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Most Active US Investors: Y Combinator Leads Big After Demo Day

Illustration of a jar labeled April full of money.

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 March’s feature here.

Investors continue to slow their pace at a dramatic rate.

In April 2022, 16 firms made at least 10 investments or more into U.S.-based startups — led by two firms: Y Combinator and Techstars, which combined for 56 deals.

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Those two names also made last month’s top investors list, but only two other firms announced at least 10 deals as venture continues to slow.

Tiger Global, Goodwater Capital and SOSV, some of the leaders of April 2022’s top investor list are nowhere to be found now.

While that is not entirely shocking, it is important to note that by April 2022, the slowdown was well underway, but the market was much busier than it is now.

Let’s look at who did invest.

Y Combinator, 217 deals

The accelerator giant Y Combinator had its big Demo Day event last month and did not lack for investment opportunities. Y Combinator  received more than 20,000 applications for the event and ended up funding 282 startups globally (217 in the U.S.).

We did not go through the whole list of funded companies (undoubtedly there were some interesting ones) but the accelerator wrote an interesting blog breaking down the class.

According to the breakdown, the largest portion of the class — 54% — fell into the B2B/SaaS sector. The next two biggest industries represented by the class were DevOps at 17%, and fintech with 12%.

The most common “themes” of the class were open source, dev tools and — wait for it — AI, of course.

Second Century Ventures, 13 deals

A new entry on the list finished second this month: Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors.

The firm selected 14 new startups (13 in the U.S.) for its 2023 REACH and REACH Commercial accelerator programs.

The companies selected represent a diverse variety of tech across the real estate ecosystem in areas that include financial planning, property management, tenant retention and more. The companies in the class already have raised more than $100 million in funding.

The class includes the likes of San Francisco-based highnote, a drag-and-drop presentation platform to help agents pitch and sell, and New York-based Summer, which helps simplify the process of finding and buying vacation or investment homes.

​​Andreessen Horowitz, 12 deals

While many big-name firms have slowed down their investment cadence significantly,  Andreessen Horowitz makes this list regularly.

Last month, the investing giant led some huge rounds, including San Francisco-based satellite developer Astranis$200 million raise at a $1.6 billion valuation, per a Bloomberg report. It also led New York-based vector database startup Pinecone’s  $100 million Series B at a $750 million valuation.

However, on this list we like to look for the unexpected and Andreessen Horowitz delivered. The prolific investor has made its name in a multitude of sectors, from software to crypto — but what about mac n’ cheese.

The firm participated in a $1.1 million seed round for Mclean, Virginia-based 8 Myles, a brand-new food manufacturer that makes “clean comfort you deserve.” The startup says it “prioritizes clean ingredients and key nutrients without compromising on flavor,” and its meals have less sodium and fewer calories than its competitors.

The startup’s first offerings are all mac n’ cheese in three flavors: homestyle, buffalo and BBQ.

We typically prefer just the good-old classic.

Techstars, 11 deals

Techstars actually led all investors in April 2022 with 31 announced deals.

This past April, the firm made significantly fewer, but did have some interesting ones — including taking part in a $28.5 million Series A for a Lafayette, Colorado-based startup.

Orbit Fab supplies tankers and other infrastructure needed for in-space refueling of satellites — basically “gas stations in space,” just as its website says. Along with the actual hardware needed to refuel, the startup also has planning software and fuel delivery services.

With more than 5,000 satellites in Earth’s orbit now, how to refuel them is something that needs to be figured out as the space economy grows.

Also notable:

  • Gaingels and gener8tor Oklahoma City Investment Accelerator came in next on the list with eight deals each.
  • Not surprisingly, Y Combinator led all firms in rounds led or co-led — with 208 —  following its big Demo Day extravaganza. Second Century Ventures came in next with 13, followed by Gaingels and gener8tor Oklahoma City Investment Accelerator.
  • Andreessen Horowitz came in at the top of the list for rounds led or co-led with the highest dollar amounts for April, thanks to its big rounds for Astranis and Pinecone. The firm led or co-led five rounds in the month totalling $465 million.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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