Top Angel Investors – The Definitive List for 2021

Looking for the best angel investors? We’ve got a list of top 50 angels investors based on what matters—the success of their portfolio.

Some of the angels on this list such as Marc Andreessen and Chris Sacca are well-known, while others are sure to surprise you!

We also pulled together a ranking of the top angel investors for women and Black and Latinx founders.

Ready to jump in? Let’s go!

Top Angel Investors in the U.S. by Exit Rate

What do you think of when you think about the “top angel” investors? Perhaps you think about their Twitter followers, how many investments they made, or whether they graced the cover of Forbes.

This list focused on the success rate of their portfolio, which we think is a much better indicator of who are the top angel investors. In this case, our list of top angel investors is based on the proportion of the startups in which they invested that had an exit, or “exit rate.”

What we’ve found is that many of the angel investors with the highest rate of portfolio startups that exit are less well-known and flying under the radar for many founders. On the other hand, many of the investors with the biggest personal brands and Twitter followers have rather mediocre exit rates.

And as a founder, don’t you want investors that have a history of helping startups succeed?

Admittedly, whether a startup in an angel’s portfolio had an exit is a factor of many things including the quality of their deal flow and ability to select promising startups.

Still, there is almost certainly a correlation between the investors’ exit rate and their ability to help portfolio startups succeed.

Top 50 Angel Investors with More than 20 Investments

RankAngel Investor NameNumber of InvestmentsNumber of ExitsExit Rate
1Marc Andreessen372773.0%
2Roger Ehrenberg221463.6%
3Keith Rabois573561.4%
4Mark Goines231460.9%
5Kevin Rose231460.9%
6Chris Sacca342058.8%
7Ronald Conway955557.9%
8Pejman Nozad211257.1%
9Bob Pasker311754.8%
10Kim Perell221254.5%
11Ali Partovi351954.3%
12Reid Hoffman633454.0%
13Dave Morin583051.7%
14Hadi Partovi412151.2%
15Mitchell Kapor532750.9%
16Gary Vaynerchuk552850.9%
17David Tisch874450.6%
18Allen Morgan201050.0%
19Richard Chen201050.0%
20Dave McClure532649.1%
21Ullas Naik422047.6%
22Timothy Ferriss281346.4%
23Shervin Pishevar331545.5%
24Adeyemi Ajao321443.8%
25Matt Ocko231043.5%
26Geoff Ralston301343.3%
27Joshua Schachter652843.1%
28John Maloney311341.9%
29Auren Hoffman723041.7%
30Don Dodge241041.7%
31Josh James241041.7%
32Andy Rankin22940.9%
33Don Hutchison22940.9%
34Raymond Tonsing492040.8%
35Chris Dixon271140.7%
36Erik Blachford251040.0%
37Haroon Mokhtarzada20840.0%
38Farzad (Zod) Nazem632539.7%
39Dharmesh Shah512039.2%
40Arjun Sethi512039.2%
41Ram Shriram23939.1%
42Matt Mullenweg411639.0%
43Jeff Kearl311238.7%
44Jeff Bezos261038.5%
45Paul Sethi341338.2%
46Thomas Lehrman341338.2%
47Benjamin Ling712738.0%
48Fritz Lanman291137.9%
49Caterina Fake24937.5%
50Ben Narasin24937.5%

Top Angel Investors See Two-Thirds of Their Startups Exit

The success rate of the top angels’ portfolios is simply breathtaking! Top-ranked angel investors see a full two-thirds of their investments reach some kind of an exit. That’s mind-boggling.

Marc Andreessen tops the list with a reported 73% of his angel investments reaching an exit. Wow.

Kim Perell is the Top Female Angel Investor

Unfortunately, our ranking for top angel investors is dominated by men, which I hope will change soon. Kim Perell is by far the best female investor according to the exit rate of her portfolio sitting in the 10th place in our ranking with 54.5% of her portfolio angel investments reaching an exit, which is likewise jaw-dropping.

