New Delhi-born, New York-raised Naval Ravikant, founder and CEO of AngelList and a Silicon Valley mogul, has struck gold in China.
AngelList, a web-based resource set up in 2009 for entrepreneurs and angels to find each other and make deals to launch start-ups, is getting at one stroke $ 400 million from China's CSC Venture Capital, the U.S. arm of China Science & Merchants Investment Management Group, also known as CSC Group, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Previously, AngelList had raised $205 million from all sources, including $43 million from institutional investors. The $400 million comes as a bonanza that will give AngelList a turbo thrust in sending start-ups into the stratosphere.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a 'tsunami of overseas cash is headed for U.S. startups'. It quoted Ravikant as saying AngelList will disperse about $20 million of the money, ramping up to $50 million a year in subsequent years. "$400 million is just the tip of the spear," says Ravikant. He added that on a recent trip to China, two different limited partners each offered him $500 million, but "we're limited in how much capital we can absorb."
Ravikant was born in New Delhi and brought up in the Jamaica district of Queens, New York. HIs father was "a pharmacist in India, but they wouldn't accept his licence in America, so he and my mum did clerical work ..." Wired.com quoted him telling an interviewer that he had needed three jobs to pay his way through Dartmouth College, the Ivy League university.
Ravikant began his career at @Home, then worked with Intrinsic Graphics which became Google (GOOG) Earth. He then started Epinions.com and, in 2005, launched Vast.com, a classified advertisement marketplace. He then created his angel investor fund and put capital into highly successful companies like Uber, Twitter, FourSquare, SnapLogic, etc.
How does AngelList work? Everyone on the site has to be an accredited investor. Entrepreneurs wanting to launch start-up come to AngelList with proposals that are evaluated by a host of angel investors called "leads".
"If an investor likes what he sees, he can put in some of his own money, while encouraging other investors, who are part of what is known as his syndicate, to fill out the investment with their own funds. These first investments average around $315,000 per startup," explains WSJ.
With the $400 million from CSC, AngelList will be able to do deals faster. "As we add more limited-partner capital we're going to add more syndicate leads, who are voting with their own dollars," WSJ quoted Ravikant as saying. "We're going to deploy an army of leads."
Other investors see the syndicate structure of AngelList as what makes it so powerful. With this huge tranche of funds at his disposal, Ravikant is a player that will expand and accelerate the global market for innovative start-ups, a job for which he already has proven credentials.
The AngelList database features nearly 45,000 businesses from which can emerge a multitude of successful future ventures, especially because Ravikant is reknowned for his special ability to weed out venture proposals that operate in 'failure mode'.