The 25 Top VC Firms

February 26, 2015

11:00 am

As startup experts will tell you, choosing among VC firms should be as much about you liking them as them liking you. So how do you decide?

Many factors might cross your mind, including:

  • Is there a culture fit? Do our personalities and values clash?
  • Can they provide expertise and connections, beyond the mere dollars?
  • Are our expectations for an exit in alignment?

But one criteria that should kick off the investigation is: is this VC firm still active? It’s obviously a waste of time to pitch “zombie” VC firms, which are either inactive or in the process of shutting down.

The most active VC firms in 2014 were recently ranked by a MoneyTree Report (by the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers, based on data from Thomson Reuters). They measured the most active VC firms based on number of deals done in 2014. You can find the top VC firms listed below, along with information about what sectors and stages they invest in:

1. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (110 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Notable investments: Google, Zynga, Amazon, Twitter, Snapchat

Specialties: consumer digital, enterprise digital, life science, sustainability 

Stage: seed, early, growth

2. New Enterprise Associates (105 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Notable investments: 23andMe, BuzzFeed, Coursera, Groupon, Evernote

Specialties: technology (software and services, systems, consumer and Internet, energy), health care (biopharma, devices, services)

Stage: seed, early, growth

3. Andreessen Horowitz (86 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Notable investments: Airbnb, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Pinterest

Specialties: software (consumer, enterprise)

Stage: seed, early, growth

4. First Round Capital (81 deals)

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Notable investments: GroupMe, Mint, Path, StumbleUpon, Uber

Specialties: ecommerce/consumer web, enterprise, financial tech, ad tech, hardware

Stage: seed

5. Google Ventures (66 deals)

Location: Mountain View, CA

Notable investments: Medium, About.me, Uber, HubSpot, 23andMe

Specialties: enterprise, mobile, consumer, health, data, science (US and Europe)

Stage: seed, venture, growth

6. Khosla Ventures (64 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Notable investments: Bitly, Indiegogo, Jawbone, Scribd, Square

Specialties: Internet, computing, mobile, silicon technology, clean technology

Stage: early

7. Atlas Venture (62 deals)

Location: Cambridge, MA

Notable investments: FreshBooks, AngelList, Moo

Specialties: life sciences, technology

Stage: early

8. Sequoia Capital (61 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Notable investments: PayPal, Airbnb, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn

Specialties: energy, financial, health care, Internet, mobile, technology (US, China, India, Israel)

Stage: seed, early, growth

9. True Ventures (56 deals)

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Notable investments: About.me, Fitbit, Automattic, 9GAG, KISSmetrics

Specialties: commerce, consumer devices, infrastructure services, media, mobile, software and services

Stage: early

10. SV Angel (55 deals)

Location: San Francisco, CA

Notable investments: Foursquare, Airbnb, Facebook, Flipboard, Eventbrite

Specialties: Internet, ecommerce, information technology

Stage: early

11. Intel Capital Corporation (54 deals)

Location: Santa Clara, CA

Notable investments: MongoDB, SweetLabs, ViewSonic, Box

Specialties: data center software, data center cloud, digital media, Internet of things, manufacturing and labs, Ultrabook, security, open source services, smartphones and tablets, wearables

Stage: seed, early, growth

12. Canaan Partners (54 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Notable investments: Blip, Match.com, Instacart

Specialties: technology (advertising and marketing, big data/cloud, consumer, enterprise/SaaS, fintech, hardware), health care (biopharma, digital health, medtech) (India, Israel, US)

Stage: early

13. Bessemer Venture Partners (54 deals)

Location: Larchmont, NY

Notable investments: Yelp, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Skype, Shopify

Specialties: cloud computing, cybersecurity, financial services, health care, infrastructure 2.0, marketplaces (India, Israel, US)

Stage: seed, early, growth

14. General Catalyst Partners (52 deals)

Location: Cambridge, MA

Notable investments: Airbnb, Kayak, Snapchat, GroupMe, Stripe

Specialties: consumer, new media, and Internet; software, systems, and services; disruptive technology

Stage: early, growth

15. Accel Partners & Co (48 deals)

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Notable investments: 99designs, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Spotify

Specialties: infrastructure, Internet and consumer services, mobile, software and cloud-enabled services

Stage: early, growth

16. Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA (46 deals)

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Notable investments: Dell Boomi, Sidecar, Neat, Ticketleap

Specialties: IT, life sciences, physical sciences

Stage: early, growth

17. DreamIt Ventures (45 deals)

Location: Bryn Mawr, PA

Notable investments: Betterific, Brideside, Postling, Livewire, Take the Interview

Specialties: web, software, IT, physical sciences, medical devices

Stage: seed

18. Draper Fisher Jurvetson (45 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Notable investments: Skype, Path, Twilio, Box, Yammer

Specialties: consumer, enterprise, disruptive technology

Stage: seed, early, growth

19. Foundation Capital (45 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Notable investments: Netflix, SimplyHired, TubeMogul, SilkRoad

Specialties: consumer, fintech, martech, applications, enterprise, energy

Stage: seed, early, growth

20. Innovation Works (44 deals)

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Notable investments: ModCloth, Lifeshel

Specialties: life sciences, software, hardware, electronics, advanced materials, robotics, energy, consumer products

Stage: seed

21. Polaris Partners (43 deals)

Location: Waltham, MA

Notable investments: Automattic, JustFab, LegalZoom, KISSmetrics, LogMeIn

Specialties: technology (cloud/SaaS/software, ecommerce/consumer Internet, digital media and entertainment), health care (biotech and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health care services, health care IT)

Stage: seed, early, growth

22. 500 Startups (43 deals)

Location: Mountain View, CA

Notable investments: AngelList, Unbounce, Makerbot, Udemy, Twilio

Specialties: consumer ecommerce, family tech and education, design, SMB productivity and cloud services, food tech and digital health care, mobile and tablet, payments and financial services, online video, Bitcoin, ad tech, gaming

Stage: seed, early

23. Lerer Ventures (42 deals)

Location: New York, NY

Notable investments: RebelMouse, SmartThings, Brit + Co, Birchbox, Warby Parker

Specialties: consumer, ad tech, marketplace, SaaS, incubator, education tech

Stage: seed

24. Advanced Technology Ventures (42 deals)

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Notable investments: Tripwire, AppIQ

Specialties: IT (communications and infrastructure, Internet and digital media, software), health care (life sciences, medical devices), clean tech

Stage: early

25. Redpoint Ventures (42 deals)

Location: Menlo Park, CA   

Notable investments: Twilio, Path, Heroku, Scribd, Netflix

Specialties: social/mobile, media and advertising, consumer services and ecommerce, SaaS and cloud, enterprise infrastructure, data communications

Stage: seed, early, growth

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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