The process of raising enough capital is the backbone of every startup. But company founders will agree that it is easier said than done. With a limited operating period, few assets and no reputation to rely on, convincing investors to fund your startup is always a challenge. Over the years, various financial instruments have developed to make the fundraising process simpler for startup founders. Venture capitalists are among them.
In this article, we will discuss venture capital funding in detail and also provide a comprehensive list of the most active 100 venture capital firms you can reach out to. Let us begin with the basics.
Venture Capital Funding
Certain financial institutions called venture capital firms have evolved over the years, specializing in investing in early-stage companies. Their funding pattern is designed in a way that they specifically choose high risk emerging businesses to invest in, have a short engagement period, and exit with massive profits. These firms are run by partners known as venture capitalists. Let us discuss these in detail.
What is venture capital funding?
Venture capital funding is a subset of private equity. This pattern of funding is gathering popularity in the startup marketplace and increasingly becoming essential as well. Venture capital is best suited for companies with short operating periods lacking access to capital markets or opportunities for business loans. Most venture capital firms are professionally managed and demand higher interest rates in comparison to stock market investments. All partners have limited ownership while the firm makes investment decisions usually in favor of avenues that most banks and capital markets would deem too risky.
Why do businesses look for venture capitalists for company funding?
Companies raise operating capital in two ways, debt finance and equity finance. Startups and early-stage companies usually cannot afford debt finance due to their high-risk profile and inability to present collaterals. Even in the case of equity financing, these seed-stage companies may not have enough takers for their shares due to a lack of established metrics that justify their success. Hence in such cases, venture capital funding becomes the go-to option as they are designed for investments in this sector. Here are some specific advantages of venture capital funding:
- Expertise – Venture capitalists are usually successful entrepreneurs themselves. Since they get involved in the decision making of the companies they are funding, their expertise is a valuable addition to the startup apart from their invested capital.
- Focused approach – Venture capitalists limit their engagement period with the investing company ensuring a well-planned utilization of their funds. It could be anywhere between 4 – 6 years. The company seeking venture capital must have an exit plan in place which must either target acquisition or IPO. The venture capital firm will handhold the company through this process and will enjoy massive profits once the company succeeds in achieving one of the two exits.
- No repayment –This is a unique feature of venture capital funding. They invest big and want the companies to grow quickly. But if the company fails, entrepreneurs are not liable to return the money as would be required in regular loans. Venture capital firms take calculated risks and adhere to strict guidelines that ensure that if at all a startup was to fail, it would be due to unprecedented market forces and a collective loss with minimal chances of foul play.
- Network – Since venture capitalists are business giants themselves, a startup engaging with them automatically gains access to the partner’s networking channels. This may open up advanced funding avenues for the company as well as improve access to a pool of professional talent needed for the company to expand.
Finding Right VC for your Company
At the onset, one must know that the majority of startups applying for venture capital funds will be declined. According to Business magazine Inc., only a mere 0.62% of startups manage to secure VC funds. This low rate indicates the precision with which venture capitalists select the businesses worth their time and money. However, there is no reason to be disheartened. A methodical approach to this funding process will win you the much-awaited funds. Before approaching a firm, let us first understand the different stages of venture capital funds.
Types of venture capital funding
A venture capitalist does not prefer to enter a business either too early when the product viability has not yet been tested or too late when the markets become competitive. Though they are known to invest in all of the following categories, a startup stands a much better chance if they have secured the preliminary funds from other sources. The three tiers of venture capital funding are:
- Startup stage – Also known as the pre-seed stage, this is the point when the startup is crossing the idea stage and moving into product development. Funding at this stage helps the company to set up its operations. Usually, founders seek startup funding from close, reliable sources such as friends and family or approach angel investors. A venture capitalist may show interest at this stage only if the idea is compelling and they see profits in backing this company right from inception. However, normally they invest in the later stages.
- Seed stage – This is the stage when the company plans to use its product or service to test the market. At this point, they would not have begun large scale commercial operations. Venture capital firms largely target this stage to make their entry. Funding can be anywhere between $10,000 and $2 million.
- First-round – Also known as the ‘Series A’, this stage of funding is best suited for companies with a go-to-market strategy in place. They usually have a product team and are ready to scale up to commercial manufacturing and sales. ‘Series A’ funding ranges between $2 million and $15 million. The most common investment is $5 million. Since it is a substantial amount of money, the startup must have a business model in place and are expected to use this money to raise revenue as well. To secure these funds, the business now must show promise of becoming a great company.
