AngelList's New Accreditation Status Flips on the Money Spigot
Things are about to get a little simpler for investors on AngelList, the crowdfunding platform for early-stage companies.
Starting this week, AngelList is testing a tool called Accreditation Reports, a streamlined method for its investors to prove they're allowed to invest. Other crowdfunding platforms could soon follow.
Filling out forms that prove investment status is often time-consuming and costly, for both investors and entrepreneurs, and particularly when businesses have to deal with numerous investors. For their part, investors typically have to present updtated proof of accreditation each time they invest. That was also the case for AngelList, until now.
Accreditation Reports documents are ideal for investors looking to capitalize on multiple deals, as they validate an individual's proof of income until April 15 of the year following verification. Asset proof for trust accreditations are good for three months. The accreditations can also be shared with other investors and businesses outside the AngelList platform.
AngelList's deals typically have a lead angel who crowdsources other angels for the deal through the platform.
Easing the document-intensive nature of early investment deals is part of AngelList's DNA.
"Companies using AngelList Docs are saving $20,000 of dead-weight loss in a financing [deal] where as little as $100,000 might be raised--money better used to hire, and time better used to innovate," Naval Ravikant, the chief executive of AngelList, said in testimony before House Financial Services committee in 2012.
Accreditation reports stem partially from the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, a law aimed, in part, at simplifying fundraising for emerging growth companies. To receive accreditation from the Securities and Exchange Commission, individual investors must have a net worth exceeding $1 million at the time of purchase, or income exceeding $200,000, or joint income with a spouse over $300,000.
Financial services companies such as banks and registered investment companies, employee benefit plans, and charitable organizations must have more than $5 million.
In 2013, AngelList reportedly helped 500 startups raise $125 million.
Pinterest and Uber are two well-known startups that received financing from AngelList.
Late last year, AngelList received its own funding round, of $24 million from Google Ventures, Atlas Venture, the Kauffman Foundation, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and others.