Angel Investing vs Private Equity Firms: The Difference

Published on
November 18, 2022
Angel Investing vs Private Equity Firms: The Difference

If you're considering investing in a startup, you may be wondering what the difference is between angel investing vs private equity firms. Both types of investors can provide much-needed capital for early-stage companies, but there are some key distinctions that you should be aware of before making any decisions.

What Is Angel Investing?

Both angel investing vs private equity involve investing money in a company, but there are some key distinctions between the two.

Angel investing is typically done by wealthy individuals who are looking to invest in promising companies. They may have a personal connection to the company or the entrepreneur or simply believe in the business's potential.

Private equity, on the other hand, is typically provided by large firms. These firms often invest millions of dollars in a company and take an active role in its management. It depends on your goals and your risk tolerance.

Angel investing can be riskier than private equity, but it can also offer a higher potential return. If you're comfortable taking a bit more risk, angel investing might be the right choice.

What Is Private Equity?

When it comes to early-stage investing, there are two main types of investors:

Private equity firms and angel investors. Both have their own pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to what type of investment fits best with your goals and objectives.

On the other hand, private equity firms are professional investors that pool large sums of money from institutional investors like pension funds and insurance companies.

Private equity firms tend to invest in more established companies and take a more hands-off approach than angel investors.

It depends. If you're looking for a more hands-on approach and are willing to take on more risk, then angel investing may be a good fit for you.

If you're looking for more passive investment and are willing to wait for a longer-term return, then private equity may be a better fit.

The Difference Between Angel Investors and Private Equity Firms

A few key differences between angel investors and private equity firms are important to understand.

First, private equity firms are typically much larger than angel investors in terms of the amount of money they have to invest and the number of employees.

Private equity firms also tend to have a more formal structure, with a defined investment process and a team of professionals who manage the day-to-day operations.

On the other hand, Angel investors are typically individuals who invest their personal money in early-stage companies.

They may also work with a smaller group of investors, but they typically don't have the same level of resources or formal structure as private equity firms. One of the main reasons why companies seek out angel investors is that they are typically more flexible than private equity firms.

Angel investors are often willing to invest smaller sums of money and are typically more open to working with early-stage companies that are still trying to figure out their business model.

Another key difference between angel investors and private equity firms is the way they are compensated.

Angel investors typically seek an equity stake in the companies they invest in, which means they make money if the company is successful.

On the other hand, private equity firms typically charge a management fee and take a percentage of the profits (known as carried interest).

It really depends on your specific situation. If you're an early-stage company with a high degree of risk, then an angel investor might be a better fit.

But if you're a more established company with a solid business model, then a private equity firm might be a better option.

Why You Should Consider Becoming an Angel Investor

First, angel investing is a great way to support entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses.

As an angel investor, you can provide critical early-stage funding that can make a big difference for a startup.

Second, angel investing can be a great way to make money.

While there are certainly risks involved, the potential rewards can be significant. Angel investors typically make money through a combination of equity ownership in the company and dividends or other distributions from the company.

Third, angel investing can be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. Investing in a startup can add some diversification to your portfolio and potentially reduce your overall risk.

Fourth, angel investing can be a great way to get involved with a company and its management team. As an angel investor, you will have the opportunity to provide input and advice to the company’s management team.

This can be a great way to learn about a new industry or business model.

Finally, angel investing can be a great way to give back.

Investing in a startup can help create jobs and support economic growth. If you’re considering becoming an angel investor, you should keep a few things in mind.

First, it’s important to understand the risks involved. Angel investing is a high-risk endeavor, and you could lose all or most of your investment.

Second, you need to have a solid understanding of the business and the industry. It’s important to do your homework before investing in a startup.

Third, you need to be prepared to commit time and resources to the company. As an angel investor, you will likely be expected to provide ongoing support to the company.

Fourth, you need to be comfortable with a high degree of risk. Angel investing is not for everyone.

If you’re not comfortable with the risks, you should not become an angel investor. Becoming an angel investor can be a great way to support entrepreneurs, make money, and diversify your investment portfolio.

However, it’s important to understand the risks involved before you commit to investing.

FAQs in Relation to Angel Investing vs Private Equity

Is angel investing the same as private equity?

No, angel investing is not the same as private equity. Angel investors are typically individuals who invest their own money in startups, while private equity firms are institutional investors that pool money from multiple sources.

Which is riskier, VC, PE, or angel?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including the specific VC firm or angel investor in question, the industry being invested in, and the overall market conditions.

However, in general, angel investing tends to be riskier than private equity because angels typically invest smaller amounts of money into early-stage companies with less established track records.

Is Shark Tank angel investors or venture capitalist?

Shark Tank is a reality television show that features entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to a panel of investors. The investors on the show are referred to as "sharks."

While some of the sharks may be angel investors, most are venture capitalists.


In conclusion, it's important to understand the difference between angel investing vs private equity firms before investing in a startup.

If you're looking for quick cash with little strings attached, then an angel investor might be a better bet.

However, working with a private equity firm may make more sense if you need significant funding and want access to experienced professionals who can offer guidance and advice.

Ultimately it's up to you to weigh all your options carefully before making a decision.

Are you interested in building and scaling an angel investment syndicate? If so, Angel School can help you achieve your goals. We offer a variety of services that can assist you in putting together a successful syndicate, including- identifying and approaching potential investors- developing relationships with key players in the industry- creating marketing materials to promote your syndicate- and more! Don't wait any longer - contact us today to get started!

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Jed Ng
Jed Ng

“Jed is the Founder of - a program dedicated to helping emerging investor build and scale Angel syndicates.

He has a track record of exits and Unicorns, and is backed by 750+ LPs.

He previously built and ran the world's largest API Marketplace in partnership with a16z-backed,".

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