At the start of 2021, we were hopeful to re-start face-to-face interactions with our members. Instead, there was a surge in covid infection cases and then there was the Delta scare… We are thankful that we managed to run a handful of in-person/hybrid pitches / workshops, and had good learning on how to run hybrid events (cold sweat when the mics on-site triggered echos on the zoom participants…)
Join us in a quick #throwback of the AngelCentral 2021 learnings and progress.
Workshops in the new norm and introducing a new masterclass
We ran 12 investor-related workshops in 2021: 8 masters and 4 deep-dives. We kickstarted the year with a hybrid angel investing workshop, followed by the Legal workshop and the Due Diligence and Portfolio Management workshops roughly every other month.
Photo: First Hybrid Workshop in 2021
We added a new topic to the Angel Master Series – Portfolio Tracking and IRR Calculation. This masterclass was co-designed, and conducted by one of our members, Sam Gibb. The main goal is to help our members strengthen their portfolio management skills. This is a “spreadsheet” centric / hands-on workshop where Sam guided us on the mechanics of calculating IRRs and portfolio returns. Even if it’s only on paper, it’s important that investors know how your portfolio is performing, so that you could tweak your investment strategy accordingly. We are opening 2022 with this workshop – so grab your tickets here if you have yet to. Remember to bring your laptop along for the class!
We kept to the quarterly rhythm for our Deep Dive series. Topics covered: CleanTech, ESG investment (beyond green investing), PropTech and HRTech. We would like to thank all the trainers and panelists for taking the time for the super insightful sharings at these sessions.
Photo: AngelCentral Deep Dive Series: Understanding and Investing in PropTech Startups
And heeding our members’ feedback, we created a digital library on the AngelCentral platform to house all our workshop learnings and recordings. We recognise that some of these contents warrant 2nd or even 3rd time reviews for one to really appreciate the depth. Besides, scheduled workshops just are not as convenient for any-time learning + we are seeing more regional angel sign ups for our membership. With the digital library, we hope that newly registered members could start their learning as-and-when they join us and regardless of where they are based,, and for our long term members to “review” and refresh as-and-when. And by breaking them into “episodes”, investors can dive in or just watch the topic of interest instead of sitting through the whole 4-5 hours of each workshop.
We did our yearly “Raising your first million” founder workshop in Q2. It was a full house on-site (with safe distancing in place, of course!) with 10+ overseas participants zooming in. We were really impressed by the energy of the founders for the full three-hour programme.
Photo: AngelCentral Startup Series: Fund Raising Your First Million Dollars onsite
Photo: AngelCentral Startup Series: Fund Raising Your First Million Dollars attendees on Zoom
In June, we invited veteran angels to share their views and experiences investing “through” the covid period. Our panelists were really candid with their portfolio performances during the pandemic, and how/why some startups flew and others tanked. It’s very much to do with the founders and how they reacted to the situations. Of course the angels shared their respective views on how the startup scene would evolve post pandemic too. This was a very thoughtful and insightful 90 minute session that many of our 100+ viewers really enjoyed and benefited from.
Photo: AngelCentral Learning Forum: Angel Investing Post-COVID
12 pitch sessions, resulting in more than $5.6m funding by our members
In absolute terms, we received 773 funding applications this year, a whopping 12% increase YOY! Of which, we reviewed and featured ~120 companies on our platform, and invited 45 to pitch to our members at our organised pitch sessions. Not all raised of course, but we are happy to share that to-date our members invested (directly or via AngelCentral syndicates) S$5.7M collectively (data based on startup feedback) Please see Der Shing’s review article AngelCentral End-year Review: A review of Angel Investing returns on our Startups.
Fundraising is not an easy task, and anecdotally founders have to go through 50-80 meetings for each fundraising round. For founders preparing for their fundraising, we hope we can be of help to support you along your journey. To start it off, please see tips from our resource section.
Successful syndications, including Up-Rounds for four of our 2019 companies
We closed the year with 6 successful syndicates which brings us to a total number of 23 syndicated companies to-date (since 2018)
Member end-year event
In November, we had a year end review on zoom, attended by almost half of our members. We garnered the help and support of our syndicate investment companies to send healthy snack boxes and Christmas perks to our members in our year end “thank-you” pack.
Many suggestions and direct feedback were shared on how the angels would like to see AngelCentral evolve in the mid term. We are heartened by the Angels’ support and endorsement + definitely will do our best to improve!
To end off, 2021 was definitely a challenging year, and we are happy that we have survived the steep learning curve, and came out stronger too. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us along this journey. Our team will work hard to keep to our mandate and to keep supporting the early stage angel investing in 2022 and beyond! See you soon at our next event!