Guardian Angel, sweet company … So begins a popular Spanish prayer that, years ago, many children recited before bedtime. Times have changed, so than angels. Now they don´t wear wings, they wear business experience, contacts and money.
The figure of Business Angel started in the first quarter of the 20th in the United States. Although its origin is not clear, one of the most accepted theories found in alumni donations made to their universities as appreciation for their business success and to support new projects.
Google, Starbucks and Amazon are great companies that had in the beginning this kind of support. In Spain, it started much later. There is consensus that a pioneer of this figure was Luis Martín Cabiedes, director and shareholder of Europa Press, which has supported projects like Privalia, Bubok and Trovit.
But what exactly is a Business Angel? It is a private investor who provides capital and experience to a startup, whether micro or SMEs. His participation is usually limited to a period between three and six years and usually seeks an economic return. Sometimes motivation is purely social.
To draw attention to a business angel, the project should offer a real business opportunity. Also it must add a business plan with attractive investment opportunities and profitability for investors. And real growth possibilities, of course.
In Spain, unlike in the English-speaking world, we still have not too many studies on the investor profile, but according to the report NESTA Sinding with the Angels, published in 2009, is typically a man with experience in large companies and entrepreneurial past. According to the report, four out of ten lose everything but average invested capital contributed bend over a period of nearly four years.
According to several sources, it is estimated that in Spain there are currently about 1,600 million euros invested, a significant figure when compared to the 204 million in 2005.