Insight into Angel Investing in Germany - BAND's newly released report

More deals, medium tickets sizes dominate, a massive shift towards follow-on financing and the success of the German government INVEST grant. The German business angel federation (BAND) released their yearly report on 2019 data. With 100 angels giving detailed answers, it was possible for the first time to compare the behavior of 100 angels in two consecutive years in detail.

As the authors Ute Guenther and Roland Kirchhof point out, this survey does not provide numerically reliable statements about the German business angels network landscape as a whole. However, a thorough and solid sketch can be made on the basis of the answers they received from 100 German business angels, which are members in BAND, and from the German Business Angels Networks (BAND members as well). Certainly this research provides the highest quality pulse of the German angel market and makes a significant contribution to its transparency.

Please note that this recap does not cover all the interesting conclusions of the whole detailed report. Read the original via this link (in German).

Investment amount

100 accredited angels in BAND invested a total of 22,715,164 euro in 2019. This is around a quarter less than in 2018 (30,528,500 euro investment). The number of inactive angels has also risen: In 2018, 12% of angels stated that they had not made any investments during the year and instead managed the existing portfolio. In 2019 that was twice as many with 25%.

Let's take a look at the deals that have been made: In 2019, of the 100 Angels in total

• 197 investments (initial and follow-up investments) with a

• Average investment of 115,305 euro per deal received.

That is 20% more deals than last year. In 2018 there were 157 new investments, but the average investment amount of 194,449 euro per deal was significantly higher, almost 80% higher.

Ticket size

There were interesting shifts in ticket sizes. In 2018 the lower and upper margins were pronounced, in 2019 medium sizes dominated. The smallest ticket size in 2018 was 5,000 euros, in 2019 it was 25,000 euros.

In general, more small investment sums could be seen in 2018: 46% of all angels invested up to 100,000 euros in the "lower range". But there were also the really big tickets (which also influenced the overall larger investment volume in 2018): 16% of the angels invested more than 500,000 euros per deal, 6% of which more than a million euros, in 2019 it was only a total of only 10%, of which 3% with more than one million euros per ticket.

Ratio of initial and follow-up financing

If we look at the distribution of ticket sizes between initial and follow-up financing in 2019, we see a serious difference: tickets in follow-up financing are on average twice as large as those for initial financing. That would mean that with a steady increase in follow-up financing by business angels, the ticket sizes also increase because there is greater need for capital in later rounds.

Who benefited from the capital invested in 2019? 19.1% (19.5%) of the angels invested exclusively in follow-up financing in 2019, 36.8% (37.8%) only made initial investments and 44.1% (42.7%) invested their money in subsequent as well as in initial financing (2018 figures in brackets).

This means that the massive shift in weight towards follow-up financing, which was shown for the first time in 2018, continues almost unchanged. Of the more than 22 million euros invested in 2019, 58.1% (13,201,000 euros) flowed into follow-up financing, and only 9,514,164 euros (41.9%) went into initial financing. The numbers from 2018 are very similar: 38.8% of the capital invested went to new portfolio companies, 61.2% were “refilled”.

In 2017, the ratio was exactly the opposite: 62.6% of the invested capital flowed into new deals, 37.4% was follow-up financing.

Portfolio size

Accredited angels in BAND are active and experienced angels who hold an angel portfolio with an average of seven holdings. This number is relatively constant. In 2018 the average portfolio size was 6.9 investments, in 2019 the value was 7.4.

Industry focus

More and more angels are investing in a sector-focused manner. In 2018 the investment behavior “turned” for the first time: only 47.3% - i.e. less than half - stated that they had no industry focus. This trend continued in 2019 and has even increased slightly: Only 45.2% of Angels invest in a sector-wide manner compared to 54.7% in a sector-focused manner, although only about a third of Angels focus more or less on one sector. The latter applies in particular to “specialized” fintech and life science angels.


58.2% of the Angels surveyed did not part with any of their holdings in 2019, neither for better nor for worse. Almost a quarter (24.1%) of the Angels had to complain about at least one failed participation and only 17.7% were happy about an exit in 2019, whereby for a good third (37.5%) of them the joy was not unclouded because they also had to say goodbye to failed engagements.

The exit balance has thus deteriorated significantly compared to 2018: In 2019, 62.7% failed investments compared to 37.3% successful exits, while in 2018 the successful exits and the failed commitments were roughly in balance. At that time there were 30 successful exits and 31 failed investments. In 2018 every fourth fishing rod was able to look forward to a successful exit, in 2019 it was only every sixth fishing rod over the course of the year.


If one follows the discussions in the market and the relevant publications, one would think that the vast majority of angel investors are interested in syndication and mainly participate in an investment together with others.

The analysis of the 100 profiles of the BAND-accredited angels provides a different - for some surely surprising - result: 56.25% of the surveyed angels state that they only invest alone, and the trend is rising. In 2018 it was 46.30%.

INVEST grant venture capital

INVEST - Venture Capital Grant is growing in popularity with angel investors. More than half of all angels (52.1%) who invested in 2019 state that they have used INVEST. In 2018 the value was "only" 40.7%.

If you put the total number of investments made with INVEST in 2019 in relation to all the commitments entered into by the surveyed Angels in 2019 (197 in total), surprisingly a different picture emerges. Only 34% of all deals made in 2019 were with an INVEST funding, in 2018 that was 44.13%.

This discrepancy suggests that active angels should be asked about their reasons for participating without INVEST. As a result, the 2020 questionnaire - in addition to 2018 - has been supplemented by this set of questions.

Almost 80% of all angels surveyed who state that they have not used INVEST can precisely state the reasons for the conclusion of a deal without INVEST funding. This is a clear indication that there is hardly an angel investor who does not make an effort to INVEST who would use INVEST if it were possible under the individual deal constellations. This would correspond to an almost 100% INVEST market penetration.

BAND network survey 2020

-Per network this results in an average membership size of 106 people or 68 business angels, whereby the size of the networks varies considerably. It's between 328 Angels in the largest network and seven Angels at the bottom.

-Membership has increased compared to 2018, by 17% overall, but only by 9% for Angels. The quota of female business angels who are members of one of the networks is still extremely low at 8.8%, a notable increase compared to 2018 has not been recorded and this although it is known that many networks are very explicitly about more Engage angel investors.

-What is more than known as a general deficit of the German business angel ecosystem is reflected once again in the BAND network survey: the bad exit balance. The networks either know nothing or do not want to show any negative tendencies: Half of all respondents left the question unanswered, the remaining 50% named just nine exits for the entire year 2019. If you consider that this statement relates to around 100 Angels, this is a more than sobering yield, in which it would be desirable that there have been a few more exits in practice, but these have just not been made known.