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AngelList Braces for Rainy Days as Startup Seed Funding Falls

The investing platform is expanding its recruitment tools and is hoping to put together a $1 billion “rainy day” fund.

AngelList is preparing for winter. The company, which runs an online portal connecting entrepreneurs with private investors, is assembling a “rainy day” fund and exploring new businesses as the market for investing in young startups slows.

Naval Ravikant, the chief executive officer and co-founder of the San Francisco startup, said he’s looking outside Silicon Valley to keep the money flowing in a downturn. He aims to secure commitments from sovereign-wealth funds, endowments and other investors around the world to invest $1 billion through AngelList in the coming years. Last year, China’s CSC Venture Capital, the U.S. arm of private-equity firm China Science & Merchants Investment Management Group, committed $400 million, he said.

“If there’s a cash crunch and valuations come down drastically, then that’s when you want to be investing,” said Ravikant, a prolific seed investor who made early bets on Uber Technologies Inc. and Twitter Inc. “That’s what raising this institutional money is about. It’s our rainy day money.”

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