By now we have gathered a fair idea about venture capitalists and their funding options. The next section provides a comprehensive list of 100 active venture capitalist firms detailing their investments and operating industries.
Best 100 Active Venture Capitalist Firms
A venture capitalist has access to a large fund but a short window to generate huge returns. On average, 1 out of 20 investments holds promise for high returns. Hence the partner has to be choosy about investments as the returns not only have to generate additional funds for the venture capital firm, but also cover for the losses incurred in high-risk investments. Entrepreneurs must be well equipped with the nature of operations of their target VC. The following information aims to provide a good starting point.
|Name||Number of Investments||Total Funds||Key Investments/Exits||VC firm industry|
|500 Startups||2,279||SendGrid, Credit Karma, TaskRabbit, Keen, Reddit, Life360||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Accel||1,424||$12.3 Billion||Facebook, Groupon, Dropbox, Spotify, Etsy, Baidu, Hootsuite, Slack||Finance, Online Portals, Venture Capital|
|Advanced Technology Ventures||238||$1.8 Billion||AltaRock Energy, Liquid Engines, Handango, Nominum, CaliSolar||Finance, Payments, Venture Capital|
|Alumni Ventures Group||384||Astra, Grafiti, Notable Labs, Ozone.AI, Spiral, Thousand Fell||Angel Group, Micro VC|
|Andreessen Horowitz||806||$4.2 Billion||Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, Jawbone, Skype, Pinterest, Slack||Angel Investment, Finance, Venture Capital|
|ARCH Ventures Partners||334||$1.5 Billion||Teach.com, Classmates Online||Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Venture Capital|
|Atlas Venture||508||$2 Billion||Isilon Systems, Actelion, Spotfire, Solid Works, Daily Motion||Biotechnology, Health Care, Pharmaceutical|
|Atomico Ventures||165||$2.7 Billion||Supercell, Quid, Rovio Entertainment, Jawbone, Mapillary, Fab,||Finance, Impact Investing, Venture Capital|
|August Capital||258||$2.5 Billion||Fastly, Bill.com, Wepay, Mavenir, Zulily, Celect, Quandl||Venture Capital|
|Austin Ventures||375||$3.9 Billion||HomeAway, SpiceWorks, WhaleShark Media, CompUSA||Angel Investment, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Azure Capital Partners||134||$750 Million||Tripping.com, education.com, Cooking.com, PredictionIO, Fanxchange||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Bain Capital Ventures||415||$2.9 Billion||LinkedIn, SurveyMonkey, Doubleclick, Shopping.com, Taleo||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Balderton Capital||298||$3 Billion||Motif, Recorded Future, Talend, Worldstores, Digital Surgery, Level Up||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Battery Ventures||689||$4 Billion||Groupon, Omniture, Metro PCS, Nova Technologies, Glassdoor.com||Finance, Financial Services, FinTech, Venture Capital|
|Benchmark Capital||598||$3 Billion||eBay, Twitter, Ariba, Juniper Networks, Red Hat, Tropos Networks||Angel Investment, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Bessemer Venture Partners||949||$6 Billion||Skype, VeriSign, Yelp, LinkedIn, Zoosk, LifeLock, Twilio, DocuSign||E-Commerce, FinTech, Health Care, SaaS, Security|
|BGF (Business Growth Fund)||301||$3 Billion||Workshare, Aimbrain, Unruly, Adestra, Genedrive PLC, Tapdaq||Finance, Financial Services, FinTech, Venture Capital|
|Canaan Partners||606||$4.2 Billion||Acme Packet, CommerceOne, Cerexa, Dexcom||Biopharma, FinTech, Health Care, Venture Capital|
|CapitalG||74||CrowdStrike, Cloudfare, Glassdoor, Lending Club, Care.com, FanDuel||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Charles River Ventures||507||$2.1 Billion||RPX, ZenDesk, SpiderCloud Wireless, Scribd, Rive Technology||Consumer, Enterprise, Venture Capital|
|Clearstone Venture Partners||104||$650 Million||eToys, Overture, PayPal, United Online, MP3.com, Internet Brands||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Crosslink Capital||359||$1.6 Billion||Personal Capital, Coupa Software, Pandora, UpCounsel, Zoosk||Big Data, Cloud Infrastructure, FinTech|
