A term that describes independently wealthy individuals who invest money into businesses, including Internet-related start-ups. As opposed to a venture capital firm, business angels invest their own money as individuals. Angel investments tend to be less than $1 million per venture, but still count as seed money to help ideas and new businesses "get out of the gate."
How about this for historical perspective: In 2005 there were 225,000 active angel investors, putting $22.5 billion in play--up from $18.1 billion in 2003. In 1996 there were 10 formal angel investment groups, in 2005, at least 200. Clearly angel investors--and their money--are out there.