Angels are spreading their wings — and their dollars. So says new research from the Angel Resource Institute that shows the median size of angel-group rounds invested in startups rose 40 percent last year to $700,000.
A key takeaway is that angel investors are playing an increasingly important role in promoting entrepreneurship, stimulating job creation and helping fledgling companies get off the ground.
I talked with Anand Sanwal, co-founder of CB Insights, which tracks investment in startups and provided data for the report. “With early-stage investment, there’s been quite a pop in 2011,” he said. “Some of that has rubbed off on the angel community. You’re seeing a lot more investments at the early stage, the place angels like to play in.”
Another tidbit: Health care grabbed 37.4 percent of angel dollars, the largest slice. The industry accounted for 33.8 percent of the total deals. “These angel groups have a lot of ex-health care execs investing, and they’re investing in areas where their expertise would be most useful to entrepreneurs,” Sanwal said.
Also noteworthy, angel funds have greater impact in areas of the country where venture capitalists are less active. The southeastern U.S. accounted for 12 percent of angel deals and 20 percent of their dollars, according to the study, released by Angel Resource Institute, CB Insight and Silicon Valley Bank. “In the southeast there isn’t that much venture, so angel is, in many instances, the only game in town,” Sanwal said.