Many would say Angel List has become an indispensable resource for investors and startups to find, connect and recommend each other. This almost altruistic effort has taken Silicon Valley to the world, and, increasingly, the world to Silicon Valley. Slowly but surely European-based startups have also started using it over the last couple of years, and, used in combination with CrunchBase, it can be pretty powerful. However, not all think this. And only this week, a new player emerged with an attempt at its own land grab: NOAH Insider.
Created by NOAH Advisors, a boutique corporate finance house, which, over the last couple of years, has become a key player in the European M&A market, NOAH Insider quite clearly owes a few debts in appearance and structure to Angel List. Indeed, one might almost say it confirms the old cliché about European clone companies.
NOAH founder Marco Rodzynek has been the driving force behind the annual NOAH conference, which has become a well-placed event for mid and late-stage startups to ply their wares amongst VCs and private equity houses. I asked him why he decided to create NOAH Insider, given that it is almost a full-blown clone of Angel List?: “Because too few are using it in EU” he says simply.
His partner Yoram Wijngaarde is more effusive: “We believe that having the goal of bringing Europe’s fragmented eco-systems closer together requires a Pan-European focus. Also, it isn’t a pure clone since we are combining Angel List-like functionalities with an events functionality, which enables startups and event organisers to create events across Europe. This is a powerful combination.”
That’s all very well and good; the main question is if they will get enough critical mass of users. Will investors flock to NOAH Insider because of its European focus? It’s hard to say and I haven’t exactly seen the social media wires running hot about the site as yet.
That said, it may be a useful, focused addition to the scene. European investors and startups are only a short flight away from each other – even if you include a quick four-hour trip to Moscow or Tel Aviv. It makes sense to have something more geographically focused. And the launch has already been supported by Index Ventures, London’s Tech City Investment Organisation, Summit Partners, Holtzbrinck Ventures and many angel investors across Europe.
NOAH Insider will be opened up to a wider audience at the next NOAH conference in London due this month. And they promise more development and improvements and to build out more features so that users have strong reasons to invest their time on the platform.
Meanwhile, I am still getting requests for recommendations from European companies on Angel List…