Women 2.0 profiles women angel investors in our "This Is What An Angel Investor Looks Like" series. By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
Out of Atlanta, Georgia - Khush founder and CEO Prerna Gupta received funding from 500 Startups as part of the Mountain View, California-based startup seed fund and accelerator program in early 2011. By year's end, the intelligent music app startup Khush was acquired by Smule for an undisclosed amount.
As CEO of Khush, Prerna oversaw the growth of Khush and its merger with Smule. Together, the companies' apps have reached over 50 million users worldwide.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 2004 with a degree in Economics, and worked on marketing strategy at Monitor Group and early-stage deal sourcing at Summit Partners before making the move to entrepreneurship.
These days, Prerna is working at social music app company Smule and foraying into angel investing as an accredited investor on AngelList. She is also giving back to 500 Startups as a mentor and investor in the seed fund that fueled the early growth of her company.
Meet Angel Investor Prerna Gupta
How and why did you decide to become an angel investor? "After I got my first angel investment, I promised myself I would become an angel investor for others as soon as I sold my first company."
What investments have you made? "Thus far I've only done one investment - 500 Startups."
Range of initial investments? "$10k-25k"
What are your investment dealbreakers? "I want to invest either in industries I understand or feel passionate about."
What types of companies or industries do you want to invest in? "Mobile apps, artificial intelligence, social media, consumer Internet, education..."
How has your background played (or not) a role in your angel investing? "Being an entrepreneur who has received angel investments at critical times moments in the lifecycle of my startup has greatly influenced my desire to be an angel. Of course, I hope the knowledge I have gained as an entrepreneur will also inform my investments!"
One piece of advice to an angel-in-training? "Just like entrepreneurship, the best way to learn is to do it!"
One piece of advice to entrepreneurs looking for capital? "Don't get discouraged."
Random fact? "My favorite book of all time is Lord of the Rings."
Early-stage seed fund and incubator program 500 Startups announced last week a Women Investors Now (WIN) Challenge in an effort to increase the number of women angel investors. Founding partner Dave McClure challenges women in tech who earn over $125,000 a year to invest in three (3) startups at a minimum of $5,000 each over the next year. Over 100 women have pledged to this challenge so far.
This is not to say everyone can and should become investors. But if you are financially privileged enough to invest your savings somewhere, we hope you consider investing in women-led early-stage startups that you read about on Women 2.0.
Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the "+1" for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.