The 118 venture capital firms, micro-VCs, angels, accelerators, late stage investors and acquirers you should know.

We’ve done a number of analyses using our data on angels, micro VCs, corporate venture arms & the top VCs in tech, but we still get lots of questions about who are the players in the tech ecosystem that folks should know.  The questions have intensified as new names and faces are coming (and going) from the ecosystem.  Venture capital’s most active investors are changing quickly over time and new players like Alibaba, Tencent and Tiger Global Management now flex their financing muscle in Silicon Valley and beyond quite regularly.

So today we’re introducing The Periodic Table of Tech – a resource for the tech community to understand the 118 key players in the ever-growing and ever-changing universe of tech investors and acquirers.  The firms (and individuals) on the list were drawn from a mix of data-driven posts we’ve produced (many detailed below) that analyzed investor quality, network strength and financing and M&A deal activity.

First, a look at the table (click below to expand or get the PDF and updates by signing up below)

periodictablefinal

We expect that this list of 118 will change over time as new entrants emerge and gain prominence and others falter and get removed.  If you believe someone should be added, please leave a comment with your rationale.

Navigating the Periodic Table

The table focuses on eight different investor types as follows (from left to right). They were selected based on a combination of factors including historical exits, network strength, reputation/brand prominence and deal activity. Many of these criteria are considered as part of our Investor Mosaic scoring algorithms.

Venture capital firms

Venture capital firms included make venture equity investments across the stage spectrum and geographies focusing on high-growth opportunities in tech and have received significant LP commitments to date ($200M to well over $1B+).

Related research:
The Unicorn VCs are Increasing Their Early Stage Investment Focus

The Most Active Venture Capital Firms in H1 2014 – Silicon Valley, New York & Massachusetts

Corporate venture capital firms

Corporate VCs included have separately identifiable corporate venture units and made over 80% of their investments into tech categories, i.e., internet, mobile, software, hardware/electronics). Corporate-affiliated funds with LP commitments such as SAP Ventures are not included here (but are part of the VC category).

Related research: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Corporate Venture Capital Investors in Tech

 

Tech nerd? Like data? Writer? We’re looking for the Nate Silver of tech.

 

Growth/late-stage firms

Growth and late-stage investment firms focus on growth-stage companies with established revenue typically in the tens of millions and/or a record of significant traction. Some, but not all, growth investors are part of firms that also have funds investing in the public markets.

Micro VC firms

Tech micro VCs are those with funds ≤$100M and which have made 80%+ of investments at the early-stage (seed/Series A).

Related research: Micro VC Rising: Analyzing Trends and the Top Investors in the Micro VC Ecosystem

Angel investment groups

Angel groups often bridge the gap between angel investment and institutional VC, providing either a managed fund or direct investment from angel group members.

Related research: Ranking Angel Investment Groups

Angels

Angel investors are, often, wealthy individuals who offer early-stage capital, advice and networks to startups in exchange for equity or convertible debt.

Related research: We Analyzed 2000 Angel Investors. Here are the Top 1%

Accelerators/venture studios/holding companies

Accelerators and startup venture studios typically offer some combination of equity investment, mentorship and resources around company development. We’ve previously taken deep dives into the investment activity of Y Combinator and Rocket Internet.

Tech acquirers

Public tech corporations acquiring private tech companies for business growth, sales expansion, new technologies and/or talent. Acquirers selected were based on overall M&A activity of private tech companies as well as M&A momentum based on deal pace.

Related research: Analyzing Tech’s Top Acquirers by Year

Again, if you believe someone should be added, please leave a comment below with your rationale.

Want to track the activity of these 118 key players of the tech ecosystem ? Check out the CB Insights Venture Capital Database. Sign up free below.

 

  • Just wondering

    This would be much better with RETURNS as data in the table. NOT follow-on fundings, or which VCs fund after angels do, but what RETURNS the VCs, angels, etc. actually provide as measured by IRR – - an *accurate* IRR measurement including all outlays and inflows. Then you’d have something!

  • Really?

    In my opinion, this chart can’t be right without DFJ, considering all their cool portfolio companies, such as D-Wave, Box, Planet Lab etc, not to mention Telsa, Baidu, Twitter, etc in the past… I think you should add it.

  • Understated

    Distilling it down into a periodic table severely understates key firms in the market. What about DFJ? What about Homebrew? There are a ton of funds fundamental to SV that this table is missing.

  • Louis

    Draper University should be added to the table because we have some seriously massive elements here!

  • Mihir Panchal

    Certainly printout-worthy.

  • Rachelle

    Fundraising Cheat Sheet! Nice.

  • CB Insights

    Thanks for reading. With any data visualization, choices have to be made as the value in visual representations of data is distilling the complex or messy down to something more manageable. Else it’d be a list of every firm which becomes meaningless and unwieldy.

    But we will be updating this over time. Given this, the question is if you add DFJ or Homebrew, who do you drop?

  • CB Insights

    Thanks for reading. If you add DFJ, who would you recommend falls out of the Periodic Table?

  • CB Insights

    Would be great but not possible to get (in a credible, complete way). We’ve talked about the challenges of accurate VC returns data here – https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/venture-capital-performance-data/

  • Andrew Markwell

    How about adding some metrics against them, (atomic weight = total fund size | some measure to represent primary industry or market segment | something to represent primary location)

  • CB Insights

    Thanks for reading Mihir. Our line of posters, coffee mugs and t-shirts will be out soon :)

  • CB Insights

    Hi Rachelle – thanks for reading. Yes – we hope this helps folks involved in the ecosystem make sense of it.