|DAG Ventures||245||$500+ Million||Yelp, Zynga, BitTorrent, Metacafe||Finance, Venture Capital|
|Digital Sky Technologies||112||$1.7 Billion||Facebook, Xiaomi, Alibaba Group, JD.com, Draftkings, Twitter, Spotify||Finance, Financial Services, Internet, Venture Capital|
|Draper Fisher Jurvetson||83||$7 Billion||Baidu, Skype, Overture, Hotmail, Tesla Motors, SpaceX||Angel Investment, Digital Media, Venture Capital|
|Elevation Partners||19||$1.9 Billion||Facebook, Forbes, MarketShare, Yelp||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Enterprise Ireland||587||Decawave, Clavis Insight, Trustev, Redt, Gridstore||Digital Media, Finance, FinTech, Medical Device, Software|
|EQT Ventures||77||$1.5 Billion||Small Giant Games, Nectarine Health AB, BIMobject, Unomaly,||Finance, Impact Investing, Venture Capital|
|ff Venture Capital||342||$150+ Million||CyberX, Cornerstone OnDemand, Plated, Identified, Clarity Money||Cyber Security, Software, Venture Capital|
|Fidelity Ventures||108||$1.5+ Billion||Alibaba Group, Ping Identity, BlackDuck, Xoom, Redhill Biopharma||Enterprise Software, Finance, Venture Capital|
|First Round Capital||731||$500 Million||Agari, VideoEgg, Outright, Wikia, LinkedIn, del.icio.us, Remind||Finance, Financial Services, News, Venture Capital|
|FirstMark Capital||255||DraftKings, Upwork, Engagio, Riot Games, Shopify, Pinterest,||Consumer, Enterprise, Venture Capital|
|Foundation Capital||535||$2.4 Billion||SimplyHired, Lending Club, Alto Networks, Pano Logic||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Galen Partners||26||$1.6 Billion||Hubspot, Kayak.com, Boxee, Snapchat, Black Duck Software||Biotechnology, Health Care, Venture Capital|
|GE Ventures||170||ServiceMax, Sonnen, Teem by iOFFICE, SolarEdge Technologie, Lucid||Health Care, IT, Manufacturing, SaaS, Venture Capital|
|General Catalyst||716||$2+ BIllion||HubSpot, Vroom, Ping Identity, Jet, Giphy, Handy||Consumer, Enterprise, Mobile, Venture Capital|
|Genesis Partners||111||$600+ Million||SolarEdge Technologies, EatWith, Profitect, PrimeSense||Angel Investment, Enterprise, ICT, Venture Capital|
|GGV Capital||602||$6.2 Billion||Alibaba, Airbnb, Grab, Peloton Interactive, Slack|
|Google Ventures||$1.5 Billion||Nest, Kabam, RetailMeNot, HomeAway, Uber, Jaunt|
|Granite Ventures||165||$2.2 Billion||Plumtree Software, Sendmail, Westbridge Technology, Wish, FlightCar,||Angel Investment, Finance, Financial Services|
|GreenSpring Associates||169||$2.7 Billion||SolidFire, Teladoc, JW Player, AtTask, Nutanix||Angel Investment, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Greycroft Partners||517||$218 Million||Buddy Media, Klout, Trunk Club, Plated||Banking, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Greylock Partners||704||$2 Billion||Groupon, LinkedIn, Pandora, Facebook, Dropbox, tumblr, Payoneer||Consumer, Enterprise Software, Venture Capital|
|GV||712||$2.4 Billion||DocuSign, Lemonade, HubSpot, Uber, OnDeck, Cloudera, Slack||Finance, Venture Capital|
|HealthCap||89||$1+ Billion||Fusion Pharmaceuticals, PTC Therapeutics, Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical||Venture Capital|
|Hercules Technology Growth Capital||108||$2.8 Billion||Ancestry.com, Aveo Pharmaceuticals, GreatPoint Energy, Reply.com||Comm. Lending, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Highland Capital Partners||429||$3 Billion||Lycos, PinkBerry, Digg, Vistaprint, AskJeeves.com, Pixable||Finance, Financial Services, Fintech, Venture Capital|
|Horizons Ventures||213||$150+ Million||Facebook, Zoom, Razer, Spotify, Slack, Waze, Misfit Wearables||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|IDG Capital||$6.8 Billion||Simply Hired, Leap Commerce, Infoseek, NetScape, Virtual Ink|
|Ignition Partners||295||$2 Billion||Azuqua, Bionym, Keas, Couchbase, Hipmunk||Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Software, IT,|
