A super angel is a type of business investor that shares some characteristics with venture capitalists and others with angel investors. Some super angels are wealthy individuals, and others head up investment groups. Like angels, these investors tend to use their own money rather than taking funds from passive limited partners. They can also be called serial angel investors, since they often invest in one business after another. Super angels and the principles in super angel investment groups are often seen as being very knowledgeable in the particular business sector they focus on, and many of the startups they invest in become profitable companies.
The main difference between angel investors and traditional venture capitalist firms is the source of their investment capital. Angel investors tend to use their own personal money, while venture capitalist funds often accept investments from a variety of outside businesses, trusts, individuals, and other entities. The other main differences between angel investors and venture capitalists are typically the number of companies they invest in and the amount they provide per business. In this way, a super angel can share some characteristics with a venture capitalist.
Some super angels invest only their own money, though others manage large funds. Like angel investors, super angel funds typically differ from venture capital funds in the way that money is raised. Very wealthy super angels may use only their own money, though groups of normal angel investors can also pool their capital together. These super angel groups tend to raise money from principals that are somewhat active in the management of the fund rather than the passive limited partners involved in many venture capital funds.
Since super angels have more capital at their disposal than typical angel investors, the way that they operate can be slightly different. These investors can often afford to place funds with several businesses at once. They can also typically afford to invest more money per business, which may in some cases bridge the gap between regular angels and venture capitalists.
The key figures involved in many super angel funds are typically seen as being very knowledgeable in their chosen fields. These are often individuals that have had great success with their own businesses or have found and funded a large number of startups that went on to become profitable. This can result in super angels being instrumental to the success of the startups they invest in, since their knowledge, business savvy, and invaluable industry contacts may provide a new company with the tools it needs to stand out.