Where the mon­ey is, 2016 edi­tion: The top 100 VCs in­vest­ing in biotech, by the num­bers

Us­ing the lat­est set of num­bers on the top 100 VCs op­er­at­ing in the US, you can sketch out all of the big trends at play in the multi­bil­lion-dol­lar game of biotech in­vest­ing and star­tups.

David Mott, NEA

The top four VCs — Flag­ship, Third Rock, New En­ter­prise As­so­ci­ates and Arch Ven­ture — all en­tered 2016 flush with cash and ready to start ramp­ing up new com­pa­nies while fos­ter­ing the up­starts al­ready in their port­fo­lios, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures Thom­son Reuters pro­vid­ed to End­points News. NEA may have slipped down the list a bit, but the life sci­ences group un­der David Mott con­tin­ues to be one of the most pro­lif­ic in the in­dus­try, not shy in the least to take a lead role in big new rounds.

In many cas­es, these four VCs have been kick­start­ing com­pa­nies in­to ex­is­tence us­ing a blank-slate ap­proach in track­ing down and spark­ing the shift from acad­e­mia in­to the clin­ic. And groups like At­las and 5AM have been close be­hind.

If you ranked these firms by the num­ber of deals, Po­laris would come in at the top (same as last year) though they are clear­ly look­ing at mak­ing small­er bets across a wider slate of can­di­dates.

Third Rock Ven­tures

Most of these top play­ers are keen­ly in­ter­est­ed in the ear­li­est stages of in­vest­ing in biotech, but the un­der­tow on the mon­ey is al­so in­evitably broad­en­ing to in­clude lat­er stages of work, which is why Flag­ship re­cent­ly added a new $285 mil­lion fund to ex­tend its reach fur­ther down the clin­ic.

With IPOs suf­fer­ing last year, it’s al­so no sur­prise to see a crossover in­vestor like RA Cap­i­tal drop from 5th in 2015 to 56th in 2016. But Or­biMed and Deer­field re­main in the top tier of the busiest play­ers.

The num­ber of new deals has slipped, which is al­so no sur­prise. 2015 re­mains a record year in ven­ture in­vest­ing that will be hard to beat in the com­ing years, as VCs wait out the lull in the pub­lic mar­ket. But the over­all flow of cash re­mains near enough to his­toric highs to keep the land­scape look­ing bright.

To ful­ly un­der­stand these num­bers, you have to start by clar­i­fy­ing that the to­tals in the amount in­vest­ed col­umn aren’t gospel. Thom­son Reuters gath­ers up all the num­bers it can find — in the news, SEC fil­ings and so on — and then divvies the amount of each round by the num­ber of play­ers on record. If one VC was in­volved in a round, they have a sol­id fig­ure. If 4 or 5 play­ers are in­volved, they di­vide by the to­tal and use that as the av­er­age. It’s not per­fect, but it does cap­ture the lev­el of ac­tiv­i­ty each VC is play­ing with.

Po­laris Part­ners

Based on the num­ber of new funds that con­tin­ue to at­tract record amounts of mon­ey for play­ers like Ver­sant, it’s fair to say that 2017 looks sol­id as we be­gin the year. Just about every­one ex­pects a re­peat of 2016 on the IPO front, though with Don­ald Trump en­ter­ing the White House as the wild card in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics — stroking cor­po­ra­tions with one hand while slap­ping phar­ma with the oth­er — who re­al­ly knows what’s go­ing to hap­pen?

Some­one asked me re­cent­ly where they had the best shot at rais­ing cash for his biotech ven­ture. My sug­ges­tion: Look over the num­bers and deals in your own sec­tor and see who has a track record in your field. And this is a good place to get start­ed on that ex­er­cise.

Table

Top 100 VC firms in­vest­ing in U.S. biotech com­pa­nies
Based on all known 2016 deals

