An Angel in New York: Graham Gullans of Empire Angels



It didn’t take long for Graham Gullans to get his hands on billions. After graduating from Boston College’s honors program in 2007, the young angel investor worked as an equity derivatives trader at Citigroup. As a Vice President, he established a quantitative trading strategy, in which he managed $1.5 billion in a statistical arbitrage equity portfolio.

In February 2013, Graham left Citigroup to co-found Empire Angels with fellow BC Eagle Christina Bechhold. Based in New York City, the member-led group is comprised of young professionals investing in early-stage technology startups. EA boasts the youngest membership of all angel organizations in the United States and is the only group “focused on training the Millennial generation of angel investors.” He dispenses startup fundraising advice on his blog, “Early Stage Stories.”

Graham recently led Empire Angels’ investment in ZoomCar, a car-sharing rental company in India. EA first invested in the company in 2012 and decided to reinvest as “Zoom had surpassed every milestone that Empire Angels targeted when we made our investment last Fall,” he told The Wall Street Journal. Graham sits on ZoomCar’s Board of Directors.

Angel Group:

Co-Founder and Founding Managing Director at Empire Angels (founded in 2012)

Sector Focus:

FinTech, AdTech, payments, lending and trading software, mobile apps, e-commerce, education and enterprise software

Selected Investments:

Vodio Labs
Human Demand, Inc.


ZoomCar, Board Director
Human Demand, Board Observer

Expertise areas:

Startups, entrepreneurship, angel investing, technology, finance, algorithms, information systems, portfolio management, private equity, hedge funds.

Blogs, Websites & Twitter:


Memorable quotes:

On fundraising: “Seed capital is the most important funds you’ll ever raise, as it’ll enable you to focus on building a company. If you don’t do this, you’ll spend 12 months struggling to raise capital at less favorable terms, while your competitors leap ahead of you. You have a window of opportunity before someone else comes up with the same idea and executes better.”

On capital: “Without capital, you’ll own 100% equity of a worthless company. With capital, you have the opportunity to be rewarded professionally and economically while making your early stage investors happy.”

On securing investors: “If you’re having trouble fundraising at an early stage, you should not worry about the dilution you take today when thinking about how much you will earn on an exit.”

On ZoomCar: “Empire Angels identified the potential opportunity in Zoom early on. After visiting the company in India and seeing their on-the-ground operations, we were confident that they’d disrupt the massive Indian transportation sector. It was the first round Empire Angels led and is a direct result of our conviction.”

About the author: Claire Carter

Claire graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. She was a copy editor and reporter for her school newspaper, The Maine Campus, and The Working Waterfront, the third largest paper in Maine. She currently lives on the island of Vinalhaven.

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