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Most Active US Investors In September: Gaingels And A16z Lead A Slow Month

Illustration of a money-filled jar labeled Sept.

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 there seems to be even starker contrasts between the venture capital worlds of last year and this one.

In September 2021, a dozen firms made 10 or more investments in U.S.-based startups.

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Fast-forward to last month, and only two firms—Gaingels and Andreessen Horowitz—made double-digit investments.

Alumni Ventures saw its total investments in U.S.-based startups drop from 22 to nine year to year. General Catalyst made 12 deals in the U.S. in September 2021, but only two last month.

Everyone appears to be slowing as the year winds down, and there seems to be no indication the fourth quarter will change that.

Gaingels, 12 deals

New York-based Gaingels is always near the top of this list, as it has made investments in at least 11 rounds every month this year.

It also usually invests in a diverse set of companies, which includes last month when it took part in a $2.6 million seed round for Empower3d.

The New York-based startup provides athletes with the tools, resources and network to prepare for a world outside of athletics. It offers workshops and seminars covering a range of business and finance topics for athletes, college athletic programs, professional teams, leagues and other sports organizations.

With stories about broke athletes a regular feature on some sites, it is an interesting concept—and one that caught the attention of athletes like Chris Paul and Vernon Davis, who have both invested.

Andreessen Horowitz, 11 deals

Andreessen Horowitz has become synonymous with crypto and blockchain recently, but instead we’ll look at a food startup it favored.

The firm led a $7 million round in San Francisco-based flavrs—that claims it is connecting the world through food (which I support). You can think of it as TikTok, but just for cooking.

The app is backed by celebrity chefs like Tom Colicchio and offers cooking videos, step-by-step recipes, meal-planning tools and even the ability to shop for ingredients online.

Whether it can gain traction among other large social media sites that may not specialize in cooking but do have cooking content is hard to say. However, with Andreessen Horowitz leading its seed round, it may have a chance.

Alumni Ventures, 9 deals

Alumni Ventures may not be on the pace it was a year ago, but it did invest in one of the more interesting startups that received funding last month.

Los Angeles-based Remento offers tools to capture and organize family memories in a more meaningful and connected way, letting people store those memories and even conversations.

Its co-founder got the idea when his mother was diagnosed with cancer and the family realized there were no real photos or videos that actually captured her.

Nothing can ever replace an actual loved one, but photo albums always seem to fall so very flat. Maybe this is something that will offer something more significant.

Tiger Global, 7 deals

Tiger Global also has watched its investment pace lessen quite a bit. In September 2021, the firm made 16 deals involving U.S.-based startups. Last month, that number was just seven.

However, one caught our eye because it helps to solve one of the more irritating aspects of adult life—car care. Tiger led a $14.5 million Series A into Los Gato, California-based ServiceUp, a “one stop shop” for all your car’s needs.

The platform allows a car owner to get an estimate and find a mechanic. It then actually picks up and drops your car back off to you. No more terrible coffee in an auto mechanic’s waiting room while you watch Dr. Phil or some such nonsense.

While it seems a little labor intensive—you need to find drivers—it does eliminate a dreaded life hassle.

Also notable

  • 8VC1, Capital Innovators, Coinbase Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Y Combinator, all came in next on the list with six deals apiece.
  • Capital Innovators led or co-led the most rounds for the  month with six. Andreessen Horowitz came next with five rounds led or co-led.
  • In terms of dollars, Google actually led or co-led rounds totaling the most with just one round. The tech giant led a $1 billion investment in its former life sciences unit, Verily. Google spun out what would become Verily as its own independent subsidiary in 2015.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

  1. 8VC is an investor in Crunchbase. They have no say in our editorial process. For more, head here.


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