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How to manage your angel investments
Free Notion Angel Investment Operating System and some thoughts on how you can optimize your startup investing.
Editor’s note: Last week, we launched The Super Angel Podcast which is dedicated to angels backing the next generation of European unicorn founders 🦄 because we want to connect the European venture scene, not just the VC scene. This week, we wanna share with you The Angel OS that our good friend Max from VC Stack has developed to manage his own investments. Free, versatile and infinitely malleable. We hope you’ll enjoy it and count on us for much more from along these lines in the future🙏.
Introducing Angel OS 👼
When I wrote my first angel check in 2018, it was such an exciting moment. The first time I got shares in a company that weren’t my own. Few years ago, a close friend of mine started his own venture and I instantly said “Yes” when he asked if I wanted to invest.
I didn’t know much about angel investing back then. My main reason was to support him on his entrepreneurial journey and it felt fantastic to have shares in more than one company. At that time, I was still working as a co-founder in my own startup.
Watch Angel OS Tutorial 👀
And go here for a 5-minute intro video.
Looking back I did many of the common mistakes most angels make at first:
Inexperienced in investment portfolio construction.
Investing single checks that are too big.
No specific amount in mind that I wanted to invest over a certain time.
Unclear goals for my angel investments.
No clear investment thesis.
Nevertheless, I learned quickly and a lot of the above is much clearer now. Over the last four years, I invested in over 20+ startups worldwide, created a strategy for my own portfolio, and became increasingly aware of my goals as an angel investor.
It feels like I professionalized a lot - but honestly, over time investing became messier because the deal flow & number of portfolio companies increased and I didn’t have a proper system in place to:
Run a structured & timely deal process
Assess potential deals
Track my portfolio performance
Store investment-related data
Answer messages quickly
So, I spent a significant amount of my time scrolling through my inbox searching for information and, yeah, the hobby of investing quickly became a part-time job.
A few weeks back, I decided to take action and clean-up. I created my own Angel Investor Operating System in Notion that helps me solve the above paint points.
But before you set up your own space, let us look at the features and my thoughts on building them first.
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The elements of the Angel Investor Operating System
🚀 Deal Flow CRM
A proper CRM is the most important tool for every angel investor. It helps me track all my interactions with potential portfolio founders and store deal-related data. Inside the CRM, I use a template function to automatically generate a list of questions I usually ask founders.
Finally, the different stages in the CRM help me decide on an investment timely and ensure that I spend my time according to a deal likelihood.
🏗 Portfolio Monitoring
After I have made an investment, the company moves over to my portfolio. In this view, I save all financial information, like the invested amount, the terms of the round, and the shares I received. I also use it to track Markups, Write-Offs, and all company-related documents.
It’s funny that I would describe myself as an analytical person, but have never tracked any KPIs of my angel investments. It is not that interesting in the first phase of investing, because you will only see how well you are doing years into the future, but I still think every angel investor should have a system in place for tracking these metrics.
The most relevant numbers for me are MOIC, IRR, Average Investment Amount, and Current Value of the Portfolio.
🏢 Companies Overview
The company overview allows me to see all companies (whether portfolio, in the deal process, or declined) in one view. So if I want to look up a piece of specific information on a company, I can quickly use the table to find it.
No matter if I want to raise money for my own companies or help my portfolio companies find investors. It is always good to have a list of co-investors. Every time I talk to an investor, I add them to the table and make sure to include their thesis, check size, and investor type. That way, I can easily filter for, e.g., marketplace VCs if I need them.
This is a simple table that I use to store all person-related information from the founders of the companies I look at (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Background).
📬 Email Templates
Angel investing consists of a lot of repetitive tasks. Most of them are around emailing founders. At some point, I created simple templates for myself for the most common use cases like Rejecting a deal, Requesting a Call, or Committing capital. So whenever something comes up, I can quickly copy and paste these templates.
😇 Mini Portfolio Page
I, as an investor, need to have some presence on the web that shows my thesis, how founders can reach me and what my past investments are. I have a full-fledged personal website for that, but I decided to also build a Micro Version of it in Notion. It is easy to set up and maintain and does the job for 99% of things.
➕ Value Add
When I started investing, I always told my founders, “Just write me if I can be helpful,” - and I was always wondering why no one reached out. But then I realized that I was just too unspecific about my value-add. So I decided to create a mini page that shows founders exactly what my value add looks like. For myself, this would be around startup fundraising and side product-led growth. That way, the expectations are clear for both sides, and it is easier for founders to get value from my experience.
Now it is up to you
Finally the time has come - now you can download the template for free, customize it for your own needs and bring your angel investing activity to the next level.
We just launched The Super Angel Podcast! 🥳 Give it a listen below and make sure to subscribe, rate and share 💖
Today, we're happy to welcome you to Roxanne, Director of Station F in Paris, an one of Europe’s absolute leading startup havens. Roxanne is broadly recognized as one of the most influential figures in the French if not the European startup ecosystem. French media have called her the "young empress of startups", the "queen of tech", and "the new pope of high-tech and startups in France." Roxanne is an Iranian-American who grew up in Silicon Valley, was formerly a journalist and startup ambassador before being headhunted to spearhead the development of Station F.
In this episode you'll learn:
- All about Roxanne's angel journey
- What's been Roxanne's most memorable moments investing
- What angel investing has given Roxanne professionally and personally
- How Roxanne thinks about investing cross borders and being a "baby LP" in VC funds