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Cherub Innovates Angel Investing with Dating App Dynamics

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 25, 2024
Cherub Innovates Angel Investing with Dating App Dynamics

Cherub Innovates Angel Investing with Dating App Dynamics

Cherub, a novel marketplace that connects angel investors with entrepreneurs, has been gaining traction by integrating dating app dynamics into the investment process.

Founded by Jaclyn Johnson and Angeline Vuong, the Los Angeles-based platform offers a unique approach to deal flow, akin to the exclusive dating platform Raya, but for business relationships. The startup aims to simplify the entry into angel investing and provide a personalized, social experience for both founders and investors.

What Inspired the Creation of Cherub?

Johnson, having founded Create & Cultivate and previously sold her startup No Subject in 2016, brings a wealth of entrepreneurship and investment experience. She has also invested in several companies, including the luggage brand Away, giving her a dual perspective on the investment process. Vuong, with nearly five years at Opendoor focusing on product and growth, adds significant industry expertise.

Together, they have created Cherub, aiming to serve a diverse range of sectors such as consumer packaged goods (CPG), AI, hotels, and more.

Unlike AngelList, which is predominantly tech-centric and tailored towards more seasoned investors, Cherub strives to serve a broader audience with different investment capacities. It sits somewhere between large crowdsourcing platforms and traditional VC firms, offering both substantial investments and smaller, accessible entry points for new investors.

The idea for Cherub came to Johnson and Vuong during a hike, where they discussed the challenges of starting in angel investing.

Their initial test of the concept, a weekly newsletter, quickly garnered 1,500 subscribers through word of mouth. This encouraged them to develop an alpha product, which featured about 40 companies and facilitated significant investor engagement: all companies featured received requests for deck views, half resulted in pitches, and 20% secured funding, totaling $1.1 million within three months. Notably, 40% of the investors were new to angel investing.

How Cherub Works

Cherub is designed to make the investment process more interactive and less transactional. Investors and entrepreneurs can express interest in each other’s profiles based on specific tags, such as industry focus or investment stage.

This system not only helps streamline the matching process but also allows for straightforward communication, where parties can easily accept or reject potential matches based on detailed information about investment criteria and offerings.

The platform operates on a membership model, where startups pay either $480 or $950 annually, depending on the level of service and exposure they choose. This fee gives them the ability to list their companies, access analytics on their deck views, and receive more active promotion to potential investors.

Cherub also facilitates connections to incubators and accelerators, enhancing support for entrepreneurs through partnerships with firms like Andreessen Horowitz and New York Fashion Tech Lab.

Hosting Networking Events

In addition to these services, Cherub hosts events like founder-funder mixers, which have proven effective in facilitating investments.

For instance, a recent event in collaboration with Sophia Amoruso’s Trust Fund resulted in over $400,000 in deals from a single evening, emphasizing the platform’s focus on creating valuable networking opportunities that extend beyond the digital space.

Cherub’s approach has attracted a diverse group of investors and founders.

Allen Orr, an angel investor, noted that Cherub’s tailored and social approach was a refreshing change from the more transactional nature of other platforms like AngelList. Maggie Rose Macar, founder and CEO of the mental health support app Zant, also highlighted the effectiveness of Cherub’s model, having secured a significant investment after featuring in the platform’s newsletter and attending an event.

As it stands, Cherub has successfully raised $1.25 million from angel investors, including notable figures like Alli Webb of Drybar and Morgan DeBaun of Blavity, underscoring the confidence and interest in its innovative model.

As the platform continues to grow, with plans to expand its offerings to 500 startups and manage a waitlist of 1,500, Cherub is poised to redefine the dynamics of angel investing, making it more accessible and engaging for a new generation of investors and entrepreneurs.

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Featured Image courtesy of Cherub

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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