There has been a dramatic increase in the number of active seed VCs since the start of 2010. 500 Startups, A16Z and SV Angel were the most active seed investors in 2013

2013 was another big year for venture investments at the seed-stage. Spurred by the continued proliferation of new micro VC funds and multi-stage venture firms actively building their seed portfolios, 2013 saw no drop in the number of active seed venture investors from the high seen in 2012. Series A crunch and startup orphans were clearly not top of mind.

Active seed venture capital investors in the chart below are comprised of any venture capital firm (we’re excluding corporate venture arms in this analysis a la Google Ventures) that participated in at least four seed deals per year. As can be seen, 2013 had 112 active seed VC firms which exactly tied 2012 and which is significantly above the levels of 2010 and 2011.

activeseedvcs

Topping the list of most active seed investors in 2013 was 500 Startups, followed by fellow hyperactive seed VCs Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures and First Round Capital. Andreessen Horowitz had suggested a move away from seed and Series A investments but their activity at the seed stage hasn’t slowed appreciably yet.  While the top 5 most active seed VCs last year remained almost uniform with 2012′s list, there were some big changes and new entrants on the list in 2013 versus 2012.

vcseedranking

A list of U.S. investors that completed three or more seed deals in 2013 is below, highlighting a range of firms that are seeking deals at the seed-stage from multi-stage funds (NEA, Greylock) to newer micro-VCs (Homebrew, Cowboy Ventures) to industry specific funds (NewSchools Venture Fund, Learn Capital).

150seedinvestors

For the most comprehensive set of seed financing data and analytics, check out the CB Insights Venture Capital Database. Sign up for free below.

 

  • _tom_c

    Sand Hill Angels invested over $3.5M with 32 investments. Where does it place us? http://online.wsj.com/article/HUG1752689.html

  • http://www.cbinsights.com/ Anand Sanwal

    Tom — Thanks for reading and the comment. This only looked at seed rounds in which VCs participated, i.e., those investing OPM (other people’s money).

    Angel investors (whether groups or individuals) were not included.

    Hope that helps.

  • Miriam Rivera

    As an angel investor who’s done about 50+ deals in the last 5 years often of first money in, I’d say the question is what are seed deals? I’d call a seed deal $1M and below. And in that category while VCs do some deals, it’s definitely angels who are funding most of the category. Maybe clarification about criteria would help.