Startups Venture

Most Active US Investors: Alumni Ventures Leads Cool Month

Illustration of a money-filled jar labeled July

This is a monthly feature that runs down some of 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.

A year ago, well-known venture firms such as Andreessen Horowitz and FJ Labs were near the top of the most active U.S. investors list — each making at least 10 bets on innovative startups.

Times have changed, though. The venture market continues to creep along even more slowly than it did a year ago, and firms have cooled their pace.

While Andreessen Hororwitz placed 13 bets in July of last year, the firm made only three announced investments in U.S.-based startups last month. Similarly, FJ Labs went from 10 deals to only two.

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With the exception of accelerators, no firm hit double-digit deals in the U.S. last month. Nevertheless, let’s look at some of the top firms by the numbers.

Alumni Ventures, 9 deals

While those firms that have significantly slowed investing are often pointed out, it is also important to call out those that have not.

Alumni Ventures is one of those. The firm led the way in July in the number of U.S. deals, and also has been remarkably consistent this year in general.

Alumni made 37 deals involving U.S.-based startups between January and June — an average of a little more than six a month.

On the other hand, last year the firm averaged 16 such deals per month — topping out with 26 deals in February 2022.

While its numbers are down from last year, Alumni’s diversity does not seem to be. Last month it invested in everything from Ossium Health — a San Francisco startup  building a bone marrow bank to treat blood cancers — to Boston-based school-bus tracking app BusRight.

Triangle Tweener Fund, 8 deals

Durham, North Carolina-based Triangle Tweener Fund is a newcomer to this list.

The firm made eight deals last month — which, surprisingly, is actually one fewer than it completed in July 2022.

The Triangle Tweener Fund is a rolling fund that invests in about 10 to 20 early-stage deals per quarter, all focused on North Carolina’s noted Research Triangle area. The fund usually invests about $50,000 on average.

While the fund makes deals in a variety of spaces, last month it made a couple of investments in apps focused on homes and homeownership. Those deals include an investment in Bristles, a DIY planning app that uses AI to help with home design, and HomeCloud, which can ingest home data and can give insights such as a timeline for when something may need replaced or specific details of a fixture.

Khosla Ventures, 6 deals

Khosla Ventures, on the other hand, is no stranger to this list. The firm made a half-dozen deals in U.S.-based companies last month — three times as many as it did in July 2022.

Last month actually matches the firm’s highest month this year for deals involving U.S. startups — tying with February’s number.

As usual, Khosla invested in a variety of sectors, from robotics with Collaborative Robotics, to language app Speak.

It also was announced the firm led a $10 million seed round and took part in a $17 million Series A for Burlington, Massachusetts-based SiPhox. The startup offers an at-home test kit that measures 17 blood biomarkers for inflammation, hormonal health, metabolic fitness and cardiovascular health. At-home health care is big and clearly getting bigger.

Valor Equity Partners, 6 deals

Similar to Khosla, Valor Equity Partners finished last month with six deals and actually quickened its investment cadence compared to July 2022, which saw the firm only announce three deals with U.S.-based startups.

In fact, before last month, Valor only completed eight deals in the entire first half of 2023 involving such companies.

Last month saw the firm do deals involving anything from banking platform K Health to Pano AI, which is applying AI to fighting wildfires. The firm also took part in a $25.5 million Series A for Brooklyn, New York-based Bedrock Ocean Exploration, which has created a data platform to collect and manage seafloor geophysical data for those that need to go to greater depths. The seafloor sector does not often see investment, so it is eye-catching when it does.

Also notable:


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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