Tracxn.
By the way, if you like the analytical approach and the open-source tools — you will find this guide to be useful.
To team up with other investors
- Uniborn 😉. That’s right, we are building a platform where angels can co-fund and support startups. We currently have 8 ongoing syndicates (called cartels). For example, the latest one, the Foundation cartel, is committed to investing €10 million in venture studios by 2025, and it's already gathered over 50 members.
- AngelList is a great VC ecosystem that connects startups with potential investors, allowing them to join syndicates and build networks.
Additionally, there are outreach apps to consider like the self-titled Outreach or Clearbit: these AI-powered tools can uncover business contacts and equip you with all the vital details about potential partners. And the network will evolve with a service like Bridge.
To coordinate meetings
- Calendly is your personal scheduling assistant. This service allows users to share their availability and let others choose time that works for them. It reduces the typical back-and-forth communication to the minimum when setting up appointments.
- Mixmax enhances the email experience with features like email organization, automatic scheduling, and statistics.
As for transcribing meeting notes and analyzing conversations, a handy tool like Fireflies.ai can be a game-changer.
To manage tasks/projects
- Angel Investor OS based on Notion was designed by Maximilian Fleitmann, founding partner of Wizard Ventures and VCStack.io. This all-in-one software designed specifically for angel investors includes everything you need for day-to-day management, from deal flow CRM to email templates.
- Airtable is a database management tool with an easy-to-use interface. Here, you can, for example, collect all the data about the portfolio projects to manage deals and track pipelines most effectively.
In general, you have plenty of choices here. From super basic services like Trello and Evernote to the VC/PE-focused Savanta Dealflow. By the way, it's possible to streamline your work services with Zapier.
To control the cap table
- Carta is perhaps the most popular tool for capital management. The platform captures transactions involving private company shareholders, employees, auditors, and counsel.
- Pulley offers tons of valuable information for investors: everything about the startup’s equity you are interested in, plus scenario modeling if shares change hands.
Sure, there are alternatives like LTSE Equity. For some out-of-the-box options, there are apps like Public Comps. It can visualize key business metrics through graphs, which is incredibly valuable during the due diligence process.
To sign documents
- DocuSign is essential if you want to avoid chasing down every party, scan, print, and store tons of paperwork.
SignWell, PandaDoc, HelloSign, and dozens of alternative e-signature apps will also do the job.
So, here are great IT tools for every angel to consider in addition to the obvious tools like Zoom or Google Hangout for online meetings, and, of course, the holy trinity of all investors — X (a.k.a. Twitter), LinkedIn, and Facebook.
If you are ready to dive deeper, explore the selection from Altvia, a US-based tech platform for PE&VC. It spans over 200 apps catering to various needs, ranging from CRM for deal flow management to matchmaking platforms. Or do your own search on VCStack.io, probably the largest directory of tools and resources for venture capitalists.
Of course, all lists will continue to be populated, as tools are constantly emerging — primarily the data-driven kind. They all are poised to significantly enhance and expedite the process of searching and screening startups. In fact, LLM services are already doing it.
To further motivate you to rely on data and technology, consider the following stats:
- Machine learning models have already demonstrated their ability to outperform many human investors. For instance, in terms of accuracy and recall when deal screening, algorithms achieve a level on par with the top human investors (80%), surpassing the performance of the average or median investor by 40% or 33%, respectively.
- An impressive 84% of investors express a desire to rely on data, yet only 1% are actively moving in that direction. With the VC industry’s growing competitiveness and new-appearing obstacles, such as economic crises, it's essential to strive to become part of that tech-savvy 1%.
- By 2025, AI will handle a substantial 75% of startup pitches. Given the speed of machines compared to humans, a vast majority of these pitches will likely go to a very small group of tech enthusiasts, quite possibly that same 1%. So, it's in your best interest to join their ranks.
Cover image: Unsplash