August 22, 2016 / Advertising, angel investors, augmented reality, content, film, funding, gaming, investors, music, news media, podcast, publishing, radio, vc, video, vr

The Notable Angel Investors in Media Technology

Before considering who they are, appreciate what angel investment means by asking how one might define “angel investor.”  Raising money, be that for a band, a film, a video game, or to invest in other media or software development, requires the right sources of funding, at the right stage, with the appropriate measure of progress and potential on you part.  A bank loan is distinct from kickstarter which is not the same as having an angel investor nor, distinct even from that, venture capital.

Those distinctions matter as each source of capital plays an important role in your endeavor with particular expectations relative to the stage, amount, and purpose of the funding.

So what is an Angel investor?

Investopedia, an investment encyclopedia, nails it with perspective wonderfully relevant to our passion for media:

Angel investors fund businesses with more favorable terms compared to others since they usually invest in the entrepreneur starting rather than the viability of the business.

Angel investors are focused on helping new ventures take their first steps, rather than the possible profit they may get from the business.

Essentially, angel investors are the opposite of venture capitalists. “angel” came from the Broadway theater, when wealthy individuals gave money to propel theatrical productions. Angel investors typically use their own money, unlike venture capitalists who take care of pooled money from many other investors and place them in a strategically managed fund.

So before seeking funding, understand both YOUR expectations and those of whom you’re asking for money.

Are these sources of money financially sound enough to be participating directly in the start of your work with zero expectation of return? Are they, like the angels of the theater, essentially patrons, both financially able and personally interested in helping you start? Lastly, can they substantially support that start?

The Angel Investors Critical to Media Technology?  Start with:

  • Ron Conway; Silicon Valley’s “super angel” known for his early support of media companies such as Facebook, Buzzfeed, and Napster
  • David Rosenblatt; Who probably wrote the book on online adverstising following his role as CEO of DoubleClick and then President of Google Display.  He sits on the board of Twitter and IAC, better known for brands such as Vimeo and CollegeHumor
  • Bono; Yep, Bono. He co-founded Elevation Partners in 2004, a venture firm that focuses on media, entertainment and technology companies
  • Nas; Having invested in dozens of startups, it’s not just his work as the second musician on our list that makes him notable but hist investment in text annotation service Genius and DeviantArt that strikes the media chord
  • Justin Bieber; Beliebit.  Beiber is tremendous patron of media ventures with a stake in Tinychat, Stamped, Spotify, and Shots
  • Stanley Kirk Burrell; Also known as MC Hammer, you’ll catch him at Raiders games when he’s not advising media companies such as Pandora and Flipboard
  • Jeff Clavier; Involved in Kongregate (acquired by GameStop) as well as Seesmic, Wildire, and Ustream
  • Brad Svrluga; Who has had his hand in the music and ticketing industries
  • Dave McClure; 500 Startups’ McClure has helped Slideshare, Visually, MoviePigs, Creative Market, and more get off the ground
  • Kevin Colleran; In some familiar media names such as Meerkat, Rockbot, Say Media, LookMark, Media Spike, Pinterest, and SmartThings
  • Naval Ravikant; Whom might be familiar by way of AngelList is in PickaFlick, Sosh, SocialMedia.com, Udemy, Twitter, and 9GAG
  • David Cohen; Of Techstars I wanted to mention as they might be the incubator for media.  David is in Next Big Sound, Circa, EventVue, Graphicly, KiteReaders, LaunchTrack, SlideBean, Post Rocket, and many more
  • We could keep going and perhaps we will in more detail, we’re missing Matt Ocko, Christine Tsai, Matt Mullenweg, Calacanis…

No we’re not giving you links to reach them! 😛  The first step to getting funded is capably connecting with the right resources so here’s to your early funding and take note, media means a great variety of things in as much as, as far as we’re concerned, it’s an interest in the consumption of content be that music, gaming, film, advertising, or news.  Your fit with an Angel might not be as obvious as finding the investor who shares your taste in techno.  Salud!

Paul O'Brien

Paul O'Brien

Director at MediaTech Ventures
Long time Silicon Valley technology and startup veteran, Paul O'Brien is affectionately known as SEO'Brien for an extensive past in the search industry.
Now Texan, O'Brien works in Venture Capital Economic Development, serving the investment and venture capital economies directly, through thought leadership, consulting, and startup development.He's the founder of MediaTech Ventures, a founder and managing director of the Texas Technology Council, and partner in 1839 Ventures.
Paul O'Brien
2 reactions on “The Notable Angel Investors in Media Technology”
  1. Matt Peterson says:

    Others I would throw in there. Some may not be as early stage, but are definite value adds. SB Funds (Scooter Braun, Justin Beibers manager for awhile), Atom Factory (Troy Carter.. lady gaga’s manager), Marc Geiger.. more to follow

  2. Great additions Matt, spot on and thank you. Have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by how many of these folks I had gotten to know when I was spending my time in Silicon Valley. There’s the bridge between Austin startups and Valley investors!

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The Notable Angel Investors in Media Technology

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