Between 2011 and 2012, New York seed VC activity jumped 52%, and funding also hit a three-year high. While concerns around the Series A Crunch continue, we wanted to take a look at who the most active NY seed investors are as well as assess them on their ability to get their portfolio companies follow-on financing and hence best help their companies avoid the crunch.
First, below is a list of the most active seed investors in New York from the start of 2009 through to June 2012 based on unique company investments. During this period, the top 15 firms seeded five or more NY-based startups and the pack was led by SV Angel and followed by Lerer Ventures and First Round Capital. (Note: Because we are analyzing follow-on rate of these investors, we cut off seed deals as of June 2012 to give them enough time to ‘mature’. On average, seed-backed companies raise money in 13 months per our earlier research on seed investing)
Of the 15 most active seed investors, Softbank Capital leads the list of investors in terms of its seed investments having the highest rate of receiving follow-on investment and was followed closely by FirstMark Capital, Lerer Ventures and First Round Capital. The top 5 was rounded by Social Leverage, a micro VC fund founded by StockTwits CEO Howard Lindzon. It’s important to note, however, that while several of the most active investors hovered around five seed investments in the period, others including Lerer, SV Angel and First Round Capital seeded close to 4x as many companies. The top 10 NY seed investors by follow-on investment rate is below. (Note: A full ranking of the 15 firms can be found in the NY Venture Capital Almanac.)