In some ways AngelList, the online marketplace for startups and the angels that invest in them, is a competitor to incubators and accelerators. But AngelList founder Naval Ravikant has turned that into something better — a partnership. The company is now used by the 500 Startups incubator and seed fund as a filter for its applications, Ravikant said.
Starting tomorrow, the company will do the same thing for TechStars Boston and AngelPad. By the first quarter of next year, he expects dozens of incubators and accelerators to accept applications directly through AngelList, he said.
His system gives these programs the ability to indentify a “minimal quality threshold” in the applicants. He’s going for world domination: “We are the largest dealflow aggregator on the planet,” he said.
The problem, of course, is that it levels the playing field. Ravikant boldly said earlier in the night that the idea of proprietary deal flow for venture capitalists is dead. The same theory applies to incubators. Their brand and what they have to offer startups becomes their best advantage, when it comes to getting the best companies into their programs. “It’s not up to me to do that,” he said.
And as to the people who say listing oneself on AngelList is a sign of weakness? Ravikant points to the scoreboard. On AngelList’s done deals page, 2,000 companies on AngelList have gone on to raise $1.4 billion in funds. “You can sit there and pretend that it’s not happening, but it’s happening,” he said. “You can bury your head in the sand if you want.”
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