Sent out a few tweets last night:
While there is a lot of discussions (and some clarity) on how the opaque VC world operates, it is still hard to get data for Founders who are fundraising. In particular, getting information on seed rounds is challenging as many rounds are not announced and the specific VCs who invested, aren’t always listed. To make things even more murky, who actually led the round isn’t always disclosed.
While fundraising is supposed to be challenging for startups, we could make it slightly easier for Founders to identify who the active VCs are and more importantly, who are actually LEADING rounds. Many of my discussion with seed stage Founders are about fundraising and there is a lot of confusion as to who leads rounds vs those who participate rounds, a very important distinction. In order for a round to really come together, you need a VC who will lead the round, which typically means they are setting terms (“pricing”) and writing the largest check in the round.
The criteria I’ve set is as follows:
- NYC HQ’d startup
- VC has raised a new fund in the past 36 months
- VC has led (or co-led) two seed deals in the past 12 months in NYC (see point #1)
- Check size of lead VC is $500K+
- Round size is $750K to $3M (could be an equity or a convertible note instrument)
So with the parameters outlined above, I have gone out to several data sources to see what could be found, although it has not been fruitful, at least on the point of who lead the round and how much they invested.
Given that many of the VC rounds haven’t been announced, the data isn’t actually available yet, so I also solicited feedback from the community on which VC firms fit ALL of the parameters outlined above (in alphabetical order).
- Accel Partners (SF)
- Bloomberg Beta (NYC and SF)
- BOLDstart Ventures (NYC)
- Bowery Capital (NYC)
- Canaan Partners (NYC and SF)
- Collaborative Fund (NYC)
- Eniac Ventures (NYC and SF)
- ff Venture Capital (NYC)
- First Round Capital (NYC and SF)
- Flybridge (NYC and Boston)
- Genacast Ventures (NYC and Philadelphia)
- Greycroft (NYC and LA)
- Homebrew (SF)
- IA Ventures (NYC)
- KEC Ventures (NYC)
- Lerer Hippeau Ventures (NYC)
- Metamorphic Ventures (NYC)
- NextView Ventures (NYC and Boston)
- Primary Ventures (NYC)
- Resolute Ventures (SF and Boston)
- SBNY (NYC)
- Scout Ventures (NYC)
- True Ventures (SF)
- Two Sigma Ventures (NYC)
- Union Square Ventures (NYC)
I’m actually surprised the list is this long, thought it was much shorter when I sent out the original tweet. That being said, my sense is that there is room for more players as some of these firms are focused on specific sectors, while other sectors aren’t covered as actively. In addition, the market is growing and there is an increase in the amount of seed stage companies being formed. Lastly, most of the firms listed above are leading on average two deals per year in NYC, so that means ~40 NYC based startups would have lead every year. I would assume there are more than 40 high quality companies per year in NYC that should have a lead, so again, room for more players.
If you think I missed your firm on this list, please send me a note at sgoldman at svb and provide specific information on which deals you have led in the past 12 months, thank you.
This list was purposefully focused on seed deals. I think pre-seed is a distinct category and deserves a separate post/list, might work on that, stay tuned.
I have received feedback from people on the parameters that I set out. They were done thoughtfully based on discussions with stakeholders in the community. Feel free to write your own post based on other parameters if you disagree with mine.