The second-highest ranked female investor on our list is Caterina Fake who is ranked 49th with 37.5% of her angel investments reaching an exit.

Top Angels Are Not Most Active

Beyond the astronomically high exit rate of the top angel investors, it’s also fascinating to note that the top angel investors are also not the most active.In fact, many of the top fifty angels on this list have made between twenty and fifty investments.

This makes sense since investors with a smaller portfolio can be more actively engaged with their startups to help ensure success. Also, it could be that these investors see a substantial number of startups but are a lot more selective in their investments.

The Most Active Angels Have a Mediocre Exit Rate

One super interesting finding is that there seems to be a bit of an inverse correlation between the number of investments that these angel investors have made and the exit rate of their portfolio.

Those angels with more than a hundred investments tend to cluster at the bottom of the ranking, as seen below:

RankAngel Investor NameNumber of InvestmentsNumber of ExitsExit Rate
54Paul Buchheit1595735.8%
56Scott Banister1344735.1%
68Naval Ravikant1595132.1%
104Fabrice Grinda2426225.6%
105Alexis Ohanian1373525.5%
112Esther Dyson1042625.0%
142Marc Benioff1432920.3%
156Daniel Curran1352518.5%
173Mark Cuban1502315.3%
181Louis Beryl1041514.4%
193Wei Guo1511711.3%
200Charlie Songhurst1191210.1%
202Jason Calacanis372369.7%
214Edward Lando11686.9%
Data via Crunchbase

Of those angels with more than a hundred investments recorded on Crunchbase, Paul Buccheit, Scott Banister, and Naval Ravikant have the highest exit rates with about a third of their investments seeing an exit as indicated in the table above.

Top 20 Angel Investors with 10-20 Investments

We also took a look at angel investors with between 10 and 20 investments to see which ones had the highest investment rate.

The caveat here is that the investors on the following list have relatively few investments, so the correlation is undoubtedly more spurious.

RankAngel Investor NameNumber of InvestmentsNumber of ExitsExit Rate
1Eric Hahn11872.7%
2Alfred Lin10770.0%
3Chris Yeh13861.5%
4Kenny Van Zant13861.5%
5Jack Abraham13861.5%
6Jeff Clavier181161.1%
7Konstantin Othmer10660.0%
8Brad Garlinghouse171058.8%
9Andy Liu12758.3%
10Christopher Michel12758.3%
11Josh Spear12758.3%
12Yee Lee14857.1%
13Matt Brezina11654.5%
14David Arcara11654.5%
15Joe Kraus11654.5%
16Shawn Fanning11654.5%
17Amitt Mahajan13753.8%
18Aaron Iba13753.8%
19Mike Hennessey15853.3%
20Jared Kopf17952.9%
Data via Crunchbase

What jumps out at me the most about this list is how high the average exit rate is for those investors in this category. Once again, there could be a number of factors leading to this such as a high level of selectivity or their ability to actively support a smaller portfolio.

Top Angel Investors for Women and Diverse Founders

Female and multicultural founders are often judged with exceeding scrutiny, which seems to bear out among angel investors. Therefore, it’s important for underrepresented founders to find investors that are likely to evaluate their business fairly.

We used the ratio of these angels’ diversity investments to the total number of their investments, or “Diversity Investment Rate,” as a measure of their willingness to invest in women and diverse founders.

It’s worth noting that this data is from Crunchbase, which classifies “Diversity Investments” as those in startups founded or led by individuals that identify as Black or African American, Native America, Middle Eastern/North African, South Asia, East Asian, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, or Woman. While Black, Latinx, and female founders seem to be fairly accurately recorded in the dataset, other groups are clearly under-counted from a spot check that we performed.

Without further ado, here are the top angel investors for women and diverse founders.

