Riverside is the 12th largest city in California, with a population of almost 350,000 people. A low population means low competition. That makes it a great opportunity for you to start a new business or expand it by securing funding from angel investors.
Thinking about who those investors could be? How can you secure funding from investors?
In this article, we are going to discuss the list of the Top 4 Angel Investors in Riverside and ways to connect with them.
Top 4 Angel Investors in Riverside
Before we jump onto the list of top angel investors, it is important for you to know the right investors and pitch to them.
Generally, Riverside isn’t a home to many Venture capital firms or individual angel investors. However, there are a lot of other Venture Capital firms from other cities that are willing to fund startups in Riverside. Even among these angel investors, you need to ensure you are pitching to one that matches your business sector.
Enough said, here’s the list of top 4 angel investors in Riverside.
Website: Wavemaker Group
Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: Tech, AI, E-Commerce, and Food.
Wavemaker Partners is one of Southern California's biggest Venture Capital firms that has funded 530 startups to date. The network was founded in 2003 by a famous entrepreneur turned investor, Eric Manlunas.
Eric Manulas has always been interested in tech and E-commerce, evident through his past 2 businesses (Sitestar and Interfoods). Similarly, Wavemaker Partners likes funding startups related to these fields.
The network also hosts one of California's most rigorous screening tests, ensuring the startup they invest in is distinct from the market. The goal of Wavemaker Partners is to ensure they bring in new ideas from their investments and maintain massive profits.
Aside from their investments, Wavemaker Partners hosts many mentorship and networking events. They have a huge network of experienced mentors who guide startups in the best way to portfolio and non-portfolio companies. Some of their famous educational and accelerator programs include;
Wavemaker Systems Integration Partner Program: The program offers low-code infusion with training and sales/pre-sales support, platform licenses at attractive prices, and engineering assistance.
Partnership with Enterprise Singapore: Wavemaker Impact has partnered with Singapore government agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG), which will help the accelerator to groom more than 12 high-growth climate tech companies in the next three years.
The investment range of Wavemaker Partners depends on the startup, since they focus on many startup sectors. Generally, they provide funding to startups ranging between $1-$15M. Some recent investments include;
eFishery: It is a tech startup based that offers access to feed, financing, and market to fish and shrimp farmers.
Silent Eight: Silent Eight is a technology company that develops artificial intelligence-based compliance platforms for financial institutions.
GudangAda: GudangAda is a B2B e-commerce platform that helps users make online transactions and facilitates small and bulk transactions.
Iterative Scopes: Iterative Scopes is a developer in the application of artificial intelligence-based precision medicine for gastroenterology.
Third Wave Digital
Website: Third Wave Digital
Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: Tech, Finance, Healthcare, Entertainment and software development.
Third Wave Digital is also one of the prominent Venture Capital firms that focuses on early-stage ventures. The network was founded in 2014 by Allen DeBevoise. Ever since, they have funded 66 startups, with most related to the tech industry.
As for their screening tests, Third Wave Digital hosts tough screening tests to ensure they fund the most deserving startups. During the screening tests, the investors raise most of the questions from the Pitch Deck like;
What problem are you solving?
What kinds of people, groups, or organizations have that problem? How many are there, where are they, what do they do about it now?
Have you shortlisted competitors? How do you plan to overcome them?
If a startup can pass the screening tests, Third Wave Digital provides these startups with much-needed funding as well as access to their experienced networks. They also hold various workshops and mentorship events to guide these early-stage ventures through different challenges faced by startups at different stages.
The investment range of Third Wave Digital ranges from $500,000 to $2M. Some of their recent portfolio companies are;
ZEFR: ZEFR is a platform that allows businesses to activate and measure brand suitability according to the GARM Industry standards.
VideoAmp: VideoAmp is a software and data company providing advertising solutions.
Vessel: Vessel is a free Database with over 500,000 ships, technical specifications, management information, live AIS positions, ship photos and related news.
Tubular Labs: Tubular Labs is a leading global video measurement and analytics platform that helps broadcasters, publishers, and brands to create content.
ToneDen: ToneDen is a fan engagement & promotions platform for music.
