Venture capital is a booming industry with a growing interest in entrepreneurship around the world. The top venture capital firms understand what to look for in entrepreneurs to ensure they are making investments that will have high returns.
These firms are making billions of dollars in profits as a result of their ability to identify companies with potential. The success of a venture capital fund depends on a number of factors, from the knowledgeability of the organization’s leadership to its diligence in seeking out and nurturing promising entrepreneurs.
Some of the most successful global venture capital firms by income and number of partners include:
1. Sequoia Capital
Based in Silicon Valley, Sequoia Capital invests in early- and mid-stage companies with a focus on tech, financial services, energy, healthcare, and mobile industries. The firm currently has $4 billion in capital. Over the years, Sequoia has invested in a number of top companies, including Google, Cisco, Apple, LinkedIn, PayPal, and YouTube. In addition, the firm invested heavily in WhatsApp and made a significant return when it was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion.
A Palo Alto-based firm, Accel focuses primarily on tech companies, particularly younger companies. With total capital of $8.8 billion, Accel has backed some of the biggest names to come out of Silicon Valley, including Dropbox, Facebook, Spotify, Etsy, and Slack. Accel existed before the dot-come bubble and continues to expand at an impressive rate. Last year, the firm announced three new entities that will implement unique strategies.
3. Benchmark Capital
With a total of $3.6 billion, Benchmark Capital invests in a wide range of industries, including consumer services, communications, security, software, and financial services. Benchmark primarily invests in early-stage startups. The firm is based in Silicon Valley. Some of the top investments made by the firm include Twitter, Red Hat, Juniper Networks, and Ariba. One of the firm’s partners, Peter Finch, made very early investments in Twitter while another partner, Bill Gurley, backed Uber in its beginning stages.
4. Insight Venture Partners
A New York firm, Insight Venture Partners has $7.5 billion to invest in software and Internet companies. The firm mainly seeks out early-stage companies for investment and has equity in several leading companies, including Qualtrics, Living Social, Twitter, Chegg, and Flipboard.
5. Andreessen Horowitz
Andreesen Horowitz invests in companies at all stages of development. It has a total of $2.7 billion in capital. The Silicon Valley firm is based in Menlo Park and has backed big names like Skype, Pinterest, Groupon, Facebook, and Foursquare. The firm focuses on Internet-based tech companies. The leadership at the firm has helped it become a top funder despite its rather narrow industry focus, as well as the fact that it does not invest outside of the United States.
6. Bessemer Venture Partners
Menlo Park firm Bessemer Venture Partners has invested in companies like Skype, LinkedIn, LifeLock, and VeriSign. The firm has more than $4 billion invested in online retail, cloud computing, clean tech, and financial services startups. Companies can get backed by Bessemer at virtually any stage of development. Bessemer claims to be one of the oldest venture capital firms in the country with roots tracing back to the Carnegie Steel empire.
7. New Enterprise Associates
New Enterprise Associates has $11 billion in total capital. The firm primarily invests in early-stage startups in the information technology, energy, and healthcare sectors. Some of the companies backed by the firm include WebMD, 3com, CareerBuilder, TiVo, and Vonage. Interestingly, the firm does not have a specific regional focus and remains flexible in terms of industry. Instead, firm leaders look for companies with a great entrepreneur or a truly compelling idea and then choose to back based on that special element.
8. Oak Investment Partners
Based in Westport, Connecticut, Oak Investment Partners has made sizeable investments in healthcare, retail, digital media, and information technology startups. The firm has $8.4 billion in total capital and a portfolio of companies at all stages of development. The target investment for the firm is generally between $10 and $150 million. Leadership at the firm has deep expertise in buyouts, spinouts, and growth equity. Some of the most notable Oak investments include Huffington Post, Office Depot, PetSmart, and MobiTV.
9. Technology Crossover Ventures
A firm based in Palo Alto, California, Technology Crossover Ventures invests primarily in later-stage startups, although it does have some early-stage companies in its portfolio. Some of the top investments made by the firm include NewVoiceMedia, JustFab, ExtraHop, and dough. The firm focuses on the software and advertising industry and has a $7.7 billion in total capital.
10. Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Another Silicon Valley firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson made its money by investing in SpaceX, Tesla Motors, Hotmail, Skype, and similar companies. The firm focuses largely on healthcare and clean energy, as well as Internet and mobile tech startups. With $7 billion at its disposal, the firm mainly invest in early-stage companies. Tim Draper, a third-generation venture capitalist, heads the firm alongside his former colleague John Fisher.