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. Read last month’s entry here.
For the second month in a row, Alumni Ventures — which caters to individual investors who typically don’t have a pathway to the VC market — was the most active investor in U.S.-based startups.
However, no firm could even crack double-digits in U.S. investments last month as the market continues to find its new equilibrium.
In July, Alumni completed a dozen deals in U.S. startups, but topped August with only nine. That’s a somewhat low total when you consider firms such as Gaingels (16), Insight Partners (12) and Soma Capital (10) all completed at least 10 similar investments in August 2022.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the top U.S. investment firms for the last full month of summer.
Alumni Ventures, 9 deals
As we pointed out last month, Alumni Ventures has been relatively consistent this year when it comes to investing, despite a slowing VC market.
The firm already has made 75 deals with U.S.-based startups this year and seems eager for more.
While Alumni is usually associated with early rounds — pre-seed and seed — it does take part in later rounds. Last month the firm took part in a $50 million Series C for Arizona-based climate management and accounting platform Persefoni and even a $10 million Series A for Detroit-based home electrification software developer Treehouse.
Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures, 8 deals each
This is the second month in a row on this list for Khosla, after it made six deals with U.S.-based startups in July.
In fact, Khosla has been picking up its pace of investing domestically. In the first five months, the firm completed only 17 such deals, but in the last three months it has finished 20.
On the other hand, we have Founders Fund — which we’ve noted has cooled off on investing this year. The firm had only made 19 funding deals involving U.S. startups in the first seven months of the year, before closing eight last month.
Some of those rounds last month were also quite massive.
Founders led the $280 million raise for Elon Musk’s brain-implant company Neuralink. It also took part in New York-based fintech Ramp’s $300 million raise at a reduced $5.8 billion post-money valuation, and a $100 million round for San Francisco-based cyber insurance startup Resilience.
8VC, General Catalyst, Insight Partners and Lux Capital, 6 deals each
August actually marked the most deals in the U.S. in one month this year for all but General Catalyst, which has been pretty steady with its deal cadence in 2023. Lux had only done a dozen deals with U.S. startups total this year until last month.
General Catalyst — per its typical M.O. — also took part in some rounds, including the Ramp and Resilience deals. It also led a $100 million round for Palo Alto, California-based AI software developer platform Modular.
8VC also did not shy away from the big rounds. It took part in Ramp’s raise, but also the $175 million Series C for San Jose, California-based networking startup Nile (co-founded by former Cisco Systems executives John Chambers and Pankaj Patel) and the $255 million Series C for South San Francisco, California-based biotech startup Cellares.
- Khosla Ventures topped all firms in rounds led or co-led with five.
- Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Capricorn Investment Group’s Technology Impact Fund and funds advised by T. Rowe Price Associates topped the list for rounds led or co-led with the highest dollar amounts for the month, thanks to them all co-leading Redwood Materials’ massive $1 billion-plus in new funding.
- The top investing incubators and accelerators in July were Y Combinator with 12 deals and Techstars, with eight.
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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