CB Insights, a venture capital (VC) database, worked with The New York Times for the second year in a row to help rank the top 100 venture capital partners. Using CB Insights’ Investor Mosaic algorithm, the partnership gathered data from “The Cruncher,” a machine learning technology that does algorithmic ranking, along with thousands of firm submissions, determined the top VC companies from all over the world. These VC investors help kick-start and boost many growing businesses bound to create bold impacts in various industries.
By definition, venture capital means the money invested in new and growing businesses, often characterized by a substantial amount of risk but pushes through due to long-term growth potential demonstrated by high revenue, high employee growth, or a combination of both. Most of the time, VC funding comes from financial institutions, investment banks, and well-off businesspersons (known as investors).
CB Insights’ Investor Mosaic, which determines private company performance, gets funding from the National Science Foundation. The Mosaic gives “predictive intelligence” in regard to company health, akin to a FICO or credit score. This system they have created considers many – albeit high-level – factors, including:
- An investor’s exits, pertaining to the size and stage of their entry.
- Their connectivity to other investors, similar to how Google Pagerank works.
- The frequency, size, and stage of their entry in un-exited companies with high value.
- How recent their performance was – this focus is only as far back as 2008 (meaning these are the top ranking VCs of today, and not the best VCs of all time).
Top 10 Movers and Shakers
Among the top ranking and notable movers of 2017 are Brian Singerman of Founders Fund at number 5 and Ravi Mhatre of Lightspeed Venture Partners at number 6. The former moved up the list just after Founders Fund acquired Stemcentrx for around $10.2 billion; the latter moved up after creating three M&A and IPO exits worth well over $1 billion each, namely AppDynamics, MuleSoft, and Nutanix since the previous year (September 2016).
Most, if not all of the top 100 VC partners have at least one co-investor. Here are the top 10 rankings:
1 Bill Gurley, Benchmark
Benchmark focuses on many early-stage investments in various markets, including: communications, enterprise software and services, semiconductors, security, mobile computing, financial services, and consumer services. Based in San Francisco, California, the firm invests in the range of $100,000 to $15 million. Notable recent investments include: Domo, Wealthfront, The Pill Club, Bugsnag (with Google Ventures and Matrix Partners), and Timescale. Gurley is a general partner in the company, often listed on the Forbes Midas List, Forbes Magazine’s annual ranking of the best high-tech and live science VCs.
2 Chris Sacca, Lowercase Capital
Lowercase, headed by Sacca, invests in many startups, as well as acquires several later-stage companies. They often also advise businesses regarding strategy and execution. Based in Hermosa Beach, California, some of Lowercase’s notable recent investments are: Tala, Viro Media, WaveDash, Predictive Talent, and Smash.gg.
3 Jeffrey Jordan, Andreessen Horowitz
The Silicon Valley-based major VC firm has $4.2 billion under management. A household name, Andreessen Horowitz has $4.2 billion under management, and invests in various companies ranging from seed to growth, with the most recent ones including: uBeam, Descript (no co-investors), dYdX Trading, Usermind, and Cumulus Networks (along with various co-investors including Sequoia Capital).
4 Alfred Lin, Sequoia Capital
Based in Menlo Park, California, Sequoia is a global VC firm with offices located in the US, India, China, and Israel. Founded in 1972 by Don Valentine, some of Sequoia’s most recent investments include Rappi (no co-investors), Uber (along with three other co-investors), Cumulus Networks (along with various co-investors including Andreessen Horowitz), Kahuna, and Front.
5 Brian Singerman, Founders Fund
Another VC firm based in San Francisco, Founders Fund was created by Peter Thiel and Ken Howery in 2005. As one of the top movers in this year’s rankings, the company has helped fund Niantic [the company behind augmented reality (AR) sensation Pokemon Go], Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Yass (no co-investors), Affirm, and SmithRx. Singerman is a former Google employee, who eventually founded angel fund company XGYC Fund. His largest investment, Stemcentrx, was eventually acquired by AbbVie, thus becoming the largest portfolio exit in Founders Fund history at $10.2 billion.
6 Ravi Mhatre, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Another Menlo Park-based VC firm, Lightspeed focuses on accelerating disruptive trends and innovations in the Consumer and Enterprise sectors, helping build over 200 companies all over the world. Some of their more recent notable investments include: Affirm, Girlboss Media, Daily Harvest (co-invested by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, actress Haylie Duff, band M13, athlete Shaun White, and VC firm VMG Partners), Ladder, and Dremio. Mhatre is a founding partner of Lightspeed and is also the co-owner of Mhatre Investments LP.
7 Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, First Round Capital is a VC firm that focuses on pre-revenue and previously unfunded companies. They also have offices in San Francisco. Some of their notable recent investments are: Kindred Systems, Nimble Pharmacy, Health IQ (along with various co-investors including Andreessen Horowitz), PacketZoom, and Uplevel Security (no co-investors). Kopelman is the founder of Half.com, which he sold to eBay in 2000.
