Naval Ravikant On How AngelList Syndicates Can Shake Up The World Of Venture Capital ‘Scouts’

Since its inception in 2010, AngelList has steadily transformed the way people think about gathering funding for their technology startups. But so far, nothing AngelList has done has garnered as quick and strong of a reaction from the venture capital sphere as the debut this past summer of a feature called “Syndicates.” A number of Silicon Valley investors seem to think that AngelList Syndicates could be one of the most disruptive developments that startup funding has seen in years.

So when AngelList co-founder and CEO Naval Ravikant came offstage from his Disrupt panel about Bitcoin this week, I asked him to talk a bit more about the latest developments at AngelList and how the Syndicate feature is coming along now that it’s funded its first startup. You can check out the whole chat in the video embedded above.

One interesting point he made is that while AngelList Syndicates make it possible for an individual angel investor to operate like a “mini VC” firm, he still thinks that traditionally structured venture capital entities serve an important purpose. Starting at around 3:27 in the video above, he said:

“Traditional venture is for professionals. People who are in there all the time, they have their management fees because they also need to eat, and they’ve got to make a living. They’re making investments on a regular basis, and investors count on them to invest large amounts of money.”

The impact of Syndicates may be felt most profoundly at the seed level — and make it so that standalone angel investors may not find the need to make the kind of leap into traditional VC funds through scout programs and the like. As Ravikant discussed at around 4:50 in the video, it will be very interesting to see if “super high-value angel” investors like Kevin Rose continue to move into full-time roles at established venture capital firms now that AngelList Syndicates are an option.