The spendiest of spenders are still spending. However, they’re spending a bit less overall in Q1 of 2022 compared to the latter half of 2021.
That’s a general summary of the latest tallies for the largest and most active global startup investors. While there’s no dramatic pullback, deal counts and lead round tallies do indicate that their funding activity peaked in Q4 and has been trending down in 2022.
Still, the firms that have dominated rankings for largest and most active startup investors in recent quarters continue to top our lists. They include well-known players Tiger Global, SoftBank Vision Fund and Insight Partners.
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Using Crunchbase data, we ranked investors by three distinct criteria: Largest lead investors, most active seed investors, and most active lead early stage investors. Below, we look at results for each of these categories in more detail.
Top lead investors
First, we’ll look at who apparently spent the most. To do this, we rank firms that were lead investors1in four or more Q1 rounds with the highest combined dollar value.
Top investors are listed below:
No big surprises at the top: It’s status quo to see Tiger Global and SoftBank Vision Fund in the first two slots. However, while SoftBank snagged the No. 1 spot for 2021, it appears Tiger has climbed ahead in 2022.
Tiger’s largest lead round was a $768 million Series E for Getir, the Istanbul-based on-demand delivery service, followed by a $530 million Series D for Paris-based online bank Qonto and a $273 million Series C for French wholesale marketplace Ankorstore.
For SoftBank, meanwhile, the largest lead round of the quarter was a $425 million Series E for California-based online ethnic grocery provider Weee!, followed by a $400 million Series C for crypto platform FTX.
Rounding out the top four, we see two more “usual suspects”: Insight Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, which are also perennial chart-toppers among the most active investors.
Extra-active at early stage
With the notable absence of SoftBank, the top ranks of most active Series A and B lead investors looks pretty similar to the one for largest lead investors. Things get a big more differentiated lower on the list, as you can see below:
One standout detail is how far ahead Tiger Global and Insight are from the rest of the pack. It’s also worth noting that if we put together all the Sequoia Capital funds that invest at Series A and B, they would take the No. 3 slot.
Several firms have really been stepping up early stage investment activity in the past few quarters. This includes Northpond Ventures, a Maryland-based life science investor, Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based digital entertainment juggernaut and Octopus Ventures, a Europe-focused early stage investor.
Super-active at seed
It takes a lot of smaller, riskier seed deals to pave the way for really big rounds. That’s one of the reasons to keep a close watch on the most active investors at the very earliest stages of startup formation.
For Q1, Y Combinator once again topped the list of active seed investors by a wide margin, with at least 86 disclosed investments. We lay out the top 11 below:
The number of disclosed seed rounds isn’t as obvious an indicator of overall activity as at other stages, given that many deals are still in stealth. However, one trend we have observed is that seed deals overall are getting larger. While in the past seed deals rarely exceeded seven digits, now rounds of $10 million and up are fairly common.
The data contained in this report comes directly from Crunchbase, and is based on reported data. Data reported is as of April 6, 2022.
Note that data lags are most pronounced at the earliest stages of venture activity, with seed funding amounts increasing significantly after the end of a quarter/year.
All funding values are given in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Crunchbase converts foreign currencies to U.S. dollars at the prevailing spot rate from the date funding rounds, acquisitions, IPOs and other financial events are reported. Even if those events were added to Crunchbase long after the event was announced, foreign currency transactions are converted at the historic spot price.
Glossary of funding terms
Seed and angel consists of seed, pre-seed and angel rounds. Crunchbase also includes venture rounds of unknown series, equity crowdfunding and convertible notes at $3 million (USD or as-converted USD equivalent) or less.
Early stage consists of Series A and Series B rounds, as well as other round types. Crunchbase includes venture rounds of unknown series, corporate venture and other rounds above $3 million, and those less than or equal to $15 million.
Late stage consists of Series C, Series D, Series E and later-lettered venture rounds following the “Series [Letter]” naming convention. Also included are venture rounds of unknown series, corporate venture and other rounds above $15 million.
Technology growth is a private-equity round raised by a company that has previously raised a “venture” round. (So basically, any round from the previously defined stages.)
Unless they are the sole backer, lead investors don’t generally disclose the size of their contribution to a particular round. However, it is usually safe to assume that it is at least a double-digit percentage and often a large double-digit percentage.↩
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