Twitter execs establish new all-female angel investor group

5 Mar 2015

A team of current and former Twitter employees have banded together to create #Angels, an angel investor group to fund start-ups, but bucks the trend in being an all-female group of investors.

The group of six investors are not specifically looking to invest in female-led start-ups, but will no doubt offer a welcome change with some of the most recent figures showing that in the US, only 20pc of angel investors are women – the highest it has ever been.

Explaining who they are in a post to Medium, the investors are comprised of former Twitter employees April Underwood – who effectively led Twitter’s development in terms of its syndication, advertising, and data – as well as Chloe Sladden, who developed Twitter’s strategy and partnerships with a number of media organisations.

The other four members are currently working in Twitter and consist of Jana Messerschmidt (vice-president of global business development and platform), Jessica Verrilli (director of corporate development and strategy), Katie Jacobs Stanton (vice-president of global media) and Vijaya Gadde (general counsel and secretary).

Avoid Twitter-like start-ups, however

The #Angels team members are quick to point out, however, that they are not forming a fund, but will rather invest individually in various start-ups. A word of warning for those looking to create the next Twitter, though: the women stress that because #Angels consists of current Twitter employees, they can’t fund anything that could be deemed a competitor.

Speaking of their mission statement, the team members said, “Technology is no longer an industry category. As has been well-chronicled, it has become a foundation to every business, ranging from healthcare to transportation to finance to education and beyond.

“Every company will be a technology company. And the lessons learned from building a company like Twitter are relevant to an increasingly wide range of products, businesses, and industries.”

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Inspire 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-19 June in Dublin, connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Buy your early bird tickets now

Angel investor illustration via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic