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Angel Advice: Arjun Dev Arora

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Uploaded on Aug 10, 2013

Founder and Angel Investor, Arjun Dev Arora, talks about what makes a successful angel investor.

Arjun Dev Arora bootstrapped his company, Retargeter, to double-digit millions in growth. As an Angel Investor, he has invested in founders he finds exceptional, working on a diverse range of companies -- running from a local organic smoothie company to a finance management company for B2B SaaS infrastructure costs.

Arjun has invested in 500 Startups, 15five, Airseed, Blissmo, Cloudability, Seva Call, Sumazi and more. He's also an active advisor - a more complete list of his affiliations can be found on AngelList: https://angel.co/arjun

Well respected by both founders and other angel investors, Arjun shares a number of lessons he learned by immersing himself in communities of talented people and then investing in members of those communities that he knows are both smart and capable of sticking with something even when the going gets tough.

Some of the highlights are listed below:

2:15 Arjun decided to become an angel investor, despite his first experience being negative, and he decides what's important to him in picking entrepreneurs to back.

3:28 Speed is important to success, on making fast decisions about which entrepreneurs he backs: "Speed really does matter"

5:38 The importance of backing great entrepreneurs over great ideas. "The idea comes much second to the entrepreneur." What makes a great entrepreneur? Arjun looks for intelligence, grit, and the ability to build communities or networks.

15:19 The importance of pre-existing relationships in evaluating investments.

23:30 Great angels provide support to portfolio companies when they are asked, but also is there to help put some issues in perspectives when things go wrong. Be the investor that is there, looking to mentor and help, event during the dark times.

26:00 Naval Ravikant, Dave McClure and the team at True Ventures have great ideas and track records and share ideas generously. Great influences and mentors.

28:40 Diversification is an important part of being a successful angel. You have to pick a thesis, budget, and budget.

31:20 Angel Investing has a lot of benefits, making money is only one part of the equation. It also helps you widen your network, show your commitment to a community, enjoy the emotional benefit of being a part of something great, and sharpen your thinking.

38:52 Networking with communities of well-connected founders, investors is the best way to find out about the best deals. Operating quickly and adding value is the way to convince entrepreneurs that they should make room for you in their deal.

42:30 a recap and summary of the discussion.

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