|Index Ventures||811||$5.6 Billion||Facebook, Etsy, Skype, Trello, Duo Security, Dropbox, Slack||Angel Investment, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Insight Venture Partners||428||$7.6 Billion||Flipboard, Living Social, Twitter, Tumblr, Workforce, Qualtrics||Education, Finance, Fintech, Health care, Software|
|Institutional Venture Partners||292||$4 Billion||AppDynamics, The Honest Company, Wikia, xAd, Yext, ZipRecruiter||Financial Services, Impact Investing, Venture Capital|
|Intel Capital||1,366||$12.4 Billion||North, Docusign, Iflytek, Spot, Razer, MangoDB, Animoca Brands||CleanTech, Enterprise, Venture Capital|
|IVP||292||$7 Billion||GitHub, Business Insider, Twitter, Uber, Netflix, Vonage||Financial Services, Impact Investing, Venture Capital|
|JMI Equity||123||$2.1 Billion||Undertone, BlackBaud, DoubleClick, Unica, Network Intelligence||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Kapor Capital||205||$100+ Million||Uber, Wepow, Life360, WriteLab, Bitly, Managed by Q||Finance, Venture Capital|
|Khosla Ventures||733||$1.3 Billion||Square, Okta, Advanced Food, Cogenra, EcoMotors||Financial Services, Health Care, Venture Capital|
|Kleiner Perkins||1,168||$9 Billion||Beyond Meat, Twitter, Uber, Slack, Google, Amazon.com||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Lightspeed Venture Partners||814||$2 Billion||Blue Nile, Calista, DataStax, DoubleClick, eHealth, Snapchat||Bitcoin, Cloud Computing, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Matrix Partners||538||$2.4 Billion||Apple, SanDisk, VERITAS Software, Xilinx, Loggly, Kinnek||Advertising, E-commerce, Fintech, Saas, Security|
|Mayfield Fund||533||$2.7 Billion||Compaq, Silicon Graphics, Amgen, Nuance, Citrix, Snapfish||Consumer, Enterprise, Financial Services, Health care|
|Menlo Ventures||594||$4 Billion||3Par, Hotmail, Ironport, MobiTV, Siri, Uber, Vidyo||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Meritech Capital Partners||264||$2.6 Billion||Cornerstone OnDemand, Facebook, Fortinet, Salesforce.com||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Mohr Daviddow Ventures||295||$1.8 Billion||Oni Systems, Crescendo BioScience, Recurrent Energy||Banking, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Morgenthaler Ventures||285||$2.8 Billion||Apple, Ardian, Atria, NexTag, NEXTEL, Nuance, Siri, Verifone||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|New Enterprise Associates||1,589||$11 Billion||Uber, 3com, CareerBuilder, Diapers.com, TiVo, Vonage, WebMD||Biotechnology, Health Care, Pharmaceutical, Saas|
|Norwest Venture Partners||678||$3.7 Billion||Cerent, Documentum, PeopleSoft, Tivoli Systems||B2B, Finance, Health care, Venture Capital|
|Oak Investment Partners||390||$8.4 Billion||MobiTV, Office Depot, Huffington Post, PetSmart, Sandisk,||Angel Investment, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Plug and Play Tech Center||1,009||Verse, Life360, Frame, Notion, Honey, Grove||Business Development, Venture Capital|
|Polaris Partners||531||$4 Billion||Editas Medicine, Veracode, Phreesia, Pointy, Localytics, Twistlock||Big Data, Biotechnology, Health care, Venture Capital|
|Redpoint Ventures||610||$2 Billion||Blue Kai, Envia, Gaia, MobiTV, Scribd, Danger, Fortinet, LifeSize||Venture Capital|
|Revolution LLC||214||$1+ Billion||DraftKings, Handy, CLEAR, LivingSocial, Booker, SpareFoot||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Rho Ventures||104||$2 Billion||August Home, NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Everyday Health||Cleantech, financial services, venture capital|
|Rothenberg Ventures||109||Keen, Luxe, AltspaceVR, Inverse, Codeship, Careport Health||AI, Big Data, Digital Entertainment, Robotics|
|RRE Ventures||491||$1 Billion||Apriva, Concur, eMachines, bit.ly, Qpass, Vocera, Watchguard||Big Data, E-commerce, Finance, Hardware, IT|
|Salesforce Ventures||435||Docusign, MongoDB, Twilio, HubSpot, SurveyMonkey, Domo||Cloud Computing, CRM, Enterprise Software|
|Sapphire Ventures||229||$1.4 Billion||PayScale, LinkedIn, Blackduck, WebEx, Lithium, Alteryx, Alfresco||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Scale Venture Partners||232||$1 Billion||Agari, Box, DataStax, Demandbase, HubSpot||Finance, FInancial Services, Software, Venture Capital|
