Ben Yoskovitz, Founding Partner
I remember when AngelList first came out in the U.S. It had a very quick impact on a startup’s ability to build momentum in the investor community. If you had a lead or a few investors (+ traction), you could get featured on AngelList and others would notice. Fundraising momentum is so hard for startups to build, as is FOMO (fear of missing out). AngelList was a great catalyst for that.
And then they launched Syndicates. Syndicates further democratized the marketplace between investors and startups. More passive angels that wanted to participate in the “tech action” could now do so through a trusted syndicate lead. Startups that secured a high-quality syndicate lead could very quickly see momentum build as syndicate backers piled into deals with smaller checks.
For me, AngelList and Syndicates, are about opening up the marketplace of potential investors and startups in ways that have never been done before — but always with an eye to quality and attention to detail. No one wants a free for all where investors start losing their shirts without really understanding what they’re getting themselves into.
Recently, AngelList came into Canada. You can learn more athttps://angel.co/canada. This is a fantastic opportunity for Canadian investors and startups to build momentum locally, and level up our game as entrepreneurs and funders in this market.
That’s why I’m so excited to announce that Highline BETA has launched one of the first AngelList Syndicates in Canada.
If you’re not familiar with AngelList syndicates, here’s how the company explains them: “A syndicate is a VC fund created to make a single investment. They are led by experienced technology investors, and financed by institutional investors and sophisticated angels”.
A syndicate starts by getting backers. You can back our “fund” (and see what we have previously invested in independently), which is a commitment to invest — although not an absolute obligation — and then we’ll launch syndicates for specific startups when we’ve found the right ones. At that point in time, with a specific syndicate launched, you — as a backer — will decide if you want to invest in the startup or not. Highline BETA is committing to invest at least $25,000 per deal into 4 startups in 2017. We may do more. With the right support from backers, we can help pre-seed startups raise the capital they need to get to the next level.
Most likely our first investment will be through the partnership we announced with ResolveTO, where we’re running the “Corporate-Startup Connection Zone” at the event (Jan. 25–27, 2017). During the event we’ll have corporate partners in the zone meeting with startups, and we’ve committed to invest a minimum of $25,000 into one of those startups.
This is not the only way Highline BETA will invest in startups. But we think the syndicate model has huge potential, and will open up a lot of interesting opportunities for startups in Canada.
- If you’re an investor and interested in backing our AngelList syndicate, please visit
- If you’re a startup looking for funding, feel free to get in touch: [email protected]. Maybe you’ll be our first syndicate investment!
I’m excited about the future of AngelList, I think they’ve only just begun in their mission to help startups succeed. And it’s great to see them get into the Canadian market and try to make a difference here too.