How Angel Squad Helps Accelerate High-Quality Deal Flow

Judy Abad is a Partner at Abad Capital, the family-run venture firm fueling next-gen tech. Their portfolio spans names like Mercury, Atoms, Eight Sleep, Blue Bottle Coffee, and more.

She was also an early hire and held leadership roles at Facebook, Instagram, Slack, and WhatsApp. We sat down with Judy to learn how Angel Squad elevated her investing playbook. We dive into:

  1. Her rubric for gauging whether you should dive into angel investing
  2. The importance of sharing your wins and losses as an investor
  3. How high-quality deal flow through Angel Squad reduces lift
“Angel Squad feels like a masterclass in investing. You’re also able to tactically participate and reap the benefits of finding and funding great companies.”

An accelerated pipeline for high-quality deal flow

Since joining Angel Squad, Judy has seen an upgrade across the board in the quality of deals that land on her desk. This manifests in three ways:

  1. Alignment — Many of the scaled startups Angel Squad evaluates are companies Judy has already been interested in and felt well-aligned with.
  2. Access – Despite interest in many companies, Judy hadn’t pursued access to them during prior rounds — until now.
  3. Saved time — Due to the impressive baseline quality of most Angel Squad deals, she estimates she cuts down her typical sourcing and diligence timelines by 75%.

In her words, she’s come to inherently trust the Hustle Fund team and their process, so it’s far easier to reach a decision on an investment when it has their stamp of approval.

Beyond this, Angel Squad has become an all-around reliable channel for great deals, due to:

  • The broader network of (unaffiliated) angels involved in Angel Squad deals
  • One-on-one calls, meet-and-greets, and other intros facilitated by Hustle Fund GPs

Ultimately, Angel Squad stands out as a community because every member genuinely aims to support both founders and their fellow investors. It’s a mutual win where:

  1. Founders are connected to more angels with both the funds and the skill sets
  2. Squad members build their portfolios as well as Hustle Fund’s larger reputation
“I implicitly trust the Hustle Fund team. Evaluating a deal that comes through Angel Squad takes 1/4 of the time that I spend on my usual processes.”

Learn directly from experienced & established investors

When she first ventured into investing, Judy approached the learning curve the same way she did early on in her tech career:

You want to surround yourself with as many talented people as possible to gain as many great inputs as possible. Then, you'll slowly formulate your own thesis and framework.

All of that starts by reaching out to those in the industry with more experience than you, so you can learn from both their successes and failures.

Angel Squad facilitated all of this by providing her direct access to the Hustle Fund team. As she puts it: “There isn’t really anything quite like Angel Squad that I’ve experienced.”

By watching our GPs (Judy shouts out Elizabeth, Eric, and Haley) walk through their workflows on deals they’ve recently pursued or passed on, she’s felt pushed to think harder and smarter about her own processes — both in and out of the Angel Squad ecosystem.

She also notes how powerful it is that the Hustle Fund team seems completely unabashed when reflecting on the deals they’ve said “no” to or investments that have gone under.

While the yeses and wins are (obviously) easier to celebrate, she’s found the personal and professional failures to be far more informative and essential to growth.

“I’m so impressed by the Hustle Fund team. They’re thoughtful and articulate in outlining their thinking around deals. That’s been very, very valuable.”

Who should join Angel Squad? What can they expect?

For those who are on the fence about joining Angel Squad (or trying out angel investing in the first place), Judy recommends reevaluating your goals.

How serious do you want to be about investing? How much of your personal wealth are you realistically comfortable with putting into private companies vs. the public markets?

It’s essential to start there because, at the end of the day, investing is risky. You’re far likelier to lose your money on a bunch of startups than you are to generate new money.

All you'll have to carry you through is the conviction to support a venture (based on its founder, metrics, market, etc.) without a crystal-clear picture of its future.

Why go with Angel Squad?

If you do decide angel investing is the best next step for you, Judy champions Angel Squad as a community and resource to smooth those early growing pains (of which there are many).

When she joined Angel Squad’s inaugural cohort, she told herself: “I’ll give this a try. But if I don’t feel I’m getting what I paid for, I won’t continue this.”

Needless to say, she’s renewed year after year. “I really do think this community is worth it, especially for people who are first coming into angel investing and want to devote time and capital to it.”

After nearly two years with Angel Squad, she describes us as an impactful, low-risk way to:

  • Gain tangible access to high-quality deal flow
  • Learn a ton from Hustle Fund’s GPs and their star-studded networks
  • Meet other angels who’ll become “lifelong friends” and reliable advisors
“​​Each new Squad brings so much energy. You get a breadth of people who are so talented in different ways, coming together with a real desire to help founders.”

Learn, network, support founders and invest alongside Hustle Fund.