background troy knauss sue preston ari program workshop photo

Research / Reports


2016 Angel Returns Study

On May 8, 2016, the Angel Resource Institute (ARI) announced the results of the largest study on angel investing returns in North America since 2007, funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the NASDAQ OMX Education Foundation.

The 2016 research conducted by ARI's research team, shows that the distribution of returns has the same shape as the 2007 study. Failure is the most likely outcome from any one investment, but larger wins continue to make the rate of return attractive. According to Rob Wiltbank, ARI Board of Trustee, "These returns continue to compare favorably to those of formal venture capital investors. Data from Cambridge Associates suggests a comparable early-stage VC multiple at 2.1X versus the 2.5X here, but with a higher internal rate of return (IRR) estimate at 29% driven by faster exits and the inclusion of book value estimates for ongoing investments."

Highlights of Tracking Angel Investors 2016

- 91% of the exits in this study occurred between 2010 - 2016.

- The investment holding period increased by a full year, to 4.5 years on average.

- The failure rate, exits at less than a 1X return of capital, increased to 70% of all outcomes, up from 52%.

- Bigger wins commonly took 9 or 10 years to complete.

- The cash-on-cash multiple works out to 2.5X.

- The overall IRR is approximately 22%, compared to 27% in the earlier study.

According to ARI's executive director, "The results of this study are helping ARI begin to get a sense of the returns to angel investing over time. The changes we've made to tracking returns, by including data from Pitchbook and tracking the returns of angel funds, not just individual angels, will help us actually create a trend line."


The Angel Resource Institute (ARI) is a charitable organization devoted to increasing the effectiveness and availability of financial and mentor capital to entrepreneurs. The organization provides education, training, and information on best practices related to the earliest stages of angel investing and new venture development. Through its core competencies of research, data collection and analysis, ARI develops educational workshops, white papers, and toolkits for angel investors, entrepreneurs, and the entire startup community. The founders of the Angel Resource Institute include leading angel investors and entrepreneurs in collaboration with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.



Discover ARI programs

ARI has multiple courses designed for beginners to expert-level investors and entrepreneurs. Each course is ARI instructor led or ARI can train you to deliver courses.

Request a workshop proposal

ARI has delivered more than 400 courses across 38 states and 40 countries for angel groups, economic development organizations, and government initiatives to encourage early-stage investments and deal flow.


Join ARI's data collection initiative

ARI is continuously collecting data from Angel investors, groups, and entrepreneurs on early-stage and startup deals in order to provide better metrics.

View latest Halo Report

View the latest Halo Report and find out what trends will impact your current and future funding rounds.


ARI collaboration partners include:


Sue Preston, Angel Resource Institute, explains a new ARI program designed to educate women entrepreneurs and investors.

Books by ARI Lead Instructors and Others