|Sequoia Capital||1,335||$4 billion||Apple, Google, Kayak, LinkedIn,PayPal, Yahoo!, YouTube||Angel Investment, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Sevin Rosen Funds||212||$1.6 Billion||Compaq, Cypress Semiconductor, Electronic Arts, Lotus Development||Enterprise Software, Market Research, Semiconductor|
|Social Capital||382||$1.2 Billion||Wave, SurveyMonkey, Flatiron Health, Box, Slack, Kit, Hinge||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Sofinnova Ventures||223||$1.4 Billion||Collagen Aesthetics, Biogen, Genentech, Tandem Computers||Biotechnology, Health care, Venture Capital|
|SOSV||1,754||Motiv, Leap Motion, Kindara, Fleksy Keyboard, Dispatch||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Spark Capital||373||$4 Billion||North, Oculus, Twitter, Wayfair, MIRROR, Cruise, Slack, Verse||Consumer, Enterprise, Fintech, Hardware, Marketplace|
|Stripes Group||57||$1.2 Billion||Flatiron Health, Seamless/Grubhub, Blue Apron, GoFundMe||Consumer, Digital Media, Fintech, Internet, Saas|
|Technology Crossover Ventures||344||$7.7 Billion||dough, ExtraHop, JustFab, NewVoiceMedia, Networks||Digital Media, E-commerce, Financial Services, IT|
|Tenaya Capital||167||$750 Million||Kayak, LifeSize, Zappos, Overture, Lithium, ThreatMetrix||Analytics, Enterprise Software, Venture Capital|
|The Founders Fund||549||$250 Million||Facebook, SpaceX, Spotify, Quantcast, Airbnb, Lyft, Stripe||Angel Investment, Finance, Venture Capital|
|Third Rock Ventures||103||$1.3 Billion||Editas Medicine, Pliant Therapeutics, Foundation Medicine||Biotechnology, Health care, Medical Device|
|Tiger Global Management||418||$36 Billion||Bilibili, Facebook, Xiaomi, Alibaba Group, JD.com, Softbank, Glassdoor||IT, Social Media, telecomm., Wealth Management|
|Trinity Ventures||409||$1 Billion||Blue Nile, Mobile Messenger, PayScale, PhotoBucket, Loggly, Docker||Finance, Saas, Venture Capital|
|U.S. Venture Partners||505||$2.7 Billion||Sun Microsystems, SanDisk, AskJeeves, PetSmart||Enterprise Software, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Union Square Ventures||298||$1 Billion||Twitter, MongoDB, Twilio, Etsy, Cloudflare, Lending Club, Kik, Zynga||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|VantagePoint Venture Partners||263||$4+ Billion||Klipsch Audio, Mobile 365, Scribd, Solazyme, Tesla Motors||Energy, Health Care, Information Technology|
|Venrock||632||$2.6 Billion||Intel, Apple, DoubleClick, 3Com, Check Point Software, Gilead Sciences||Advertising, Fintech, Hardware, Health care, Security|
|Viola Ventures||205||$1.3 Billion||OptimalPlus, Outbrain, Clarizen, LiveU, Origami Logic, Tapingo||Venture Capital|
|Wellington Partners Venture Capital||197||$700 Million||Spotify, Themis Bioscience, Mapillary, Oxford Immunotec||Finance, Financial Services, Venture Capital|
|Western Technology Investment||231||$3 Billion||3PAR, Brocade, Facebook, Google, Youku.com||Advertising, Analytics, Venture Capital|
|Y Combinator||2,981||Twitch, Carvana, Reddit, HelloSign, Dropbox, Mailgun||Advertising, Analytics, Venture Capital|
This comprehensive list was gathered from public data online, mainly from sources like Crunchbase, CB insights and others. This data is for informational purposes only. Should you have any suggestions on updates to this data, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly follow up with you.
List of Important VC Firms
Further to the 100 active venture capitalist firms mentioned above, based on their funding history, we have narrowed the listing to the 15 most important. The following section provides a brief about each of these VC firms.
Formerly known as Accel Partners, Accel is a venture capital firm founded by Arthur Patterson and Jim Swartz in 1983. Accel believes in the investment philosophy of the ‘Prepared mind’ that requires deep focus, disciplined, and an informed approach to investing. Accel funds startups in the seed, early, and growth stages of investment.
