In case you are planning to launch a business, or you already own a company, you definitely want to find the top venture capital firms and learn more about them. This article will not only define what a venture capitalist is, but it will also provide you with a list of examples of venture capital firms and venture capital partners.
Table of contents
- The definition of a venture capitalist
- Discussing the lack of diversity in venture capital firms
- Top VC firms
- Top VC partners
The definition of a venture capitalist
To put it in simpler words, venture capitalism has to do with providing finances to companies that seem to have a bright future. A venture capitalist is an investor that is willing to finance a company that has considerable growth potential in the near future. Venture capitalists have another important role, which is advising the company owners regarding their portfolios and documents.
Discussing the lack of diversity in venture capital firms
A problem that is usually occurred in top venture capital firms has to do with the lack of diversity that people encounter. Venture capital firms are numerous, but they work with companies that have a very safe future. Investing or supporting a company that comes with a lot of risks is not specific to venture capitalists.
Top VC firms
Accel Partners is one of the venture capital companies that impressed through the number of startups they financed and advised. The number goes up to 300 and it doesn’t stop there, so it is definitely a VC firm that should be on top of the list for anyone who is interested in such services. Companies such as Facebook and Spotify worked with the teams at Accel Partners and they expanded internationally.
Cross Culture Venture Capital is a VC firm that was founded by people who already knew how this industry worked. The entrepreneurs that put together this VC company have a lot of experience and impressive track records, which helped the business obtain a partnership with Atom Factory.
What is great about Cross Culture is that they also invest in startups that don’t seem to offer the same kind of safe future promise as others. They like to encourage minority-owned startups that usually find it difficult to get on the right foot. Take as an example Blavity or Wonderschool.
Black Angel is a venture capital firm that invests in tech businesses. As the name says it, this firm was started by successful black entrepreneurs that handled the stigma that surrounded black company founders. They participated in a summit and they exposed their ideas there, happening to become one of the top venture capital firms that support black-owned companies.
HCP, short from Harlem Capital Partners, is one of the best venture capital firms out there. It is also a VC firm that encourages minority-owned startups instead of the ones that show the highest chance to become profitable in a short time. They also encouraged entrepreneur women to succeed and their main mission is to finance and advise 1000 of such startups.
Valerie Mosley is the founder of Valmo Ventures, which is another venture capital firm that decided to focus on the less popular startup founders that find it troubling to stand out from the crowd. Valmo Venture helps these startups with financing so that their net worth is visibly increased in the shortest amount of time. The company also considers the social impact of these startups as important as their net worth.
All people heard at least once in a lifetime about LinkedIn or Pandora. Well, the venture capital firms that sat behind them is EchoVC Partners. The firm has two main centers: North America and South Africa. The founder of the company is Eghosa Omoigui, who was behind the advising and financing options of the aforementioned colossal companies. The company mentioned that they follow a stage-agnostic method to sustain startups.
Base Ventures is one of the new capital venture firms that was noticed because their initiative to sustain gender neutrality and ethnic gaps observed in the business world, more precisely in launching a company for the first time. Because of this, Base Ventures rapidly obtained funding resources that they used for companies such as StyleSeat. Erik Moore is the founder of Base Ventures and he is part of the most influential black people in tech.
Diversecity Ventures was founded by Mariah Lichtenstern and the goal of this VC company is to focus interest on startups that are usually avoided because their chances to become successful are lower. Such companies include startups that are dedicated to making social, economic or environmental changes in the world. More than that, Diversecity tries to promote cultural and geographic diversity, encouraging this kind of startups from all over the world.
Backstage Capital is another one from the top venture capital firms list. This VC company invests in startups owned by women, people of color, LGBTQ members and so on. Arlan Hamilton is the one who had the initiative as he noticed that startups owned by minorities are often overlooked. Arlan Hamilton did his best to level the ethic-gender gap that currently exists in the society.
Until now, Backstage Capital spent no less than $2 million to finance startups owned by the previously mentioned categories of people. One of the startups that gained financing and advice through Backstage Capital is Tinsel, a company that is meant to develop wearable tech jewelry for women.
Greylock Partners is one of the few top VC firms that actually remained in the industry for so long. In the past decade, Greylock partners financed and advised numerous Interned-based companies. More than 150 of the startups that Greylock collaborated with are now public and more successful than ever. Since the tech boom, Greylock Partners focused on monetizing websites and sharing this information with companies they worked with.
This is a relatively new VC firm, as it was founded in 2012. The Presidential Innovation Fellows is a venture capital company that focuses on encouraging startups to be competitive, to come up with innovative ideas that are worth financing. The VC company promises to offer the necessary grow and scale for the startups that really seem promising for the future. The condition is that these startups must be change-makers in the government sector, to help the country where they are from.
One of the persons that stirred the interest of Presidential Innovation Fellows is Amy Wilson. Amy came up with the idea of developing a government-wide accelerator program, called Digital Acquisition. The purpose of this accelerator was to encourage culture-shift companies, an idea that wasn’t too popular at the time. Amy didn’t stop there, as she founded the Better Government Movement. This is a crowd-sourced project that encourages other government innovation startups as well.
