New York-based Onevest last week launched 1000 Angels, an online platform that matches accredited investors with entrepreneurs who need money to grow their technology startups.
The site claims to be the world's largest digital-first, invitation-only investor network that allows members to build their own portfolios of venture capital investments—minus the typical 2 percent management fees, 20 percent carried interest and unpredictable capital calls that drag down returns.
“Over 70 percent of venture funds underperform the market,” said Alejandro Cremades, co-founder and executive chairman of Onevest, which provides technology products to connect founders, investors and advisors in the entrepreneurship community. “To us, it was a no brainer to come up with an alternative.”
Cremades said the 1000 Angels platform eliminates the traditional costs of VC fund investing, allowing members to access direct investment opportunities for a flat fee—the cost of an annual membership.
The platform will also change the face of angel investing, according to Cremades, who called the current model for most angel groups “fundamentally broken” because they accept too few companies that have high-growth potential and too many passive investors who don’t necessarily add value to the start-ups they’re investing in.
“We are very selective,” he said. “For the start-ups, we only accept 1 percent to 2 percent of the applications that we receive. For the investors, we don’t accept just anyone.”
Cremades said that companies selected for the online platform are thoroughly vetted by 1000 Angels’ deal-flow team. They should have the potential to provide investors with five- to six-fold returns within five to seven years. 1000 Angels plans initially to target start-ups seeking $500,000 to $5,000,000 in seed-stage and Series A capital, and later to include some companies seeking Series B capital up to $10,000,000. Deals are sourced from university partners, start-up incubators and Onevest’s current network of investors.
Potential members of 1000 Angels are screened for the benefits they can add, such as providing capital for subsequent rounds of financing, facilitating introductions to potential business partners and assisting with due diligence. Current members include angel groups, VC firms, high-net-worth individuals, family offices and wealth advisors.
1000 Angels offers three levels of membership. The top tier, $10,000 annually, provides access to founder presentations, demo days, networking events, educational seminars and a personal investment concierge, as well as opportunities to fill advisory board and board of director roles where there’s a match between a venture’s needs and an investor’s abilities.
Cremades said 1000 Angels is currently the largest digital network for angel and venture capital investors who want to invest in high-growth, early-stage tech companies worldwide. 1000 Angels is rolling out chapters in New York, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C., with plans to expand to other major U.S. cities by the end of the year. The group expects to add chapters in cities in Europe, Asia and Saudi Arabia.