To some of you, the news has been trickling out but now it's time to do a real announcement: Yes, I've left the ranks of angel investing and joined Launch Capital, a seed stage fund based out on the East Coast.
I met Launch Capital about 3 years ago when we both were invested in two Bay area startups. I got to know the managing director, Elon Boms, very well through the years. We found we had mutual agreement on investing philosophy and approach, and about a month ago, he offered me a job as West Coast Director of Operations, doing seed stage investing on the West coast where I am mostly based, but also covering internet-tech and mobile in NYC where I am often.
I am excited to see my career go in this direction. As an angel investor, I discovered that I loved working with startups and helping them and their products grow. Now, at Launch Capital, I could do more of the same but with more resources and under a prominent brand. While I enjoyed being an angel investor, I think that it is much more preferable investing in startups with the ability to bring more money, resources, and help to bear than just what I can bring individually.
If there is anything I've learned from angel investing, it's that angel investing is hard - easy to have fun, but hard to make money. As individuals, we can only bring so much to help except for those individuals with exceptional resources and backgrounds; the majority of us may have enough capital to invest but have limited capability to help beyond that capital. But now I can work with startups with the ability to bring more capital to bear than just my own quickly dwindling resources.
To be totally open and frank, I hit that tough place being an angel investor: I've been actively investing for about 5 years now but the economic crash and lack of exits has made deployable cash harder to come by. I had contemplated potentially stopping angel investing for the time being until the opportunity at Launch Capital came along, for which I am eternally grateful so that I could continue to work with startups.
Likewise, I found angel investing to be sometimes a lonely place. I have worked with others in the past, but each of us, either angel or fund, had very individual reasons for investing (see my post Why I Hate Social Proof). However, now, I am glad to be working with an experienced team of investors with a singular mission, all to invest smartly for Launch Capital. Over the last 4 weeks I have come to value their feedback and help on my deals, which has sharpened up my decision process greatly.
To all you entrepreneurs: I look forward to working with you in my new capacity at Launch Capital.