Some successful companies backed by Accel for almost 35 years are: Atlassion, Braintree, Cloudera, Crowdstrike, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, FreshWorks, Jet, Qualtrics, Stack, Spotify, Supercell, UiPath, & Vox Media. Accel has a founder-centric approach with a focus on their originality. With three operating headquarters in USA, UK, and India, Accel is a unified brand but operates as four different independent legal entities: Accel Management Company Inc (California, USA), Accel London Management Ltd. & Accel Partners Management LLP (London, UK), and IDG-VC Management (Hongkong, China).
Their investment focus is computing & storage infrastructure, consumer internet & media, enterprise software & services, mobile, networking systems, retail consumer, and security & technology enabled services. Accel has recorded 292 successful exits so far.
2) Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital, headquartered in Menlo Park, California, is a venture capital firm founded by Don Valentine in 1972. It has a reputation of helping daring founders build legendary companies that make a meaningful difference. They fund companies in their incubation, early stage, seed stage, and growth stages. Their investment focus is on energy, financials, enterprise, healthcare, internet, and mobile startups. However, a vast majority of their investments are on behalf of non-profit organizations such as Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic, and MIT.
Since 1972, Sequoia Capital has funded over 1,000 companies that run businesses worth 22% of NASDAQ. As of 2016, Sequoia Capital is operating through 11 partners globally and manages multiple investment funds specifically in India, SE Asia, Israel, and China. They have offices across the globe in major business hubs such as Menlo Park, Singapore, Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, HongKong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tel Aviv. Some of the top names backed by Sequoia Capital include giants such as Apple, Google, Oracle, Nvidia, GitHub, PayPal, LinkedIn, Stripe, Bird, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo & WhatsApp. Sequoia Capital has recorded 285 successful exits so far.
3) Kleiner Perkins
Kleiner Perkins, set up in 1972, is a venture capital firm founded by four founding partners Eugene Kleiner, Tom Perkins, Frank.J.Caufield, and Brook Byers. It was formerly known as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Headquartered in Menlo Park, San Francisco, they have an office in Shanghai as well. Kleiner Perkins believes in investing in founders who have bold ideas spanning industries and partner with companies right from their inception to IPO and beyond.
Their investment focuses on early computer firms using their devices, programming, and service companies. They also invest in digital, life sciences, healthcare industries. Since their inception, they have backed close to 900 companies including pioneers such as America Online, Amazon.com, Tandem Computers, Compaq, Electronic Arts, JD.com, Square, Genentech, Google, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Nest, Synack, Snap, AppDynamics, Desktop Metal, IronNet, Ring, Spotify, Slack, UiPath, and Twitter. Kleiner Perkins has a track record of 251 successful exits.
4) Khosla Ventures
Khosla Ventures is a venture capital firm founded in 2004 in Menlo Park, California, by Vinod Khosla, Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems and former general partner of Kleiner Perkins. This VC firm believes in the philosophy of ‘tackling large problems that are amenable to technological solutions’. They specialize in providing ‘venture assistance and strategic advice to entrepreneurs working in breakthrough technology’. Khosla Ventures’ investment focus is on consumer, enterprise, education, advertisement, financial services, semiconductors, health, big data, agriculture, food, sustainable energy, and robotics.
They fund companies mostly in their early-stage and growth stages with a special focus on technology risk based investing in massive markets. Apart from these innovations, Vinod Khosla has also founded ‘Khosla Labs’, an investment and business incubation firm. This initiative was directed towards exploring opportunities around the Unique Identity Number System for the residents of India known as ‘Aadhar’. Since their inception, Khosla Ventures has recorded 98 profitable exits so far.
5) New Enterprise Associates
New Enterprise Associates is a venture capital firm founded in 1977 by Richard Kramlich, Chuck Newhall and Frank Bonsal. They are headquartered in Menlo Park, California, and Washington DC with additional offices in Baltimore, Bengaluru, Beijing, Boston, Mumbai, New York City, San Francisco, and Shanghai.
They fund companies right from the seed stage to IPO and focus on ‘helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors, and geographies’. Their investments are broadly focused in two sectors, Technology and Healthcare. In technology, they cater to software & services, systems, consumer & internet and energy. While in healthcare, they invest in biopharma, devices, and services. They have successfully funded about 1,000 companies over the years. Some of the names carrying NEA investments are: 23andMe, 3com, Appian, Braintree, Buzzfeed, CareerBuilder, Caremark Rx, Cvent, Diapers.com, Enigma, Formlabs, Fusion-io, Groupon, Jet.com, The Learning Company, Macromedia, Masterclass, Raise Marketplace, Robinhood Markets, Salesforce.com, Tableau Software, WebMD and Workday. New Enterprise Associates has recorded around 365 exits so far.
