This is a monthly feature that runs down the most active investors in U.S.-based companies, looks at some of their most interesting investments, and includes some odds and ends of who spent what. Check out last month’s feature here.
Every month, we look at the firms that invested in the most deals involving U.S.-based startups and examine some of the more interesting rounds.
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We’re going to do that here—shortly—but first, let’s take a look at some of the names missing from the list this month and compare it to August 2021’s activity.
Last August, VCs and startups were in the midst of the highs of the record-breaking funding market. This August is very different, and looking at the difference between some of the biggest named firms is an excellent illustration.
In August 2021, Tiger Global participated in 20 deals that involved U.S.-based startups and led or co-led deals worth a total of $800 million. This past August, the hedge fund goliath participated in one deal and led or co-led none.
Sequoia Capital participated in nine rounds that involved U.S.-based startups and led or co-led rounds worth $200 million in August 2021. This past August, Sequoia participated in four rounds and, like Tiger, led or co-led none.
Similarly, General Catalyst participated in 17 such rounds in August last year and led or co-led eight. This past August it participated in five and led or co-led one.
Accel’s deal count dropped from nine in August 2021 to three this past month.
Very different times from 12 months ago.
The absence of those names left space on this month’s list for some new entries—and a lot of seed- and early-stage firms. Let’s take a closer look at the most active investors in U.S.-based startups last month and some interesting rounds they took part in.
Y Combinator, 19 deals
The accelerator giant easily took the top spot this month with just shy of 20 deals. In particular, the deal that caught our eye was for a Los Angeles-based startup that just closed its $20 million Series A last month.
MarqVision was incubated by Y Combinator. The startup has built an AI-powered intellectual property platform for e-commerce and marketplaces that can detect and remove counterfeits from sales and distribution.
The startup is already working with a handful of luxury brands. With counterfeiting expected to grow another 50% this year and reach nearly $3 trillion in 2023—according to the company—MarqVision seems like yet another company to watch from the early-stage investor.
Gaingels, 11 deals
New York-based Gaingels always has a busy month, but like nearly every company on this list it made fewer investments this past August than in August 2021. In fact, in August 2021 it made twice the amount than it did in August 2022.
That’s not to say it didn’t make any interesting deals. Miami-based Betr is building a new “micro-betting” platform. What’s micro-betting? Apparently the platform will allow people to just bet on a play or a certain moment of a game, unlike most gambling sites which are focused on the final score.
The startup is funded by several pro sports teams and players such as Dez Bryant and Richard Sherman. Social media celebrity and UFC fighter Jake Paul serves as the company’s president.
Insight Partners, 8 deals
Insight Partners continues to be pretty consistent with its cadence of enterprise software deals every month—although their August deal count also fell from 19 to eight.
Last month, the deal that caught our attention was more on the health care side. New York-based Alma closed a $130 million Series D that helps mental health therapists deal with the complexity and difficulty of health insurance. The membership-based platform helps therapists tackle administrative tasks such as setting up insurance and billing.
There are similar services for other health care providers, so it’s nice to see mental health professionals also getting assistance with back-office issues.
XLerateHealth, 7 deals
Louisville, Kentucky-based XLerateHealth made its debut on this list last month The accelerator helps invest in and commercialize early-stage health care startups.
It invests very early on in companies, so understanding what some of their portfolio startups do is difficult. Last month’s investments included: Boston-based Atalan, which helps predict and address clinician burnout and turnover. Other investments include Lexington-based VRTogether, which uses virtual reality to reduce social isolation and loneliness for senior citizens.
Soma Capital, 7 deals
Soma Capital makes its premiere on this list for its seven deals announced in August. It actually is the only firm to have made more investments last month than in August 2021—when it completed three deals.
While no one deal stood out, the company did use last month to focus on the crypto and Web3 areas of its portfolios. The company took part in a $9 million seed round for Palo Alto, California-based Rocketplace, a commission-free cryptocurrency trading platform. It also invested in Ansible Labs, a payments platform for blockchain accounts, and decentralized community CreatorDAO, which invests in creators.
- Finishing just off the list for August were 8VC1, Andreessen Horowitz, FIS Impact Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners with six deals apiece.
- XLerateHealth led or co-led all seven rounds it took part in in August—the best for last month. FIS Impact Ventures came in next with six rounds led or co-led.
- SK Group led or co-led rounds totaling the most with only one—$750 million raised by Bellevue, Washington-based TerraPower. MEAG and Andreessen Horowitz followed, leading or co-leading deals worth a total of a half-billion dollars each last month.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
Correction: An earlier version of this story included another firm for which we were not able to verify all investment data.
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