Frequently Asked Questions

Angel Investing/Crowdfunding

With angel investing, you don’t need a broker. You will be investing directly with the company through a secure crowdfunding site. A broker will only be necessary once the company goes public and therefore moves onto the active stock market.

If you don’t already have one, don’t worry; modern technology has made it easier than ever to open one.

Some of our favorites include E*TRADE, Merrill Edge, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity. When you go to their respective websites, you’ll need to click on the “Open an Account” button (which is usually at the top right of the web page). From there, you need to put in some personal information, like your name, birth date, and address, and you’ll be all set. You can transfer money directly from your bank account by clicking “transfer cash” or any other variant.

Stocks, futures, currencies, commodities, CFDs, options, and all types of investment trading can have large potential rewards. However they do come with inherent risks and there can be no guarantee of future profits.

Never trade with money you cannot afford to lose, and accept that there will be losses. You must be able to sustain these losses, both from a financial as well as an emotional perspective.

Investment limits are mandated by the SEC, and are in place to help protect individuals from investing more than they can responsibly afford to risk. Crowdfunding platforms usually will allow you to enter more information about your net worth and income to raise your limit as appropriate.

It can vary. This is mandated by the regional securities commission (the SEC in the U.S.) for the place in which you reside. It is best to check with that governing body to make sure that you are acting within the laws and guidelines in place for your territory.

Also, on every deal page we identify who each opportunity is open to: domestic, international, specific regions, accredited and non-accredited investors.

The Crowd SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) is a contract that represents a financial stake in a company, however, investors are not automatically stock holders. SAFE investments are converted to equity after triggering events, such as an IPO, a merger or acquisition, or in some cases, later funding rounds.

In the event that you have the opportunity to collect a return from a trigger event, the company will contact your directly with the details.

Shares of common or preferred stock represent ownership in a corporation. The biggest difference between the two is that common stock gives investors voting rights, while preferred stock does not.

You should expect around a minimum hold time of two to three years. It is possible to see a return earlier, but angel investing can take time.

Please note that it is okay to change your mind! Platforms generally offer a short period directly after the investment is made (typically 48 hours) to cancel. After that, you may be locked in for a year before you can sell your stake if you decide that startup is not for you. If you are on the fence, make sure to double-check the policies of the crowdfunding platform before you invest.
Yes. Although companies are able to extend their raises if they haven’t met their goal, raises have a final closing date. After that date has passed, investments are no longer accepted.

Once the raise closes, investments are finalized. The company follows up on any outstanding investments, and as long as the minimum goal (listed within the offering documents) has been met, the company can disperse the funds from escrow. We recognize that this can be a nerve-wracking process, but it is important to be patient, as this process can take weeks or even months.

If the company has not met its minimum goal, investments are canceled and any funds are returned to investors.

No. You do not have to invest in every recommendation. Review the materials and research we prepare for you, then do your own due diligence before deciding which investment is best for you. Invest in as few or as many of our recommendations as you like.

That’s correct! The research team works hard to find the best startups with the lowest minimums available. Please note that minimums will vary. If a company passes the rigorous vetting process, we are going to pass it on to you regardless of minimum price.

For your direct investments, you will generally have a portfolio on the crowdfunding site used, similar to what you might find on a standard brokerage platform.

We recommend using a digital spreadsheet (Excel, Google docs, etc.) to make note of your personal investments and login credentials for any crowdfunding platform you join.

In addition to having maximum funding amounts, each raise has a minimum goal that varies from company to company. If the raise does not hit that minimum goal, investments are canceled and returned to investors.

Reg. CF and Reg. A raises have a maximum amount they are able to accept during a 12-month period. For Reg. CF, this amount is $1.07 million, and for Reg. A, this amount is $20 million.

Once a raise hits its maximum, the company can open the waitlist. This seems much more common in Reg. CF raises. In the event that a previous investor can’t fund their investment, individuals on the waitlist get a chance to replace them at the cap table.

(Please note: Different platforms operate their waitlists differently, so it is important to check the policies for the crowdfunding site in question.)

Once a raise reaches its closing date, the waitlist is generally closed as well. All investments are finalized, and any waitlisters who did not have the chance to invest have their commitments canceled.

Under Reg. D, a startup can publicly advertise the sale of its shares and there is no upper limit to the amount they can raise.

The downside is that it can only sell to verified “accredited investors” (i.e. individuals or married couples with a net worth in excess of $1 million). That means that most everyday investors won’t be able to participate.

Because businesses at this funding level have already achieved some level of success, 506(c) raises can be great investment opportunities for those who qualify.

For those who don’t, there are still other offerings you can participate in – with just as much potential to make you a millionaire.

A Regulation A+ (or Tier 1) offering is available to all investors, regardless of accreditation status, and allows a startup to raise up to $20 million over 12 months.

Tier 2 offerings under Reg. A+ are more common because they lack the burdensome requirements for state-by-state qualification. They also feature higher maximum fundraising limits ($50 million rather than $20 million).

An offering through Regulation CF (short for “crowdfunding”) has a maximum fundraising limit of $5 million and must be conducted through a single online funding portal that is registered with the SEC (think WeFunder, StartEngine – you get it). Individual investors are limited in the amounts they are allowed to invest by their income and net worth.

Non-accredited investors make up the bulk of investors around the world. In fact, when someone mentions “retail investors,” they often mean non-accredited investors. Put simply, non-accredited investors are people who have less than $1 million in assets, aside from the value of their home, and earn under $200,000 annually.

To be an accredited investor, one of the two following conditions must be met: 1) You must be married and have earned an income exceeding $200,000-$300,000 over the past two years, or 2) you need to have a net worth greater than $1 million, not including the value of your home.

There is no certification or documentation that names you as an accredited investor. Instead, the company behind the private deal you are trying to engage with will put you through their own screening process to verify your status. Typically, this is just a signed form from your broker or accountant verifying your assets.

Any investment contains an element of risk. There are some risks that an investor can control and others they can only guard against. General economic factors, inflation, market value fluctuations, and general conservatism are all risks to every investment.

It is important to make well-informed investments based on thorough research to minimize your risk. It is also important to speak with a financial advisor to better understand these risks and market terminology. An advisor can help you make better decisions for your long-term portfolio.

We get this question a lot, and unfortunately, there is no straight answer, as every investor’s risk tolerance is different. The short answer? It’s entirely up to you.

Angel investing can be risky. That’s why we recommend diversification as one of the core methods to mitigate risk. In other words, try not to put all your eggs in one basket.

Crowdfunding websites are platforms where startups can list and publicize their raises. Some, such as StartEngine, even offer guidance to help Founders through the daunting process of opening a raise and marketing their company.

If you plan to invest in any startup recommended through our services, you will find a link to the fundraising page under the Angel Action Plan, which is listed on every deal page.

In accordance with the law, Angels & Entrepreneurs Network does not perform these transactions or receive any data directly about what you have invested in or the amount invested.

Equity crowdfunding gives the average investor the chance to participate in opportunities that previously may have only been open to relatives, venture capitalists, and the very wealthy/elite.