8 Peter Fenton, Benchmark
Also a general partner at the aforementioned Benchmark, Fenton is also often part of the Forbes Midas List, most recently ranked number 2 in 2015. In 2014, he received TechCrunch’s Crunchie award for Venture Capitalist of the Year. Later the same year, his two investments New Relic and Hortonworks went public the same day. He currently serves on the board of tech giants Twitter and Yelp, among many others.
9 Nanpeng (Neil) Shen, Sequoia Capital (China)
Serving as the China arm of the world-famous funding source for many startups in the country, Sequoia Capital China is based in Beijing. Some of their most recent investments include: Tianjishuju, Ziroom, Snow, Xianfengshuiguo (no co-investors), and XtalPi (along with Google and Tencent Holdings). Shen is the founding and managing partner of Sequoia’s China branch, but has previously established himself as the co-founder and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Ctrip.com, a travel site based in China.
10 Steve Anderson, Baseline Ventures
Baseline is a VC firm based in San Francisco, and specializes in seed stage investments in the area. It was founded by Anderson, who also serves as the company’s Managing Partner. Some of Baseline’s most recent notable investments are: Backplane, Sendwithus, PacketZoom, nWay, and CircleCI. It should be noted that Anderson was also Instagram’s first investor, and has been part of the Midas List for years.
The Rest of the Top 100 VC Partners of 2017
There are many astounding venture capitalists willing to invest in ideas that are truly worth the financing and support. Here are the remaining 90 top VC partners of the past year based on CB Insights Investor Mosaic algorithm:
- Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures
- Kirsten Green, Forerunner Ventures
- Jeremy Liew, Lightspeed Venture Partners
- Neeraj Agrawal, Battery Ventures
- Michael Moritz, Sequoia Capital
- Danny Rimer, Index Ventures
- Aydin Senkut, Felicis Ventures
- Asheem Chandna, Greylock Partners
- Mitch Lasky, Benchmark
- Mary Meeker, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Roelof Botha, Sequoia Capital
- Peter Thiel, Founders Fund
- Michael Maples, Jr., Floodgate
- Nabeel Hyatt, Spark Capital
- Rebecca Lynn, Canvas Ventures
- Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz
- Matt Cohler, Benchmark
- Ping Li, Accel
- Scott Sandell, New Enterprise Associates
- Salil Deshpande, Bain Capital Ventures
- David Sze, Greylock Partners
- Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz
- Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital
- Jenny Lee, GGV Capital
- Bradley Feld, Foundry Group
- Sameer Gandhi, Accel
- Bryan Roberts, Venrock
- Douglas Leone, Sequoia Capital
- Promod Haque, Norwest Venture Partners
- Josh Stein, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
- Sandy Miller, Institutional Venture Partners
- Carl Gordon, OrbiMed Advisors
- Ted Schlein, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Randy Glein, DFJ Growth
- Ryan Sweeney, Accel
- Byron Deeter, Bessemer Venture Partners
- Navin Chaddha, Mayfield Fund
- George Zachary, CRV
- Mike Volpi, Index Ventures
- Michael Dearing, Harrison Metal
- Jeremy Levine, Bessemer Venture Partners
- Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partners
- Hemant Taneja, General Catalyst
- Jim Breyer, Breyer Capital
- David Pakman, Venrock
- Satish Dharmaraj, Redpoint Ventures
- Yuri Milner, DST Global
- Rich Wong, Accel
- Stuart Peterson, Artis Ventures
- Robert Nelsen, ARCH Venture Partners
- Mamoon Hamid, Social Capital
- Shervin Pishevar, Sherpa Capital
- David Weiden, Khosla Ventures
- Aneel Bhusri, Greylock Partners
- Andrew Braccia, Accel
- Jeff Clavier, SoftTech VC
- Gordon Ritter, Emergence Capital Partners
- Keith Rabois, Khosla Ventures
- Matt Murphy, Menlo Ventures
- Ann Winblad, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
- Jai Das, Sapphire Ventures
- Ann Lamont, Oak HC/FT
- Matt McIlwain, Madrona Venture Group
- Beth Seidenberg, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- David Cowan, Bessemer Venture Partners
- Hans Tung, GGV Capital
- Related image, Tony Florence, New Enterprise Associates
- Daniel Ciporin, Canaan Partners
- Related image, Young Guo, IDG Capital Partners
- Charles Moldow, Foundation Capital
- Jon Callaghan, True Ventures
- Hurst Lin, DCM Ventures
- Jeff Crowe, Norwest Venture Partners
- John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Rob Hayes, First Round Capital
- Joel Cutler, General Catalyst Partners
- Scott Friend, Bain Capital Ventures
- Amish Jani, FirstMark Capital
- Rory O’Driscoll, Scale Venture Partners
- Bryan Schreier, Sequoia Capital
- Gaurav Garg, Wing Venture Capital
- David Chao, DCM Ventures
- Jonathan Silverstein, OrbiMed Advisors
- Joe Lonsdale, 8VC
- Amir Nashat, Polaris Partners
- Venky Ganesan, Menlo Ventures
- Todd Chaffee, Institutional Venture Partners
- Kevin Comolli, Accel
- Woody Marshall, TCV
- Niklas Zennström, Atomico