Top 50 Angel Investors for Women and Diverse Founders

RankAngel Investor NameNumber of InvestmentsNumber of Diversity InvestmentsDiversity Investment RateExit Rate
1Joanne Wilson674364.2%13.4%
2Jonathan Keidan271451.9%18.5%
3Marissa Mayer261350.0%30.8%
4Rick Webb20945.0%35.0%
5Kevin Hale301343.3%13.3%
6Andy Dunn241041.7%16.7%
7Ullas Naik421740.5%47.6%
8Eric Schmidt361438.9%19.4%
9Ellen Levy261038.5%15.4%
10Caterina Fake24833.3%37.5%
11Erik Moore24833.3%33.3%
12Michael Seibel27933.3%22.2%
13Charlie Cheever391333.3%20.5%
14Baron Davis22731.8%22.7%
15Mark Leslie22731.8%18.2%
16Clark Landry772431.2%24.7%
17Kal Vepuri29931.0%24.1%
18Wayne Chang551730.9%23.6%
19Jack Dorsey23730.4%26.1%
20Matthew Luckett23730.4%26.1%
21Alex Pattis23730.4%4.3%
22Asian Cowboy792430.4%13.9%
23Greg Castle20630.0%25.0%
24Ron Suber20630.0%15.0%
25Joi Ito27829.6%33.3%
26Paige Craig441329.5%31.8%
27Dave Morin581729.3%51.7%
28David Wu24729.2%25.0%
29Brian Lee31929.0%25.8%
30Howard Lindzon28828.6%28.6%
31Paul Graham28828.6%28.6%
32Julia Popowitz21628.6%23.8%
33Dave McClure531528.3%49.1%
34Elad Gil782228.2%19.2%
35Erik Blachford25728.0%40.0%
36Drew Houston25728.0%16.0%
37Kevin Lin401127.5%2.5%
38Immad Akhund22627.3%9.1%
39Andrew Mitchell26726.9%30.8%
40Semyon Dukach26726.9%15.4%
41Nasir Jones30826.7%16.7%
42Paul Sethi34926.5%38.2%
43Kevin Moore842226.2%14.3%
44Ram Shriram23626.1%39.1%
45Bradley C. Harrison501326.0%32.0%
46Nicolas Berggruen27725.9%7.4%
47Jason Finger35925.7%22.9%
48Eric Ries431125.6%32.6%
49Spencer Rascoff471225.5%14.9%
50Kevin Hartz591525.4%30.5%
Data via Crunchbase

Joanne Wilson has made the highest proportion of diversity investment out of the 228 investors with at least 20 angel investments with 64.2% of her investments in startups founded or led by diverse founders.

The top three angels with the greatest proportion of diversity investments each had made more than half of their angel investments in women and founders of color as defined by Crunchbase.

Top Angel Investors for Diverse Founders with at Least a 30% Exit Rate

It’s also interesting to see which investors had both a high propensity for investing in diverse founders and a high proportion of portfolio startups that reached an exit.

Below are the top 20 angel investors with at least 30% of their startups reaching an exit sorted by their diversity investment rate.

RankAngel Investor NameNumber of InvestmentsNumber of Diversity InvestmentsDiversity Investment RateExit Rate
1Marissa Mayer261350.0%30.8%
2Ullas Naik421740.5%47.6%
3Caterina Fake24833.3%37.5%
4Erik Moore24833.3%33.3%
5Rick Webb20945.0%35.0%
6Joi Ito27829.6%33.3%
7Paige Craig441329.5%31.8%
8Dave Morin581729.3%51.7%
9Dave McClure531528.3%49.1%
10Erik Blachford25728.0%40.0%
11Andrew Mitchell26726.9%30.8%
12Paul Sethi34926.5%38.2%
13Ram Shriram23626.1%39.1%
14Bradley C. Harrison501326.0%32.0%
15Eric Ries431125.6%32.6%
16Kevin Hartz591525.4%30.5%
17Reid Hoffman631625.4%54.0%
18Tikhon Bernstam32825.0%34.4%
19Mitchell Kapor531324.5%50.9%
20Georges Harik37924.3%35.1%
Data via Crunchbase

Marissa Mayer is the undisputed queen of diversity-focused angel investors with 50% of her investments in startups led by diverse founders as well as an impressive 30.8% exit rate. Truly outstanding!

