Aussie directory Startup Galaxy is launching a new investment feature, making it easier and more efficient for angel groups to back up-and-coming startups, while also offering the startups a more seamless experience.
Startup Galaxy is headed up by Ed Hooper and Andrew Armstrong, who were also co-founders of podcast startup Omni Studio, which was sold to US audio tech company Triton Global in 2019, are both now angel investors themselves.
With Omni Studio Hooper spent some time in the US, he tells SmartCompany. He noticed there was considerable infrastructure around the startup ecosystem that just didn’t exist in his home market Down Under.
In 2017, the pair started working on the Startup Galaxy directory — something to help people discover the startups and investors in the ecosystem. They added a jobs board in 2020.
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Now they’re taking Startup Galaxy a step further, launching a product that provides the infrastructure to help angel groups run their investment operations.
It also offers founders a one-stop shop to facilitate investor due diligence and other communications.
The Startup Galaxy software platform can conduct investor checks and compliance, and provide a full audit trail along the way. Angels can receive notifications for deal updates and log in to see the associated data and even place commitments.
A “game changer” for angel funding
The tool is intended to bring a level of automation into what has previously been a very manual process.
When raising angel rounds, founders are generally having lots of different conversations with lots of individuals, but covering similar ground.
The angel groups, meanwhile, typically manage their investments using email and spreadsheets. There was a clear case for automation, Hooper says.
“Angel groups already do a lot of great stuff,” he adds.
“We’re just making it easier for them to do their thing.”
Startup Galaxy is already working with women-focused angel group Scale Investors, and supported startup mtime in its most recent raise.
Scale has two customer groups that are equally important, co-chief Chelsea Newell tells SmartCompany — the angel investors and portfolio founders.
Startup Galaxy “services both parties with fit-for-purpose functionality”, she adds.
For mtime founder Sarah Agboola, the platform was a “game changer”, allowing her to consolidate investments into a single line on her cap table, and instilling confidence for later rounds that all compliance was up to standard.
The startup ecosystem snowball effect
The launch plays into a broader trend of successful founders investing their own wealth in new ventures, and giving back to the local ecosystem.
That trend is only going to continue, Hooper says.
“The snowball is getting bigger and bigger.”
At the same time, we’re seeing more investment dollars than ever flowing into startups. While once a surge of big-ticket deals left a gap in early-stage funding, that’s not necessarily the case anymore.
The angel groups Startup Galaxy is working with are growing, and investing more than ever. There are also new groups popping up, focused on specific sectors or geographies.
With success stories like Canva and Afterpay well and truly making waves on the global stage, there is also an appetite from investors to get into tech assets on the ground floor. Being in an angel group is an efficient way to build a portfolio, Hooper notes.
Yet for a lot of the people running those groups, it’s a passion project.
Making things as efficient, streamlined and quick as possible is better for those managing the group investments, better for the individual angels, and better for the startups, he says.