  • Mike S

    Would certainly be a more credible representation if DFJ were on there

  • CB Insights

    Andrew – great comment.

    The challenge with fund size is many on the Periodic Table are not funds with AUM. But your ideas on geo, industry, etc are definitely interesting. We’re treating this as a living/breathing doc so hopefully, we can integrate some of these into the next update. Thanks for reading and for the comment.

  • CB Insights

    Hi Mike – Thanks for reading and for the comment. Since we want to keep the Periodic Table to 118, which VC would you drop to make room for DFJ?

  • Hello

    I’d personally rank them over SAP. What algorithm was used for the ranking?

  • Just wondering

    Which is why you should focus on returns and not on this kind of furthering the VC-led effort to obfuscate their actual performance. The best possible journalism you could do is the old fashioned digging and research to figure out why the VCs are hiding actual returns and saying idiotic things like quartile (which they can’t even know without full data availability). Hypothesis: they hide the real data because the real data suggests very very poor performance for the industry as a whole. The best possible service you could provide to startups, individual investors, etc. is to shine a complete and accurate light on this. By printing this table, you simply amplify their obfuscation — which helps them but continues to negatively impact the very audience you attempt to serve.

  • https://twitter.com/tastewithkevin Kevin Longa

    I third (or fourth) the motion to add DFJ (and, by extension) their Draper University. They’ve invested in some truly disruptive companies and technologies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monavernon Mona Vernon

    Where is MassChallenge on the Accelerator list?

  • anamax

    Why didn’t Ron Conway make the angels list?

  • CB Insights

    Thanks for the comment Kevin. We’ll continue to track the data and include DFJ if warranted in the next iteration. Of course, someone has to be taken out so will need to determine that.

  • CB Insights

    The list of accelerators/foundries is quite small as we looked for great follow-on investment rates, big exits and/or large unexited portfolio company values. Would MassChallenge qualify by those standards? Would love to understand it more so if warranted, we can include in the next update.

  • CB Insights

    Thanks for reading and the comment. Draper University clearly has some very passionate folks affiliated with it.

  • CB Insights

    Ron Conway’s investment firm SV Angel is on the list under micro-VCs. Thanks for reading.

  • Lauren Flanagan

    Nice! Even better if you include BELLE Capital USA, a leading angel fund of all women investors investing in women-led tech co.’s. http://www.bellevc.com

  • Lauren Flanagan

    You’re also missing the most successful venture accelerator of all time, Springboard Enterprises, http://www.sb.co. Since 2000, we have helped more than 550 women-led companies raise more than $6 billion in capital. There have been 11 IPOs, 33% have had positive M&A liquidity events, and my fave stat, 80% are still in business either as an independent or acquired entity.

  • Lauren Flanagan

    You could add a couple more rows/columns. No one will take it literally

  • CB Insights

    Thx for reading and for the comment Lauren. The Periodic Table is based on performance more recently as that is what those trying to make sense of the ecosystem today require, but that said, we’d love to ensure we have all of Springboard’s data on CB Insights so we can ensure they’re included, if warranted, in our next refresh of the Periodic Table.

  • http://www.ibla.us/ Meganlisa

    Is this a joke? No Draper name here…4 generations of founding the VC industry. Perhaps you should hire someone who actually knows something about Silicon Valley (no, graduating from Stanford doesn’t count). Sorry to be harsh but I grew up in the valley and have seen so many names come and go. Draper is kind of like Clinton. And now the dynasty has an entrepreneurship school and incubator and is (yet again) creating a new model in the valley.
    I saw the below question…who to drop? How about at least half the periodic table who haven’t actually made a meaningful return on their investments? I hope you don’t want me to name names…and do you really need me to to…
    Sorry to be harsh…

  • Jesse Leimgruber

    I’m another advocate for DFJ. Tesla Motors, SugarCRM, Box.net, SpaceX, Meebo, Pebble, SolarCity… Not to mention Boost.vc, Draper University, and their affiliate VC’s. Their footprint, track record, and brand recognition is far larger than many of the VC’s on the list.

  • ● Steven Burda, MBA

    pretty interesting table.

  • Scott Bailey

    We would be happy to provide more data and information. Can you please email [email protected]? We are about to announce all of our new data about alumni soon as well as this years winners. We actually had a team in the 2014 class acquired for $20M already, which came in from Israel (Augtoagronom) with many other great updates about alumni and the current class.

  • William

    Then it becomes a ‘Table’ instead of a ‘Periodic Table’ and the unique novelty of the concept disappears.

  • CB Insights

    Exactly. We track tens of thousands of tech investors, corporate VCs, acquirer and angels on CB Insights. So The Periodic Table of Tech is a prioritized, highly curated and data-driven view into these players. This is ultimately more useful to those in the ecosystem than a simple laundry list of every player.

  • CB Insights

    Lots of DFJ supporters for sure. Will see how they stack up when we review the Periodic Table and see who, if anyone, should be bumped to make room for them. Thanks for reading.

  • CB Insights

    No. There are several international investors and companies on here. Given many of the most prominent investors and acquirers do call the US home, there is a significant North American contingency.

  • CB Insights

    Thanks for the comment. The Periodic Table of Tech does not consider legacy or dynasty. It is a snapshot of who the data says the current tech players to know are. Of course, this changes and will evolve over time so we’ll take a hard look at the data around DFJ when we do our next version of the Periodic Table of Tech.

  • CB Insights

    Note: There are lots of calls for DFJ below which is great to see. However, many of the folks are affiliated in some way with Draper University or DFJ in some capacity. If you have an affiliation with DFJ in any form, we’d ask that you disclose that. Thank you.