The new Silicon Valley hype machine: AngelList

Yesterday at the Launch event I was sitting next to Naval Ravikant. I kept watching his screen. I had heard about his site, AngelList, before, but I didn’t have an opportunity to really dig into what it was and how it worked.

When one company, GreenGoose, got on stage and had an awesome demo (it was my favorite company of the two-day event, they won best overall from the LaunchPad, AngelList lit up. They got dozens of investors to show interest. As I watched Naval’s screen, you could see the investor interest pouring in. Like when a great answer gets posted to Quora, except AngelList only allows angel investors and a few other “scouts” (I’ve been added as a scout so I can watch the system and let you know what I see).

Visit GreenGoose’s page on AngelList and you can see who their investors are. Right now it lists Kal Vepuri, Shervin Pishevar, Bill Warner, Jay Levy, Betaspring, David Beyer. There are comments along the side, including a note about them winning at Launch from Naval himself. Price and terms are listed for investors.

Unfortunately because of SEC rules this site isn’t open to the public, but I’ll use this to inform my opinions often on my Tweets or here on my blog (I have to get permission from startups to use their discussions in public, first).

If you are already on AngelList, my page is here and you can follow me — I’ve already helped one company, Glmps, get noticed here (I got an early demo that even investors haven’t yet seen and I’m excited by that company’s offerings, and noted that in comments there, you’ll hear more about this company at SXSW).

But, anyway, watching what investors get hot and bothered about tells you where the world of tech is moving toward. It also helps explain some of the high valuations. Investors tend to be pack animals and tend to want to get in on “hot deals.” AngelList makes the hot deals happen fast.

I asked Naval why he started the site and he explained how he was screwed by a venture capitalist at one of his startups. He started it to help entrepreneurs see more venture capitalists and be able to more effectively deal with them. Looks like his service is well along its way. If you are an investor or a startup founder and you aren’t on AngelList yet you are really missing out.