As a home to more than 1,000 startups, Oakland is quickly becoming one of the most thriving cities for entrepreneurs and investors. And if you’re thinking all the credit for this success should be given to entrepreneurs because of their startups, that would be really unfair!
The real reason behind the success of these startups is the Angel Investors. These investors in Oakland are not only putting their investments into startups but also guiding these startups, ensuring they can reach success.
Do you also want to know these angel investors?
Well, let’s waste no more time and start discussing the list of the Top 8 Angel Investors in Oakland.
Angel Investors always look for cities with abundant talent, tax incentives, and progressive attitudes toward startups. And since the people of Oakland match all these requirements, no wonder there are so many investors operating in Oakland.
Following is the list of some of the top Venture Capital Firms, Investing Groups, and individual angel investors in Oakland.
Gilead Sciences is one of the biggest investment networks in Oakland. Although the network started funding startups just a decade ago, they have already made almost 40 investments, with most of them in seed-stage startups.
The recent investment of Gilead Sciences was on 6th September, which was around $35M. Moreover, they are also interested in making diversity investments, with their recent investment being in AlloVir, raising $126M.
Aside from investments, Gilead Sciences also has an experienced group of entrepreneurs who can guide startups at their tough stages. The investment group also arranges different networking and mentorship events to help their portfolio companies pave their way toward success.
The investment range of Gilead Sciences isn’t limited to a specific budget. Provided massive growth potential, the network can invest as much as $20M.
Some of their recent investments include Glympse Bio, Tango Therapeutics, and Precision BioSciences.
Website: Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Kevin Durant, also known as one of the NBA’s greatest players, has recently entered into the angel investing community. As an individual angel investor, Durant has already backed over 30 startups and is determined to fund more.
The investment criteria of Kevin Durant is unique from other startups. In most of his interviews, Durant has explained that he likes funding startups related to tech, which are real-time problem solvers.
Other than investment, Kevin Durant doesn’t put a lot of effort into organizing any networking events or mentorship programs. However, even without these events, many startups in which Durant has invested have succeeded.
The investment range of Kevin Durant ranges from 200,000 up to several million dollars.
Being one of the biggest investing networks in the world, Goldman Sachs Growth is also operating in Oakland. As for investment interests, the network has more than thousands of active investors, which is why they don’t limit their investment interests to a specific sector.
In Oakland, GS Growth has invested in startups related to financial technology, business software, consumer, and healthcare. The entrepreneurs and investors in the network are all well-experienced, providing expert advice to their portfolio companies.
However, the screening tests of Goldman Sachs Growth are known to be very tough. The investors identify startups based on their connections, achievements, and expected growth potential.
The investment range of Goldman Sachs Growth largely depends on the type of startups and its required investment. In general, GS Growth can fund startups for up to several million dollars.
Some of the startups they have invested in include Solink, Limble, Stripe, Mews, LegalOn Technologies, MoEngage, data.world, DataStax, and Caribou.
Website: GS Growth Equity
As an individual angel investor, Jason Wang usually funds food-related startups in Oakland.
As for investment ideologies, Wang identifies startups based on their unique ideas and chances of market survival. And since the field is saturated, Jason Wang demands that startups provide problem-solving ideas.
Once the startup passes the screening tests, Jason Wangs provides expert advice and mentorship to his portfolio companies. Aside from his funding, Jason Wang also organizes different mentorship programs to help startups find solutions to their problems.
The investment range of Jason Wang ranges from 100,000 to several million dollars, depending on the project.
Comcast RISE is a VC Firm that funds different startups in Oakland. The investment network was created back in 2020 to help fund startups in the critical situation of Covid 19.
Surprisingly, when everything was going remote, Comcast RISE entered with a dedicated mindset to boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Oakland. The investment interests of Comcast RISE include Consulting, Media, Creative Production, Technology Makeover, and a Monetary Grant.
Moreover, the VC firm has granted $1,000,000 to 100 small businesses in Oakland owned by different people. Other than this, the Comcast RISE program is also hunting deserving startups to provide them with much-needed funding and guidance.
Currently, Comcast RISE doesn’t have a fixed investment range. Usually, they fund startups depending on their needs and the growth potential of the idea.
As the Co-Founder and Chairman at Roofstock, Gregor Watson is also one of Oakland's newer individual angel investors. The investor mainly focuses on startups that are related to development projects, consumer products and tech. Before investing, Watson evaluates various factors that may impact the startup's growth.
Moreover, as an entrepreneur himself, Gregor Watson is also known for arranging different mentorship programs, networking events and business classes. He guides his portfolio startups about how they can overcome the early and late-stage challenges faced by different startups.
And since Gregor is new in the angel investing community, he is actively looking for deserving startups that can make it big in the industry of Oakland.
The investment range of Gregor Watson spans $100,000 up to $900,000. Some of his recent investments include ROH and Ribbon Home.
After investing in over 115 startups, NBC Univeral has also maintained its name as one of Oakland's most active investing groups. The investing network usually funds startups related to media and tech. However, they may also fund startups out of these sectors if there’s a startup that can make an impact on the market and has huge growth potential.
Moreover, being a giant media industry and an angel investment network in the city, NBC Universal also has a group of experienced entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs guide their portfolio companies by arranging mentorship programs and workshops to ensure they receive the best guidance.
Currently, the investment range of NBC Universal ranges from $300,000 up to $3.7M. Some of their recent exits include Peloton, BuzzFeed, and Viacom18 Digital Ventures.
Website: Home | NBCUNIVERSAL MEDIA
William Ibbs is also an individual investor who likes to fund seed-stage startups. Although William has worked as a professor and group leader for Construction Management in Civil Engineering, his understanding of business and entrepreneurship is quite surprising.
Like most other investors, William Ibbs conducts tough screening tests to ensure that the most promising startups make it through. Once he has funded a specific startup, William utilizes his teaching capabilities and guides these startups in the best ways possible.
The investment range of William Ibbs hasn’t been clarified. He usually invests in startups depending on their field and growth potential.
So, there you have the list of the Top 8 Angel Investors in Oakland. With the list coming to an end, let us discuss some final words of wisdom about how you can get a warm introduction to angel investors.
Firstly, always remember that angel investors appreciate entrepreneurs who have done their research. Spare some time and understand what your investor likes/dislikes, his past exits, how he funds startups, etc. Not only will this boost your confidence, but also allow you to have better communication with the specific investor.
Also, don't forget to invest time into your pitch deck. The way you present your startup idea in front of the investor is what counts the most.
A: Yes, a pitch deck is important for presenting your startup to an angel investor. It provides a structured and visual overview of your business, highlighting key aspects like problem-solving, market analysis, revenue models, and the team.
A well-crafted pitch deck significantly enhances your chances of gaining an angel investor's interest and support.
A: The best way to pitch angel investors is a quite detailed one.
However, in short, start with a compelling narrative about your startup's problem and solution. Clearly present your market research, business model, competitive edge, and financial projections.
Maintain a concise, engaging presentation and allow for interactive discussions.
A: Early-stage startups are newly established businesses in the initial phases of development. They typically operate with limited resources, focusing on product development, market validation, and building a customer base.
Early-stage startups often seek funding from angel investors or venture capitalists to accelerate growth, expand operations, and achieve sustainability.