Financing High-Growth Firms: The Role of Angel Investors

158 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012

See all articles by Karen E. Wilson

Karen E. Wilson

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Date Written: December 22, 2011


This publication covers seed and early stage financing for high growth companies in OECD and non-OECD countries with a primary focus on angel investment. Angel investment is the primary source of outside equity financing for start-ups in a number of countries, yet it is frequently overlooked as angel investors are often not visible. Following the recent financial crisis and continued difficult economic environment, angel investors have been playing an important role in filling financing gaps left by banks and venture capital firms.

This publication provides an in-depth look into angel investment, including definitions, data and processes. It reviews developments around the world and identifies some of the key success factors, challenges and recent trends. It then discusses policy measures for promoting angel investment, with examples from countries which have been active in this area. As part of the background research for this project, over 100 people were interviewed from 32 countries.

Keywords: angel investing, venture capital, equity financing, high growth firms, seed and early stage finance, super angels, innovation policy, entrepreneurship policy

JEL Classification: A10, F00, F30, G00, G10, G18, G24, H00, M00, O00

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Karen E., Financing High-Growth Firms: The Role of Angel Investors (December 22, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Karen E. Wilson (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )



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