6) Andreessen Horowitz
Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, and legally named AH Capital Management, LLC, Andreesen & Horowitz, also known as a16z, is a venture capital firm founded in 2009. The founders are Marc Andreesen and Ben Horowitz who have a popular reputation of being super angel investors. This firm is stage agnostic and fund companies right from their seed stage through their late stages.
Their investments are focused on bio, cultural leadership, consumer, crypto, enterprise, fintech, and growth portfolios. a16z like to be defined by their ‘respect for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial company building processes’. All their general partners are former founders, operators, CEOs and CTOs of successful technology driven enterprises with a wealth of expertise spanning domains of biology, crypto, distributed systems, security, and financial services.
Some reputed names backed by a16z are Accolade, AltSchool, GoodData, Mercury, Netography, SmartCar, HealthIQ, Carta, Waymo, WorkBoard, Apeel Sciences, BioAge, Freenome, PatientPing, SandBox, Yubico, Airbnb, Buzzfeed, Pinterest, Transferwise, Zynga, Dfinity, Polychain Capital, Facebook, and Instagram. They have claimed 132 successful exits so far.
Benchmark, founded in 1995 by Bob Kagle, Bruce Dunlevie, Andy Rachleff, and Kevin Harvey is a venture capital firm headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA. They specialize in seed funding and focus their investments on social, mobile, local, and cloud companies with emphasis on marketplaces, infrastructure, and enterprise software.
Since their inception, they have funded more than 250 companies with a market value surpassing $100 billion. Benchmark is unique in the way the firm is structured. They are reputed for creating the first equal ownership and compensation structure for partners. This is a deviation as compared to other venture capital firms named after their founders and adhering to hierarchical operations. Benchmark is a ‘lean operation in which its six full-time partners share profits equally’. The current six general partners are Matt Cohler, Peter Fenton, Bill Gurley, Mitch Lasky, Eric Vishria, and Scott Belsky, and don’t have any CEO-like position.
Some top names who Benchmark has supported are eBay, Juniper networks, MySQL, OpenTable, Yelp, Friendster, JAMDAT, Instagram, Hortonworks, DropBox, Uber, Twitter, Zipcar, Quora, Demandforce, and DOMO. Benchmark has recorded 157 exits so far.
8) Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners was founded in 1911 by Carnegie Steel’s co-founder Henry Phipps, initially as a family office named as Bessemer Securities. But by 1974, this exponentially grew beyond family management and Bessemer Venture Partners was established as a venture capital firm. They are headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA and 15 investing partners operate globally from offices in Redwood city, New York city, Boston, Israel, and India.
They invest in all stages of a company starting from the seed to IPOs and focus their investments on enterprise, consumer, and healthcare. As of 2019, Bessemer Venture Partners have invested in more than 120 IPOs including pioneers such as LinkedIn, Skype, Shopify, Pinterest, Yelp, Lifelock, Twilio, Pagerduty, SendGrid, DocuSign, Wix.com, Box, Mindbody, and VeriSign. Some of their other investments in frontier, healthcare, and consumer enterprises are Zoom, Zapier, Habana labs, BigID, Toast, LaunchDarkly, Guild Education, Betterment, Service Titan, and Adaptive Insights. Over the years, Bessemer Venture Partners have showcased 206 profitable exits in their portfolio.
9) Founders Fund
Founders Fund was formed by Peter Thiel, Ken Howery, and Luke Nosek in 2005. Headquartered in San Francisco, this venture capital firm does not have a particular focus regarding their investments. They fund companies across all sectors, stages of operations, and geographies. Their main interests however are science and technology companies who aim to solve difficult problems. They focus on aerospace, artificial intelligence; advanced computing, energy, health, and consumer internet.
This firm follows a ‘founder friendly investment strategy, providing maximum support with minimal interference’. Founders Fund is reputed as one of the first institutional investors in Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Palantir Technologies and was also one of the earliest investors in Facebook. Some of the other trail blazers in Founder Funds’ portfolio are companies like Spotify, Airbnb, Lyft, Stripe, Built Robotics, Flexport, Wish and Nubank. As of now, they have 87 successful exits to their credit.
10) Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a European venture capital firm founded in 1996 by Neil Rimer, David Rimer, and Giuseppe Zocco. It has its origins in a Swiss-bond trading company called Index Securities founded in 1976 by Neil Rimer’s father Gerald Rimer. They work in collaboration with nine partners and have dual headquarters in London and San Francisco with an additional office at Geneva.
