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 April’s feature here.
Investors seemed wary of pulling out their checkbooks too often last month.
Only five venture firms — excluding accelerators — made a half-dozen investments or more.
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A year later, those two firms combined for only seven startup deals.
However, let’s focus on those that did make a few deals in May.
Gaingels, 8 deals
Vermont-based Gaingels is a regular on this list, but even its numbers have dropped in recent months. Through all of last year, it constantly completed a double-digit number of deals every month. Thus far this year, its high is 10 in February.
However, it does find interesting things to invest in
The firm led a $3 million seed round for Los Angeles-based VitaBowl, which is looking to collaborate with health insurance companies to provide “food-as-medicine” meal deliveries.
It’s a unique approach to the oversaturated meal kit industry, looking to take on significant diseases like obesity and diabetes, while making it affordable.
Soma Capital, 7 deals
San Francisco-based Soma Capital, on the other hand, had its busiest month of the year with seven deals announced.
The firm also took part in a $2.1 million pre-seed round for New York-based Revv. The startup’s platform uses AI (of course) and machine learning to allow professionals to instantly identify required calibrations for cars in seconds — integrating with the software many cars already use.
And ideally, getting your car fixed faster.
FJ Labs, 7 deals
New York-based FJ Labs has been pretty consistent with its investment cadence this year. The firm, which has a focus on marketplaces and consumer-facing startups, had already made 30 deals in U.S.-based startups this year, and added another seven in May.
One of those deals included a pretty unique Series A investment in SidelineSwap, a Boston-based startup that has created a marketplace for athletes, weekend warriors and perhaps most importantly sports families to buy, sell and trade athletic products.
The round was led, not surprising perhaps, by eBay Ventures and the total amount was not disclosed.
So when your daughter gives up ice hockey after four weeks, you can recoup some of those losses.
General Catalyst, 6 deals
General Catalyst also has been pretty consistent this year, making 19 deals through the first four months of the year and now six in May.
Included in its May deals is a $50 million seed round for Hippocratic AI.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to avoid AI. The only real question is where it will appear next. Hippocratic AI believes that answer could be health care.
Hippocratic AI’s mission is to develop the safest artificial Health General Intelligence — a safety-focused large language model for health care.
The startup is investing in legally acquiring evidence-based health care content and the model’s readiness will be vested by health care professionals.
The startup says its AI will not be used for clinical diagnosis, but the thousands of other applications for AI in health care.
Salesforce Ventures, 6 deals
Salesforce Ventures 1, the venture arm of the CRM giant, had a quiet start of the year, announcing no deals in U.S.-based startups. However, it’s picked up the pace since, making a dozen deals in the past three months combined.
The round came after months of speculation about new funding rounds, and reports are that it values Anthropic at $4.1 billion.
- General Catalyst topped all firms in rounds led or co-led with six, including a $17.3 million Series A in New York-based health care software platform Adonis.
- Spark Capital topped the list for rounds led or co-led with the highest dollar amounts for May. The firm only led or co-led one round last month, but it was the monster $450 million by Anthropic, a ChatGPT rival with its AI assistant Claude.
- Several incubators and accelerators made a number of investments in May, led by Y Combinator’s 12 deals.
This is a list of investors which took part in the most rounds involving U.S.-based startups. It does not include incubators or accelerators due to the fluctuations their investment numbers can have.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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