Business Terms Glossary

Lead Investor

Definition of Lead Investor

The phrase Lead Investor can refer to the first, the largest or the most influential investor in any given investment round.

The phrase "bell cow investor" is often used to convey the same meaning. Most cattle herds have a bell cow, the leader who all the other cows follow.

Similarly, in investing, the lead investor or bell cow investor is often somebody who is highly respected by other investors. Rather than doing thorough due diligence on an investment, they may base their decision to invest on the participation of the lead investor.

For entrepreneurs who are raising money, the key takeaway is that it is very helpful to have a respected lead investor. Don't go with Grandma Sally if you can get Warren Buffet instead.

For angel investors and other investors, it's important to remember that lead investors are often wrong. Just because a Warren Buffet invests in something doesn't mean it's a good investment. Don't get stuck standing in the bell cow's cow pie. Always do your own investment research before your write a check.

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