GV, short from Google Ventures, is a part of Alphabet Inc. that handles anything related to venture capital. It was created in 2009 and their work is truly noticeable today. GV financed more than 300 startups in various domains. They mostly focus on science, medicine, AI, applied robotics, transportation and many others. A few of the companies that became popular by working with GV are Tala and Vida.
Founders First is a VC firm which was created by Kim Folsom. The VC’s goal is to provide financing and advice to startups that are owned by minority groups, women or military veterans. The new factor about Founders First is that they help people create businesses that can be carried on further by other generations.
It is important to mention that Sequoia Capital is one of the oldest VC firms that still stands. In was launched by Don Valentine as far back as 1972. Sequoia founded the biggest companies in various industries including Steve Job’s and Steve Wozniak’s Apple. Google, PayPal, EA or Yahoo are other names that Sequoia is proud to be financing. This venture company is definitely a big player on this list.
This VC firm has only one mission – to offer to fund to the most innovating companies, both online and offline. This simple mission led to great results, as Founders Fund ended up financing and advising colossal companies such as Spotify or SpaceX, the immense idea that Elon Musk came up with.
This venture company firm was founded in 2011 and invested in startups owned by women. The sums go up to $4 million and the main mission of Pipeline Angels is to empower women to stand up and face the gender gap. Pipeline Angels also invests in boot camps for women and they select their startups through pitch competitions.
Dreamit Ventures is another one from the list of top venture capital firms, and their mission is to invest into startups that make a difference in terms of the health system and the urban tech solutions in a country. They obtained a partnership with Comcast Ventures and they are now financing minority-owned startups too.
Gen Y Capital Partners offers venture funding to innovative startups in the country, especially the ones in the tech industry. The former President of the USA, Barack Obama, made a public call asking people to encourage startup owners that have brilliant ideas. Luckily, VC firms such as Gen Y answered this call.
Humble Ventures mostly focuses on startups owned by women and minorities and they have offered finances to around 50 startups until now. A few of the startups they supported are KweliTV, theCut and The Mentor Method.
Kathryn Finney founded Digitalundivided in 2012. Since then, the venture capital firm focused on black and Latinx-owned startups. The company offers both financial support and financing to scale these startups as much as possible.
Top VC partners
Bill Gurley is a General Partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. He first joined the VC firm in 1997 through an expansion of his network, while he was still at Deutsche Bank. This venture capital firm in Silicon Valley transformed in Benchmark in 1999.
Steve Anderson worked for multiple companies before he finally joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers as a partner. The tech companies that he frequented before are Digital Equipment Corporation, Starbucks and eBay. He was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers until 2003 when he finally joined Microsoft. After three years, he founded Baseline Ventures and maintained his General Partner position there.
Josh Kopelman initially worked at Infonautics, but then he started a P2P marketplace in 1999. After one year of success, eBay purchased Half, his P2P marketplace, but Josh continued running Half within eBay. This lasted for three years and then he started an anti-spam company. Symantec showed interest in this company and they purchased it within 6 months from its launch. In 2004, Josh Kopelman launched First Round Capital and he became a General Partner.
Rob Hayes joined Palm in 1999 and held his Director position until 2001 when he became a Senior Director of Business Development. Then, he started Palm’s venture fund and joined Omidyar Networks in 2004. After two years, Rob decided to expand his investment practice and join First Round Capital as a General Partner.
Mary Meeker worked as a securities analyst from 1986 to 1991. In 1991 and until 2010 she was a Managing Director and Research Analyst at Morgan Stanley. During this period, she also published numerous books on Internet Technology. She creates an annual Internet Trends Report that is currently very popular. After 20 years at Morgan Stanley, she joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers as a Partner.
Kristen Green initially worked as a Certified Public Accountant at Deloitte. Then, she joined Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette for a brief period, getting hired as an Equity Research Analyst at Banc of America Securities a while after. She became a Vice President in 2003. After 7 years, she became an advisor at TSG Consumer Partners. A year later, she started Forerunner Ventures and she remains a Founding Partner to this day.
Aydin Senkut joined Silicon Graphics in 1996 as a Business Development Manager. A while after she joined Google. In 1999, Aydin was a Product Manager and he was promoted as a Sales Manager of Strategic Accounts and a Senior Manager of Websearch and Syndication. He left Google in 2005 and started Felicis Ventures. Since then, he is a Founding/Manager Partner at the company.
Peter Fenton was a General Manager at Virage between 1996 and 1998. Then, he joined Accel Partners as a Managing Partner and had a few successes that propelled him to Benchmark in 2006. He still works at the company today.
Danny Rimer started his career as an Equity Research Analyst for Hambrecht and Quist. This happened in 1994 when he deeply focused on tech and the Internet. A while after, the company was purchased by Chase Manhattan Bank in 1999. Danny decided to join Barksdale Group, but the firm failed to raise funding. Danny left and joined his family: Neil, David, and Gerald Rimer at Index Ventures. Since then, he continues working for the family-owned business.
The current economy needs new VC firms. Finding the top venture capital firms and working with the one that has the widest range of investors is a must. The background of the investors should help you learn more about their past experience and the previous startups they selected for financing and support.