Frequently Asked Questions
What is angel investment?
Angel investors are also called private investors, seed investors, or business angels. These are individuals who invest capital into startups in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt. They are looking for a higher rate of return than those provided by traditional investment opportunities. Some angel investors invest through crowdfunding platforms online or build angel investor networks to pool capital together.
Angel investors help early-stage companies get their businesses off the ground before they can generate revenues. The support (in the form of capital and often, advice) that angel investors provide startups fosters innovation, translating into economic growth.
What is a startup?
As Funders Club describes it, “a startup is a newly established private company (< 5 - 10 yrs old), that is designed to scale very quickly its innovative product or service. Most startups kick-off as small operations while they develop their initial idea, and then seek additional funding from venture capitalists and angel investors as they build out their businesses.
In the last few decades, startups have turned age-old industries on their heads (think of Uber, Airbnb and Amazon for example) and have managed to cash in big on their products and services – if they’re successful. As do the lucky investors who took a risky bet on a fledgling company that happened to land on an idea that worked”.
Why Should I Invest in Startups?
There are many good reasons to invest in startups. Here are some of them:
Diversification: Early-stage, private companies are generally not affected by the volatility of other investment instruments such as stocks and bonds. Therefore allocating a portion of your portfolio into startups investment can reduce portfolio risk while increasing returns.
Potential high-returns: few other investment instruments offer the homerun potential of venture investments. Take the case of Peter Thiel (PayPal co-founder and early-stage investor in Facebook) whose initial investment in Facebook increased in value by over 2,300 times before the Company went public. Although investors should not expect to find the next Facebook, Twitter or Uber, it is hard to ignore the potential to generate outsized returns.
Investing in the Future: angel investment enables revolutionary and life-changing technologies. It provides you the opportunity to invest in innovation and to feel ownership of it because, besides your capital, you can offer the companies that you invest in advice and industry connections.
Decide which products and services reach the market: by investing in solutions you believe in, you’re helping them to become available in the market. Would you like to see more clean-ocean technologies being used, for example? Invest in them as they’re being developed.
Invest in solutions that cater to women’s needs too: women innovators don’t receive more than 3% of investments, therefore their solutions that often cater to women’s needs are not commercially available. “Crash-test dummies based on the ‘average’ male are just one example of a design that forgets about women – and puts their lives at risk” https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/feb/23/truth-world-built-for-men-car-crashes
How do I start investing?
If you have never invested before in startups or would like to increase your knowledge on how to maximize these types of investment opportunities, we recommend taking the WIN Learn To Invest Program first.
However, if you feel ready to start or continue investing, join the Women Investor Network where you will meet other women interested in expanding their investment activity. As companies are invited to present, you will evaluate them together with the group leveraging the different perspectives that each member brings. This exercise will give you enough information to decide whether the company in question is a good investment opportunity. If it also fits your investment profile and you feel ready to make a financial commitment into the company, you will have the possibility to invest together with the Network through an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), a joint investment company designed to contain risk and minimize costs and the administration requirements of such investment.
Throughout the process, you will be matched with a more experienced angel investor who can act as a mentor for you.
What are the Investment Network membership benefits?
As a member, you will have the opportunity to participate in investment-relevant events, access exceptional Nordic deal flow and most importantly, be part of a community of women that evaluate deals, invest and drive growth together.
WIN is part of Angel Challenge, which has solid experience in training startup investors and has successfully introduced over 450 investors to startup investments. The purpose of the WIN Network is to create an arena for women to invest together in earlier-stage startups.
Who are the Network members?
WIN Network consists of a group of globally-minded women* with basic and medium knowledge on startup investing. Some of them are entrepreneurs themselves, have sold a business before, or have a corporate career. WIN members are interested in being active investors, and become advisors for the startups they invest in to actively contribute to their success. They are also role models for younger women.
*With globally-minded women, we mean Norwegian women or women with international backgrounds who care about women representation wherever decisions are made, whether in their communities or on a global scale.
How much does a membership cost?
The membership annual fee is 3000 NOK excl. VAT.
How much do I need to invest annually as a member of the WIN Network?
There is no required minimum amount to invest. As a member, you decide whether or not to invest, how much, and how many investment rounds you participate in. However, if you join the Network is because you have the intention to increase your investment activity.
Although there are no minimum amounts to invest, it's good to keep in mind that the tax incentive scheme in Norway allows investors to take income-tax deductions in connection with investments in startups above 30.000 NOK. In other words, your investments above 30.000 NOK per company, give you tax benefits.
How are investments typically made?
Most investments from WIN Network members are syndicated. That is, the interested investors set up a joint investment company, into which they invest their capital. After that, the investment company invests directly in the respective startup.
I haven't invested in startups before, is WIN network something for me?
Yes. As a matter of fact, some of our members haven’t invested before. The WIN Network is the perfect arena to kick off your investment activity as you learn to evaluate deals by doing it together with more experienced investors. Once you feel ready to invest for the first time, you will do it together with a group of people that have done it before.
What are the benefits of taking the WIN Learn to Invest Program?
The Learn To Invest In Startups Program is a 2-month training program for women to learn about angel investment, from building your investment portfolio, screening startups, how to evaluate companies from the investor perspective and compiling the final deal with a twist for female investors.
In addition to the training, you are given a one-year membership to the Women Investor Network and are connected to a more experienced investor for 1:1 mentoring.
What happens if I am not ready to start investing after taking the Learn to Invest program?
Nothing. Investing isn’t mandatory neither in the Learn to Invest Program, nor in the Network.
Does anyone who joins the program have to have 30,000 NOK ready to invest after the program? No
How much does the Learn to Invest Program cost?
The Program’s tuition is a one-time fee of 15.000 NOK excl. VAT.
Does anyone who joins the Learn to Invest Program have to have a minimum amount ready to invest?