Dealflow: Seven ways to find good startups

Lately, I have been looking at additional opportunities for dealflow and good startups. In this article, I specifically address possible sources to find new investments. It should be noted that every platform and every channel has its own peculiarities and different levels of risk. A detailed "due diligence" (examination of the startup by the investor) is absolutely necessary to increase the chances of success.

Sources for dealflow and startup investments:

  1. Seedrs (UK & EU)
  2. AngelList (US)
  3. republic
  4. Crowdcube (UK & EU)
  5. (Jason Calacanis; weekly)
  6. Y Combinator & Techstar Dealflow
  7. Social media research & own network (Follow me on LinkedIn)

1. Seedrs (UK & EU)
Since 2014 I have been investing into startups through Seedrs. This is the single platform through which I source most of my investments. From my point of view the best crowd investing platform in Europe. Regular deal flow of about 25 startups at the same time and robust first due diligence by Seedrs. Minimum investment often GBP 10, sometimes up to GBP 50. Also suitable for newcomers from my point of view. Investment fee of 1% on the investment amount and carry fees of 7.5% on profits.

2. AngelList (US)
Possibly the best platform in the US. The investor joins a syndicate (or several) and thus gains access to the investment rounds of that syndicate. Investors often have the opportunity to participate in financing rounds led by the largest and best-known venture capitalists: well-known VC names such as a16z (Andreessen Horowitz), Tiger Global or General Catalyst can be found here regularly. Startups participating in famous accelerator programs (e.g. Y Combinator or Techstars) are also represented. The respective syndicate sells and advertises its own deals usually aggressively. It's important to get an idea of how robust the due diligence process of the respective syndicate is and to supplement this with your own in-depth due diligence. Hundreds of Silicon Valley startups can be found here at any point in time. I strongly recommend to slow yourself down and only go into single deals at first. Think through your overall available capital. Don't get carried away - take your time. The opportunities often look so great that I find it hard to not get carried away. Minimum investment per startup often ranges from $1k to $3k. In Q4 2021 I made a total of 10 investments on AngelList and am currently consciously reducing my activities. I want to first examine how my previous investments develop in the coming years. Setup fees (1-10%) plus a carry fee of 20% on realized gains.

3. Republic
US equity crowdfunding platform that recently bought Seedrs. Here I made four test investments in 2021, where I will also first wait and see how things develop. Investments possible from approx. $100 (also depending on the respective startup).

4. Crowdcube (UK & EU)
UK equity crowdfunding platform. From my point of view, excessively high valuations and hyped startups are common on Crowdcube. Lower community engagement than on Seedrs. The crowd often receives a different share class with fewer rights and disadvantageous fine print compared to the lead VCs involved. Some of these regulations only become visible if you delve deeply into the contracts. From my point of view less suitable for beginners. Targeted use for individual deals recommended for investors with a lot of experience. Investments from GBP 10-20. Investment fee of 1.65% on the investment and carry fee of 5% on profits.

5. (Jason Calacanis, US)
Jason is the author of the book "Angel" and one of the best-known investors in Silicon Valley and beyond. As a member of "The Syndicate", investors receive roughly one deal per week via email. Investment amount usually from $4k per deal. More suitable for advanced to professional investors. Setup fees plus carry fee of 20% on profits. From my point of view, reading these deal mails is a great way to learn and gives an insight into the US VC scene. Investments are often made in a very early stage (pre-seed or seed) and the valuations (e.g. sales multiples) are significantly higher than I regularly see in UK deals. The focus here is on long-term scaling and high growth rates, so that if successful, the currently high valuation will become very favorable within a few years.

6. Y Combinator & Techstars: Accelerator deal flow
Another possibility, especially for experienced investors who are interested in larger direct investments. In my opinion two of the top accelerator programs in the world. Startups from all over the world apply to these programs. Experience has shown that a high proportion of companies from the U.S. and Europe are represented. The cohorts of participating startups are getting bigger and have grown to up to 400 startups per accelerator tranche. As an investor, registration takes place via the website of the two programs. The accelerator supports to establish the first contact to the startup founders. All details are discussed directly between the founding team and the investor.

7. Social media research & own network
Following other investors, founders, startups, VCs and investment platforms on social media (e.g. LinkedIn and Twitter) also generates dealflow. Also follow me on LinkedIn. This dealsourcing is more suitable for advanced/experienced investors. The effort is higher here and the necessary due diligence more time-consuming. The positive learning effect for the investor is correspondingly higher and enables deep entry into the startup and VC scene. In the long term, network effects can be expected here, which can give access to the best (often non-public) financing rounds. Valuations in private deals can be more moderate than those of hyped startups on investment platforms, which in turn can mean higher profit multiples.

Where else do you source deals? Which additional sources are you aware of? Which options are particularly suitable for you and why? Let me know in the comments!


I have been investing in startups since 2014. In recent years, my portfolio has grown to over 150 investments of various sizes. On my blog I regularly report about crowd investing and my investments.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Martin J. Bulla

    It was very informative, thanks Philip.

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