FiBAN Monthly: Services for Newcomers and Experienced Angels
August 05, 2021
Services offered by an angel network should always meet the needs of its members. However, the needs tend to shift as individual investors gain more experience and expertise. At FiBAN we are at a pivoting point: we have more and more experienced angels as members, yet at the same time a lot of new members are joining every year. These two member types require different sets of services, and at FiBAN we are trying to answer the needs of both.
An angel network exists to offer services to its members, both old and new. The needs of the members depend on their experience in angel investing. As an example, when talking with members of newer BANs – like LatBAN in Latvia, LBAN in Luxembourg, and AngelsBand in Belarus – the focus is on knowledge management and deal-flow; whereas when discussing with more established groups – e.g. DanBAN in Denmark, BANSEA in Singapore, and NACO in Canada – the focus is more on how to bring value to the more experienced members.
During the over ten years of operations of FiBAN, we are at a pivoting point: We have more and more experienced angels as members, yet at the same time a lot of new members are joining every year. At FiBAN we are trying to answer the needs of both.
These two member types require different sets of services, and at FiBAN we are trying to answer the needs of both.Reima Linnanvirta, Chair of the Board
Dealflow is the core of our services. Easy access to a quality deal-flow is an important reason to join FiBAN. And while experienced angels develop their own deal-flow, FiBAN deal-flow is still important for them as well in e.g. finding co-investors. At FiBAN we aim to keep our deal-flow attractive by making sure FiBAN deal-flow is a well-known source of funding. For this, we train the ecosystem and cooperate with ecosystem players like entrepreneurial societies, accelerators, and universities, and publish success stories on our members’ cases.
Trainings are important for newer members. However, I am glad to see also more experienced angels refreshing their knowledge, sharing their stories and networking with net members in the FiBAN Academy events, as well as sharing their insights in Fiban Academy Online.
Our templates (e.g. shareholders’ agreement, term sheet, options, and sweat equity) are used by new and experienced investors alike. The same goes with the credit rating protection with Asiakastieto and Bisnode.
For the portfolio companies, we have launched FiBAN Founders Club. The club is open for all founders in the FiBAN members’ portfolio companies. Besides the network of peers and sharing of information, the club also includes benefits of significant monetary value: AWS credits up to $100.000, Stripe credits of €20.000, up to 90% off of Hubspot, 50% off of PromoRepublic, six months free ZenDesk, and up to $120.000 in IBM cloud credits (with more to come). These benefits should be valuable to new and experienced investors alike, bringing additional value to both new deals and existing portfolio companies.
When polling our members the two main challenges our members are facing are exits and future funding rounds. Those are clearly the next two areas where FiBAN should be able to help its members, e.g. by bringing the potential acquirers and investors together with the FiBAN members’ portfolio companies. The first step in this path is the introduction of the Angel Friendly Investor membership class. However, more work is still to be done.
A network is always as strong as its members. With over 650 members with an estimated over 2.000 companies in their portfolios, FiBAN is an interesting partner to several ecosystem players, making FiBAN a strong network. However, there is always room for improvement, so I would like to conclude by reminding you that the FiBAN team is always open to new ideas on improving FiBAN and what we provide to our members.
FiBAN Monthly is a blog series discussing current topics among FiBAN and angel investing. A new post will be shared each month, alternating between FiBAN Chair of the Board Reima Linnanvirta and Managing Director Amel Gaily. In case you missed Amel‘s letter from July, you can read it here.