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Business angels, i.e. investors who support innovative companies financially and with know-how, are of crucial importance, especially for startups in their early stages. A recent report has now analyzed the angel scene in Germany in depth for the first time. A particular focus is on the role played by women.

© Business Angel Report
© Business Angel Report

Business angels are responsible for 78% of investments

The study, initiated by Google for Startups and, evaluated nearly 20,000 investments in the period from July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022. During this period, 13,224 business angels invested, 10,925 of whom were from Germany. Overall, they represented by far the largest investor group at 78%, supporting 3,569 startups. The most frequently cited ticket size was 50,000 euros, and the company shares received in return most frequently 2.5%.

The report takes a multi-faceted look at the question of who these business angels actually are. The answer is often: former founders; over 50% of the 100 most active angels have startup experience. Considered as a whole, they are on average around 50 years old, with a maximum age of 98. The level of education is high, with 11.4% holding a doctorate or even a professorship. Bavaria is a stronghold of angels with 2,640 investors, while Berlin leads the cities with 1,833, as expected.

The study takes a particularly close look at female business angels. In 2022, their share was 13.8%. The report cites three main reasons for this low figure. First, the scene has long been dominated by men, who prefer to invest in other men who later become investors themselves. This increases the risk of entrenching this dominance. Second, women have often lacked access to relevant networks, which have acted like closed societies. Third, the gender pay gap limits the financial opportunities of many women.

Yet more female angels would be important to increase the number of female startup founders. In fact, the report concludes that female investors invest 26% of their commitments in (partially) female-led startups, which in turn account for only 20% of these types of companies. Male angels, on the other hand, invest only 16% in such teams. Fortunately, there are more and more former female founders who are closing this gap. Read more about the situation of female startup founders and how it is changing for the better in our big story on this topic.

You can download the entire Business Angels Report here.


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