EVERYONE Should Angel Invest….and Robinhood Launches Android App

I am really proud of the Robinhood team and our investment.

Yesterday they launched their Android App and it was received extremely well.

From the Robinhood blog:

As one of the fastest-growing consumer finance companies in history, we couldn’t be more excited about our future. Already, the community has transacted over $1 billion and saved over $22 million in trading commissions.

I met Baiju and Vlad the co-founders for breakfast a few years back in San Francisco. They were both wearing Google Glasses…so I was pretty sure I would never invest in them. We than chatted of course and I knew in my gut that they were two guys that would not stop until they disrupted mobile brokerage and zero commission trading. No business plan could have talked me into or out of the deal. It was the people and the vision and the timing and the opportunity. So we invested. We have kept investing in subsequent rounds.

Chasing down entrepreneurs is what I do with my partners at Social Leverage. Overall it has been about 90 founders and founding teams since I started angel investing in 1994. I have been lucky to stumble upon and chase down some of the best including Mark Scatterday (The Gripp), Mike Lazerow (Buddy Media), Brett Wilson (Tubemogul), Andrew Dreskin (Ticketfly), Todd Davis (Lifelock) and Alex Bard and Gary Benitt (Assistly). Gary is now my partner at Social Leverage along with Tom Peterson.

Other times I have just been lucky because of my network and a hunch.

Of course there have been even more times when I have been dead wrong. I will save the pain and lessons for another set of posts.

Even though I have been wrong more than right, I would never quit my job. It is the best job in the world.

Yesterday I was reading this long post on angel investing from Tucker Max. The title: ‘Why I Stopped Angel Investing and Why You Should Never Start‘. You should definitely read it. Tucker sounds like a complete ass, but he’s a good writer and some great points are made.

As more companies start to fail later in this cycle you will begin to hear more and more of the people that had the good fortune and privilege to angel invest, try and SAVE YOU.

It is ridiculous.

In the stock market there is a place for ETF’s, indexing and doing it yourself (Robinhood). Luckily we already have the same kind of choices with angel investing (AngelList and Crowdability – biased angel investor). We also have the right to find great people and invest directly as angels ourselves. We should be grateful for the choices, do more to let others have the right to invest and respect the difficulty of making money.


  1. pointsnfigures says:

    what they don’t say is 100% of all gains on angel investments made after Sep 27. 2010 are subject to 0% tax if gains are less than $10M

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