Insights From the HALO 2017 Report

Joe Johnson, Ph.D.
Entrepreneur. Investor. Startup Expert.

The Kauffman Foundation continues to inspire and educate in the entrepreneurship space. Its sister non-profits, the Angel Resource Institute and the Angel Capital Association, aim to do for angel investing what the Kauffman Foundation does for entrepreneurship.

The Angel Resource Institute (ARI) is a non-profit organization that aims to provide useful information and research on angel investing in the United States. By providing angel investing classes and conducting ongoing research into the world of angel investments, ARI helps investors to form a better understanding of the investment environment in general and angel groups in particular.

What is the HALO Report?

Every year, ARI releases the HALO Report to provide an overview of angel investing trends in the United States. The 2017 H1 HALO Report covers the first half of 2017 and highlights variances across years so that investors may better understand the state of angel investing nationally.

The HALO Report examines:

  • Deal flow
  • Particular industries
  • Pre-money valuations
  • Median values
  • Securities purchased
  • Angel activities
  • Founder demographics

By collecting data directly from angels and angel investing groups, ARI is able to help paint a picture of the current angel investing landscape so that investors can render better-informed decisions. It’s important to note that data is self-reported and that no one is required to submit data. While most deals are concluded due to the merits of a startup’s founders and their ideas, having an understanding of how other angel investors are making deals can help to provide additional information and leverage during the due diligence process.

The 2017 Mid-Year HALO Report Findings

Deal Flow

More angel groups reported deals this year, helping to paint a better picture of deal distribution across the country. In previous years, California was disproportionately represented from a distribution perspective. With more angel investments reported in 2017, other regions have seen a slight boost, especially the Southwest. (Note: This shouldn’t be taken to indicate that fewer people have invested in Californian startups or that there are fewer Californian startups. This only means that, because more groups have chosen to share their deals, we are now seeing some previously underreported regions show up more prominently in the data.)


Software and healthcare continue to be popular investment categories, though both have seen a significant drop year-to-date over last year. “Consumer products and services” and “business products and services” have each seen remarkable increases. This may be partially due to a strategy of diversification, although it’s important to note that this mid-year HALO Report only features a small group of the available investment categories. The year-end report will boast more in-depth data.

Pre-Money Valuations

The year-end HALO Report should be of interest to those who think that valuations have risen too high. The mid-year report seems to indicate that, to date, valuations are dropping, though only slightly. It will be interesting to see whether that trend continues throughout the year and whether any particular industries experience lower valuations over the previous years’ figures.

Of the five industries highlighted in the median pre-money valuation, only healthcare showed an increase in valuation, while software, business products and services, consumer products and services, and internet and mobile each showed decreases, with software experiencing the largest decrease. Pre-money valuation appears to have topped out in 2015.

Angel Activities

Most angel groups had a median investment of two new deals in the first half of 2016. The most active angel groups, however, had a median investment of 16 new deals during the same time period. The report lists some of the most active groups if you’re interested in delving into the detailed information.

Founder Demographics

Startup founders who receive angel investments continue to be predominantly white males and are more likely to receive funding even if the founding “team” is a single individual. Female-led startups are more likely to have a co-founder; half of the time, that co-founder is male. Startups with co-founders appear to be more likely to receive outside investment than startups with a single founder. These demographic statistics are new to ARI reporting and will be interesting to track in the year-end report.


The 2017 year-end HALO report may have some surprises in store for those of us who follow angel investing. With more reporting, the data will hopefully be more accurate and provide us with a better picture of the current state of angel investing in the US. Additionally, the year-end reports tend to include data on exits, which are lacking in the smaller mid-year report. While investment opportunities should be considered individually, it’s useful to bear this information on deal flow, industries, and valuation in mind as we consider where to invest in the future.

About the Author

Dr. Joe Johnson is an entrepreneur, investor, and startup expert. He is the founder and principal of GoodField Investments and the GoodField Foundation (

Joe has a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurial Leadership and an MBA. He is the author of the upcoming book on The Science of Why Most Entrepreneurs Fail and Some Succeed.

Most importantly, he is the incredibly blessed husband of one amazing wife and father of six wonderful children. He resides in Bradenton, Florida. For more information on Dr. Johnson and his work, go to