March 21, 2023

The Diverse Future Of Angel Investing: Meet Ada’s Angels’ New Cohort

Inclusive early-stage venture firm Ada Ventures‘s second cohort of its operator angel program is committing £1 million ($1.2 million) to diverse angel investors.

Ada Ventures selected 20 specialist operators and founders from underrepresented backgrounds across the UK, providing them with up to £50,000 ($61,000) each to invest.

The angels come from sectors across climate, software development, economic empowerment, product, and healthcare & aging.

Blind scoring process

The cohort was selected through an open application process and scored blindly to reduce bias. The result is one of the most diverse angel cohorts for European or UK funds.

“It is 65% female, 20% Black, 20% Asian, 15% LGBTQ+, and 10% have a disability,” said Check Warner MBE, Founding Partner at Ada Ventures, according to Tech Funding News. By contrast, in the UK, people of color account for only 10% of angel investors. 

“We will only solve the hardest problems we face with talent from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences.”

Ada Ventures uses a profit-sharing system in which the investors receive the entire carried interest from the angel investments they make. On top of that, the investors receive a bonus of 10% of the carried interest from Ada Ventures’ fund.

Image showing the second cohort of 20 Ada's Angels  who are seed series A specialist operators and founders in their sectors.
Image credit: Ada Ventures

Izzy Obeng, founder and CEO at Foundervine, a social enterprise that supports diverse tech founders, and Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, was selected for the program.

She shared: “As someone with lived experience of the challenges that ethnicity, economic background, gender, and place have on entrepreneurial opportunities, I know first-hand the impact it can have when investment decisions are more objective, transparent, and fair.”

Past angels’ successes

In October 2020, Ada Ventures selected five participants for its first cohort. They made a total of 22 angel investments, six of which went on to become Ada Ventures Fund I investments.

“Ada Angels catapulted me into a world that I could never imagine myself in,” said Arfah Farooq, co-founder of Muslamic Makers and member of Ada’s Angel first cohort.

“Being given capital to deploy meant I was able to find incredible founders from underrepresented backgrounds to back who statistically struggle the most to get funding. I’m proud that my whole portfolio has founders from an ethnic [minority] background.”

Meet Ada Ventures’s angel program cohort II

Samara Linton

Community Manager at POCIT | Co-editor of The Colour of Madness: Mental Health and Race in Technicolour (2022), and co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography (2020)