Microsoft, using their Bing “brand”, announced last week the set up, initially in the US, of an angel investor fund with “an incubator program”
What they’re looking for is:
- “Startups that are building online or mobile experiences that incorporate fresh insights.
- We want startups with both inspirational vision and ability to execute
- A working prototype, preferably a site or application that is already live (i.e. people can sign up to use it) and gaining momentum
- A compelling plan that describes the problem being solved, a general idea of the market potential/competitive landscape, and unique market advantages”
They intend providing both project help (including subsidized usage of unique APIs from Bing’s data ecosystem, access to certain technology assets developed by Microsoft Research, appropriate multidisciplinary guidance from the Bing Fund team) and financial aid in the form of a convertible note and introductions to strategic investors.
If the startup is Seattle based they will even offer their co-work space (in Bellevue which is just across the lake) with direct access to Bing teams and other similarly located startups.
They have a FAQ section which includes a response to “What does Microsoft expect” that is fairly specific “We expect to build strong relationships within the startup community, which will expose us to new companies that we could potentially partner with and/or acquire.”
If you are US based and want to apply then simply go on over to their site & get the ball rolling.
If you’re a new UK based startup seeking seed capital (resident in UK and aged over 18) then it might be worth having a look at Seedrs.
For entrepreneurs seeking up to £150,000 Seedrs think you should consider them as you could:
- “Access capital from a wide range of investors.
- Benefit from a seamless fundraising process.
- Connect with a strong network.”
They outline a 7 stage process from joining them as a member through the (equity) investment and finally achieving an exit.
As with the BingFund Seedrs have a FAQ for the startups.
The other side of the coin, so as to speak, is that they are looking to “Raise capital for your startup from friends, family and the crowds”.
They are doing this almost entirely online and they are also authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Its a bit out of date but this NuWire Investor article is worth a read and we thought this paragraph was particularly interesting:
“The metrics of angel investing are sobering – it is not a game for the faint of heart,” according to David S. Rose, managing principal of the Rose Tech Ventures Team and a member of the New York Angels. “Of every 10 deals you make, five crash, two return even money, and two give you two to three times your money. It takes that last one company, a mega-hit,” to get the high return most angel investors are looking for, he said.”
We will likely return to discuss Seedrs in the future but in the meantime here’s a flavour of the capital raising side of the company.