There have been some reports that there are now more corporate VCs in the market than traditional venture firms. Using CB Insights data, we tested this by scanning active U.S. VC and corporate venture arms over the past four years.
The reality is that there are, in fact, significantly more pure-play VCs than corporate venture arms. In fact, even if you included corporations making investments in startups who don’t have a separately delineated corporate venture unit, financial VCs still greatly outnumber corporate investors.
The data below.
The chart below compares the number of U.S.-based venture capital investors that completed at least four deals vs. corporates since the start of 2010. While there have been an increasing number of active corporate investors over the period (38% growth between 2010 and 2013), the number of active VCs has also risen – driven by multi-stage investors doing more deals at the seed stage and the rising number of micro VCs.
Even if we change the definition of ‘active’ VC and corporate VC investors to those who make at least one investment per year, the number of VC investors still dominates corporates. In fact, 2013 saw 169% more U.S. VCs make an investment than corporates.
While the data dispels any paradigm shift in the VC vs. corporate venture ecosystem, the rise of corporates in VC is still notable whether at the seed-stage or the largest financings and into the billion-dollar valuation club.
All of the underlying investor data used in this research brief is on the CB Insights Venture Capital Database.