Website: Qualcomm Ventures
Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: Tech
Founded in 2002, Qualcomm Ventures is also one of the most active and biggest Venture Capital firms in Southern California. The network was founded by Paul E. Jacobs and has funded 500 startups since its inception in 2000.
The venture capital firms only invests in tech related startups. Their team of investors mostly look for unique starts that can have a positive impact on markets and solve real-time problems.
Aside from funding, Qualcomm Ventures is also active in arranging different mentorship programs and networking events. Some of their famous mentorship programs are:
Qualcomm Semiconductor Mentorship Program: The program offers 1:1 mentorship from Qualcomm senior leaders, masterclasses covering semiconductor design topics, pitch clinic, IPR workshop, go-to-market, etc.
Qualcomm Make in Africa Startup Mentorship Program: The program offers masterclasses on product management, IPR, and hardware architecture. The program also includes a Demo Day with the startup ecosystem where startups can connect with various industry leaders, VCs, investors, and other accelerators.
The investment range of Qualcomm Ventures ranges from $800,000 upto several million dollars, depending on the startup. Some of their recent portfolio companies include;
99: 99 is the biggest Brazilian e-hailing app. It provides a platform for users to request a car or taxi with a few taps.
Cruise Automation: Cruise Automation is an American self-driving car company that tests and develops autonomous car technology.
Fitbit: Fitbit manufactures wireless-enabled and wearable fitness devices.
InvenSense: InvenSense provides MEMS sensor platforms.
NQ Mobile: NQ Mobile is a leading global consumer and enterprise mobile Internet service provider.
Website: Crosscut - Early-stage venture capital investors
Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm
Investment Interests: Tech, Media, Finance and E-Commerce.
Found by Brian Garret and Rick Smith, Crosscut Ventures provides funding to tech-related startups. The Venture Capital Firm was founded in 2008 and has funded more than $50 Million in 70 startups.
During the screening tests, they focus on startups that have unique ideas and can generate $50M-$100M in revenue within the next five years. Once they select a startup for funding, the mentors at Crosscut Ventures guide these startups through different workshops analysing their business model and growth strategy.
The investment range of Crosscut Ventures ranges from $250,000 to $750,000, depending on the type of the startup. They have funded many companies with some famous names, including Ipsy, GumGum and Docstoc.
How To Connect With Angel Investors?
Even if you have found the list of top-ranking angel investors in your city, connecting with them can be a tough process.
Some easy ways to connect and build a warm introduction to angel investors can be:
Whenever you hear a new networking event being organized, try to see if your targeted investor is attending that event. The arrival of investors is often publicly announced in order to gain more audience.
Moreover, once you have managed to participate in the same networking event, introduce yourself and your startups in a conversational way. Explain your goals and ask what the investor likes in a startup; this way you can establish connections.
The first method is a general one that can be used by almost anyone provided good communication skills. However, the second method is more conditional and will only work if you have a friend who knows the investor.
If that’s the scenario, it’s best to ask your friend to organize a meetup with you and the investor in any way possible. Ask your friend to introduce you and handle the rest of the conversation.
Once you have maintained to make some connections with investors and give a beforehand introduction, pitching to these investors makes things easier. It also increases your chances of getting selected from the pitch competitions.
Angel investors can definitely boost your business by funding and guiding you through their experienced network of mentors.
However, when connecting with investors, avoid common mistakes like spamming your pitch deck online, late responses and unprofessional documents.
Just keep your pitch deck professional, talk naturally and answer questions confidently. You will easily pitch investors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are early-stage startups?
A: Early-stage startups are like brand-new ideas turning into businesses. They are in their beginning phase, trying to figure out how to work and grow. These startups usually need money, advice, and time to become successful companies.
Q: What is the difference between Venture Capital Firms and Individual Angel Investors?
A: Venture capital firms are organized setups that aggregate capital from various investors and deploy it into startups at a larger scale, offering expertise and guidance.
In contrast, individual angel investors are private individuals who invest personal funds directly into startups, typically at an early stage, using a more personalized approach and hands-on involvement in the startup's growth.
Q: Why are venture capital firms more interested in places like Silicon Valley?
A: Tech hubs like Silicon Valley have witnessed a sudden increase in venture capital firms due to the dynamic startup ecosystem, abundant innovative enterprises, availability of a skilled talent pool, and a culture that encourages collaboration and growth.