Launched in 2010, AngelList has become the destination for startups to list their companies and achievements and attract investor members of the site. Becoming a virtual ‘Facebook’ for startups, the site launched AngelList Syndicate in 2014 to provide a crowdfunding solution for companies to raise capital and investors to lead syndicates in deals they are involved in.
With its success, AngelList has attracted the listing of hundreds of thousands of startups. However, for many angel investors and ventures capital funds, the sheer size of the platform means it is difficult to find potential startups in niche areas of interest.
Aiming to create a solution that provides more targeted startups to investors is VCNetwork.co. Launching today, the VCNetwork platform was founded by Jenny Q. Ta, who is currently the founder and CEO of Sqeeqee.com and Shinta W. Dhanuwardoyo, also known as Shinta Bubu for her role as the founder and CEO of Bubu.com
Speaking with Ta and Dhanuwardoyo, they explained to Finance Magnates that their goal when creating VCNetwork was to develop a platform that would be able to funnel the most fitting startups to each investor. In doing so, Ta used the show Shark Tank as an example. According to Ta, results from the show reveal that Shark investors tend to concentrate their investments in areas of their expertise. As such, Ta explained that VCNetwork was founded with this approach to only forward startups seeking funding to investors that are most likely to be interested in their field of business.
Ta explained that the tendency of investors to focus on specific investment types means that they aren’t seeing and aren’t reviewing every business plan or pitch deck that comes their way. As result, Ta stated that “startups aren’t getting callbacks because their proposals aren’t even getting read”. Similarly, Ta added: “VCs are complaining that they are getting too many pitch desks and business plans.”
According to Ta and Dhanuwardoyo, the problem finding funding is even worse for non-US startups, with Ta expressing that US investors tend to “brush international investment onto the sideline, and only when they aren’t seeing projects in America do they look internationally”.
Hailing from Indonesia, and building their own startup in the country, Dhanuwardoyo expressed that for US investors focusing domestically, there are plenty of opportunities they are missing. In terms of Indonesia and the rest of South East Asia, Dhanuwardoyo explained that the tech startup scene is new to the region, but the value that firms there can provide to investors is access to fast growing markets as well as a mobile first company culture. As a result, Dhanuwardoyo stated that “money is arriving to because investors see it growing”.
By arriving with an international focus, Ta and Dhanuwardoyo believe that VCNetwork can become a conduit for connecting related investors around the world. As such, among their plans for the future is to allow investors that have expressed interest on the platform to invest in a startup to be able to communicate with each other to work on funding deals together. Ta explained that currently “there isn’t a bridge on a global scale to connect startups and investors, where you can see SI investors connect with those in Europe and Asia to do deals together”.
Launching today, VCNetwork goes public with 300 investors on the network. According to Ta and Dhanuwardoyo, the company’s goal is to grow that number to over a thousand before pushing to register startups. The rationale is that startups will be best served having a larger group of potential investors to pitch to, than vice versa.