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How does Startup Syndicate Funding Works

A syndicate investment mechanism enables several independent investors to pool their funds and participate with other reputable investors to invest in some of the best startups. Know more.

By teammarquee . October 28, 2022

Seed Stage Startup valuation

For startups, equity capital comes in a variety of forms and sizes. The most typical type is an established venture capital firm. Other tools and entities, however, provide startup funding in exchange for ownership. An increasingly popular replacement for venture funding is a syndicate. 

Syndicates are quick and efficient ways to raise startup financing for your firm. You may receive funding from many different investors without having to keep track of each one separately on your cap table. It simplifies future funding and cuts down on litigation.

Let’s look at the following data to learn more about startup syndicates and how company start ups might get funding from one:

What Does A Syndicate Mean – In Layman’s Terms?

An investment mechanism called a syndicate enables several independent investors (backers) to pool their funds and participate with other reputable investors to invest in some of the best startups. A syndicate is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) established intending to make a single investment. It’s a venture capital fund created exclusively to support a firm. Because of how simple platforms like AngelList have made syndicates, their popularity has increased. A syndicate investment is often high risk and high reward. Investors who are accredited must be backers. A syndicate enables investors to take part in the deals of a lead investor. Investors pay the lead carry in return. Syndicate funding enables investors to support numerous ventures with modest sums of money; AngelList investors can each make a $1,000 contribution to a coalition.

Who Is a Syndicate Leader?

A syndicate leader is a business angel who comes with several years of experience in identifying investment opportunities and investing in them. He possesses a keen sense of market knowledge about startup funding and has worked with several successful startup founders over the years. Such an investor typically serves as a syndicate leader. They are committed to allocating funds and investing in some of the best startups. 

Unlike a private lender, a syndicate lead makes most of their money by collecting “carry” rather than receiving a sizable processing fee. Carry is a percentage of the profits earned by a company that is charged by the syndicate lead. While the syndicate lead can decide on their payment, 20% is the industry average on AngelList. By pooling money from other people, the company, which does not have enough startup capital, can keep up with its transaction flow.

Example: Suppose the lead charges a 20% carry to invest in startup and makes a $10,000 investment. Your distribution is $150,000 after a successful exit. The lead receives 20% of your earnings after deducting the initial investment ($150,000 – $10,000). 20% of $140,000 is 28,000, therefore you make $112,000 profit after expenses.

How Does a Syndicate Funding Work?

In contrast to a conventional venture capital firm, syndicate funding operates differently. Founders need to understand how it works and how strengthening their presentation can increase their chances of closing a coalition. 

To participate in syndicate funding, an investor must register on a syndicate funding platform like AngelList. The syndicate head is responsible for selecting investors who are a good fit for their syndicate. Once the investor has created an account, they can explore syndicates and apply to join the ones they are interested in. However, the leads may invite the investors to participate, in which case it is up to the individual investor to decide whether they want to participate or not.

Who Are Syndicate Investors?

Syndicates provide a way for various people to enter the startup financing field. Following are some details on the most typical sorts of syndicate investors:

Full-Time Investors:

A full-time or angel investor is a typical syndicate investor. The number of people that invest in syndicates full-time is relatively low. 

Individual Investors:

Most people don’t invest in startups full-time. These investors frequently participate in the startup community and can add value to their investment by providing skills and knowledge. Thus, everybody who participates is eligible and is interested in diversifying their investments in startups.

Backers

A backer is an investor who either has a limited experience in startup investing or, even if he has, would rather let someone else manage the investments on his behalf or even choose the startups in which he must invest. He generally plays a very passive role as an investor.

Advantages Of Syndicate Investing For Startup Founders

The syndicate leader is in charge of finding transactions. They probably already have a network of investors and founders because they are either actively involved in starting startups, investing in them, or both. Syndicates can act as a source of startup capital, and they provide a few advantages that can interest an entrepreneur:

  • Listed as just one investor on the cap table, the syndicate help founders access a pool of multiple small investors. By using syndicate financing, you can avoid the hassle of negotiating with multiple investors. Syndicate financing is, therefore, an easy and hassle-free way of raising funds.
  • When raising startup financing from syndicates, founders can move swiftly because most of the evaluation and work is done upfront on behalf of the syndicate lead.

Disadvantages Of Syndicate Investing For Startup Founders

  • Lack of privacy is the biggest problem with syndicate investment. Everything goes public, from your startup capital to your product/service stage, the minute a syndicate participates in your business. 
  • Many small investors debating investing in your company may publicly post your presentation slides or executive summary. Likewise, there are no secrets to be maintained.

Conclusion

As we have previously mentioned, platforms like AngelList allow startup founders and investors to meet and invest. While syndicates help the founders raise funds for their startup, they also allow small investors who write smaller checks to support more significant transactions and phases in a startup. 

Syndicate investing in startups is continually expanding. Through startup syndicates, people can invest in a broader range of businesses than they might be able to as lone investors. They also distribute their deal flow to potential investors by joining syndicates. If you are a startup founder, connecting with successful syndicate leaders can be a crucial first step in obtaining a syndicate investment for your firm. However, if you are an investor, you must research the syndicate’s track record of previous investments before making a purchase.

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FAQs


A syndicate is an investment vehicle wherein the small investors, also called the backers, co-invest with other large and reputable investors (called leaders) in some of the best emerging startups in the market.

With syndicate investments, startups can access huge sum of capital without having to deal with multiple investors. Also, in case of syndicate funding, there is only one investor shown in the cap table of startups.

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