Index invests in technology enabled companies with a focus on e-commerce, fintech, mobility, gaming, infrastructure, AI, and security. They support companies through all stages of growth and have a people centric approach that aims to build lifelong relationships with entrepreneurs. Some of the companies they have started include names like Supercell, Deliveroo, Dropbox, FarFetch, King, Adyen, and Slack. As of now Index has 170 exits to their name.
11) 500 Startups
500 Startups was founded in 2010 by Dave McClare and Christine Tsai as an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator. Reputed as one of the most active venture capital firms in the world, they hold a glorious track record of backing over 2,400 startups in more than 75 countries, and a talent pool of over 5,000 founders in their portfolio. Some big names include EatApp, Little Eye Labs, Cucumbertown, Canva, and Udemy. Headquartered in San Francisco, they operate via offices in Mexico City, Miami, Dubai, Bahrain, Istanbul, Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh city, and Kuala Lumpur.
500 Startups support startups via their ‘Seed Accelerator Programs which emphasize digital marketing, customer acquisition, lean startup practices, and fundraising for pre-Seed companies’. They help develop innovation ecosystems by supporting startups and investors through educational programs, events, conferences, and partnerships with corporations and governments around the world. They have recorded 231 exits till date.
12) Y Combinator
Y Combinator is a seed money startup accelerator founded in 2005 by Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, Robert Morris, and Trevor Blackwell. They are headquartered in San Francisco. They have a unique funding model by which they select two batches of startups per year, provide them seed money and incubate them for 3 months. Their motto is ‘Make something people want’. Throughout this incubation period, apart from seed capital they provide advice and connections in exchange for 7% equity of the company. The incubation period ends with a ‘demo day’ when startups present their companies to a select audience of investors.
Over the years they have launched more than 2,000 startups including names like Airbnb, Cruise Automation, DoorDash, Coinbase, Instacart, Dropbox, and Twitch. Y Combinator has recorded 288 successful exits so far.
13) IDG Capital
IDG Capital is a venture capital firm with a global presence and special focus on China. Founded in 1992 by Jim Breyer, IDG was the first global investor firm to enter China back in the 90s and were the earliest investors of Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi, Meituan, and Qihoo 360. Some of their investments in the US and Europe are ZOOX, Rossignol, Acne Studios, Legendary Entertainment, Circle, Ripple, Farfetch, and Moncler while those in Asia-Pacific regions include Razer, Club Factory and Gentle Monster.
Their official headquarters is in Beijing, China with worldwide offices in New York, London, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. As of 2019, they have been listed among the top three investors of Chinese unicorns. IDG funds companies through all their stages and focuses on scientific research, technology innovation and strategic partnerships in the technology sector. Their strength lies in their capacity of a powerful combination of global perspective and local experience. Over the years they have funded more than 800 companies and made close to 190 successful exits
14) Intel Capital
Intel Capital, founded in 1991 by Les Vadasz, and Avram Miller was originally called Corporate Business Development (CBD) and set up as Intel’s strategic investment organization. Headquartered in Santa Clara,California, they fund companies at all stages of their operations. Their investment areas include a range of technology startups and companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting artificial intelligence, autonomous technology, data center and cloud, 5G, next-generation computing, semiconductor manufacturing and other technologies.
They operate globally through 26 offices, including those in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Israel, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, USA. Some of the top Intel Capital investments are Actions Semiconductor, AVG, Bellrock Media, Box, Broadcom, Cloudera, Elpida Memory, IndiaInfoline.com, Inktomi, Insyde Software, Integrant Technologies, MySQL, NIIT, Ondot Systems, Rediff.com, Research in Motion (Blackberry), Saffron Technology, and WebMD. Intel Capital has around 402 exits so far.
15) Insight Venture Partners
Insight Partners, headquartered in New York City, was founded by Jeff Horing and Jerry Murdock in 1995. They are a reputed name in the software industry (scale-up stage) and invest in growth-stage technology, software and Internet businesses. Since their inception, Insight has invested in over 400 companies spanning 65 countries in six continents. They operate with the core belief that growth equals opportunities.
Their major investments are in Anaqua, Appriss, Cvent, Campaign Monitor, Diligent, Docker, Drillinginfo, E2open, EveryAction, FireMon, HelloFresh, Hootsuite, Indiegogo, iParadigms, LogTrust, Mimecast, Numetric, Qualtrics, Shopify , SpotHero, Tritech, Twitter, Tumblr, Unitrends and Workforce. Insight has 101 exits to their name.
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