Top Angel Investors for Diverse Founders with 10-20 Investments

As mentioned above, we only looked at investors with at least 20 angel investments in the main diversity investment ranking. However, there are many angel investors with fewer investments whose portfolios seem to be mostly composed of startups led or founded by diverse founders.

One word of caution: with so few recorded investments, it could be that the table below might be off by a large degree with some investors.

RankAngel Investor NameNumber of InvestmentsNumber of Diversity InvestmentsDiversity Investment RateExit Rate
1Terra Han1212100.0%0.0%
2Anne Wojcicki141071.4%0.0%
3Paul Appelbaum12866.7%16.7%
4Julie McDermott11763.6%9.1%
5Jay Batson10660.0%30.0%
6Wendi Murdoch15960.0%26.7%
7Jessica Livingston11654.5%27.3%
8Halle Tecco11654.5%9.1%
9Shan-Lyn Ma11654.5%0.0%
10Christine Tsai15853.3%26.7%
11Steve Case17952.9%29.4%
12Terrence Rohan191052.6%5.3%
13Justin Rosenstein10550.0%20.0%
14Michael Antonov10550.0%20.0%
15Don Katz10550.0%20.0%
16Cliff Holekamp16850.0%18.8%
17Nick Green10550.0%0.0%
18Matt Caspari10550.0%0.0%
19Chris M. Willliams17847.1%11.8%
20Sky Dayton15746.7%20.0%
Data via Crunchbase

Most Active Angel Investors Tend Not to Have a High Diversity Investment Rate

Perhaps the most interesting finding of our analysis is that those angels with the most angel investments seem to also have among the lowest diversity investment rates.

Out of about 900 investors in our data set, the most active angel investors cluster around the middle of the list with regard to their diversity investment rate. Incidentally, many of the most active angels also tend to have mediocre exit rates of their portfolio companies.

What does this mean for female founders and founders of color?

Perhaps the best investors for diverse founders are those with a moderate level of activity rather than the most active and often most well-known ones.

RankAngel Investor NameNumber of InvestmentsNumber of Diversity InvestmentsDiversity Investment RateExit Rate
165Louis Beryl1042423.1%14.4%
171Daniel Curran1353123.0%18.5%
218Mark Cuban1503120.7%15.3%
219Wei Guo1513120.5%11.3%
224Edward Lando1162319.8%6.9%
231Jason Calacanis3727219.4%9.7%
238Marc Benioff1432718.9%20.3%
266Alexis Ohanian1372316.8%25.5%
283Paul Buchheit1592616.4%35.8%
284Esther Dyson1041716.3%25.0%
310Scott Banister1342014.9%35.1%
349Fabrice Grinda2423213.2%25.6%
364Charlie Songhurst1191411.8%10.1%
429Naval Ravikant159127.5%32.1%
Data via Crunchbase

An Important Caveat on the Data Set

As with all data, there are likely some missed or inaccurate data points. All data for this analysis came from Crunchbase, and it seems accurate enough for comparative purposes.

However, I would not worry too much about whether the 26th ranked investor should really be in the 25th spot, for example.

Where I noticed the biggest gaps in data is in the diversity investments number. From a spot check, it seems that startups are pretty reliably coded as being led or founded by a woman, Black, or Latinx founder. However, it seems that East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian founders are often not recorded correctly.

In Conclusion

I have personally seen that startup founders are extraordinarily focused on the most active and popular angel investors.

It might be a mistake to put an outsized amount of effort in trying to reach these star angel investors. Angel investors in our data set have both mediocre exit rates of their portfolio companies and relatively low diversity investment rates.

More fruitful targets could be angel investors with moderate levels of activity (e.g. 20-50 investments) since they both seem to invest in startups that reach an exit as well as a greater diversity of founders.

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