Click on row head­er to sort ->
Firm # Deals # of Com­pa­nies Avg Eq­ui­ty/Deal ($M) Avg Eq­ui­ty/Com­pa­ny ($M) To­tal Eq­ui­ty In­vest­ed
1 Flag­ship Pi­o­neer­ing 12 9 21.82 29.09 261.83
2 Third Rock Ven­tures LLC 14 11 12.18 15.51 170.57
3 New En­ter­prise As­so­ci­ates, Inc. 22 21 6.64 6.96 146.11
4 Arch Ven­ture Part­ners LLC 17 15 7.72 8.75 131.18
5 Ven­rock Inc 10 8 11.88 14.85 118.78
6 Deer­field Man­age­ment Com­pa­ny LP 14 14 8.25 8.25 115.51
7 Or­biMed Ad­vi­sors LLC 15 14 6.99 7.48 104.79
8 At­las Ven­ture Ad­vi­sors Inc 13 13 7.11 7.11 92.42
9 Gur­net Point Cap­i­tal LLC 1 1 92.00 92.00 92.00
10 5AM Ven­tures LLC 21 15 4.31 6.03 90.47
11 Cel­gene Corp 5 5 16.79 16.79 83.95
12 F-Prime Cap­i­tal Part­ners 8 7 10.33 11.80 82.63
13 GE Ven­tures Inc 4 4 19.98 19.98 79.93
14 Canaan Part­ners 20 17 4.00 4.70 79.90
15 Po­laris Ven­ture Part­ners 23 21 3.30 3.61 75.82
16 Fra­zier Man­age­ment LLC 14 12 4.83 5.63 67.56
17 KKR & Co LP 3 3 22.14 22.14 66.42
18 Es­sex Wood­lands Man­age­ment Inc 5 4 12.40 15.50 62.01
19 Lux­in Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Group Co Ltd 1 1 61.45 61.45 61.45
20 Il­lu­mi­nate Ven­tures 1 1 55.00 55.00 55.00
21 Google Ven­tures 7 7 7.60 7.60 53.19
22 Klein­er Perkins Cau­field & By­ers LLC 10 10 5.17 5.17 51.68
23 Do­main As­so­ci­ates LLC 13 11 3.86 4.57 50.23
24 No­var­tis Ven­ture Funds 7 7 7.17 7.17 50.17
25 Khosla Ven­tures LLC 6 6 8.30 8.30 49.81
26 Al­ti­tude Funds LLC 4 4 12.23 12.23 48.91
27 Fi­deli­ty In­vest­ment Funds II 1 1 48.00 48.00 48.00
28 Pfiz­er Ven­ture In­vest­ments 9 8 5.21 5.86 46.90
29 Sofinno­va Ven­tures Inc 7 6 6.54 7.63 45.80
30 Amzak Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment LLC 2 2 21.95 21.95 43.91
31 Alexan­dria Ven­ture In­vest­ments 12 12 3.53 3.53 42.33
32 Col­umn Group 4 4 10.38 10.38 41.51
33 S.R. One, Lim­it­ed 7 7 5.66 5.66 39.61
34 Be­zos Ex­pe­di­tions 2 2 19.75 19.75 39.50
35 Vi­vo Cap­i­tal LLC 9 8 4.21 4.74 37.93
36 MPM Cap­i­tal LLC 8 7 4.72 5.40 37.77
37 HealthQuest Cap­i­tal 3 3 12.18 12.18 36.53
38 Ais­ling Cap­i­tal LLC 8 8 4.34 4.34 34.72
39 Ap­ple Tree Part­ners 6 5 5.55 6.66 33.31
40 ORI Cap­i­tal 2 2 16.50 16.50 33.00
41 John­son & John­son In­no­va­tion-JJDC Inc 7 7 4.67 4.67 32.72
42 Alas­ka Per­ma­nent Fund Corp 1 1 32.33 32.33 32.33
43 Sofinno­va Part­ners SAS 4 4 7.93 7.93 31.71
44 No­vo A/S 8 8 3.90 3.90 31.21
45 Clarus Ven­tures LLC 10 9 3.01 3.34 30.05
46 Fore­site Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment LLC 4 4 7.44 7.44 29.75
47 SV Life Sci­ences Ad­vis­ers, LLC 10 9 2.97 3.30 29.66
48 Os­age Part­ners 9 9 3.25 3.25 29.28
49 Lund­beck­fond Ven­tures 5 5 5.54 5.54 27.70
50 WuXi Health­care Ven­tures 5 4 5.54 6.93 27.70
51 Y Com­bi­na­tor Inc 2 2 13.46 13.46 26.92
52 Boston Sci­en­tif­ic Corp 2 2 13.40 13.40 26.80
53 Sut­ter Hill Ven­tures 2 2 13.04 13.04 26.07
54 Top­spin Part­ners LP 3 3 8.17 8.17 24.51
55 Ar­bore­tum Ven­tures Inc 4 4 6.11 6.11 24.45
56 RA Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment LLC 6 6 3.86 3.86 23.19
57 Rock Springs Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment LP 4 4 5.70 5.70 22.79
58 Nan­oDi­men­sion Man­age­ment Ltd 6 5 3.78 4.54 22.69
59 U.S. Ven­ture Part­ners 10 9 2.20 2.44 21.98
60 Kraft Group LLC 3 3 7.27 7.27 21.80
61 F Hoff­mann La Roche AG 5 5 4.35 4.35 21.73
62 Mayo Med­ical Ven­tures 4 3 5.17 6.89 20.68
63 Sec­toral As­set Man­age­ment Inc 2 2 10.31 10.31 20.63
64 Oak In­vest­ment Part­ners 2 2 10.06 10.06 20.13
65 Light­stone Ven­tures LP 3 3 6.71 6.71 20.12
66 Mor­gen­thaler Ven­tures 7 5 2.85 3.99 19.96
67 River­Vest Ven­ture Part­ners LLC 6 6 3.27 3.27 19.63
68 Ver­sant Ven­ture Man­age­ment, LLC 4 4 4.82 4.82 19.28
69 Mis­sion Bay Cap­i­tal LLC 6 6 3.13 3.13 18.76
70 Al­ta Part­ners 2 2 9.31 9.31 18.61
71 In­ter­West Part­ners LLC 6 6 3.08 3.08 18.47
72 Temasek Hold­ings (Pri­vate) Ltd 3 3 6.15 6.15 18.46
73 Merieux De­vel­oppe­ment SAS 2 2 9.21 9.21 18.42
74 Salem Cap­i­tal Part­ners, L.P. 1 1 18.31 18.31 18.31
75 Lux Cap­i­tal 5 5 3.53 3.53 17.64
76 HBM Health­care In­vest­ments AG 3 3 5.66 5.66 16.98
77 Xer­aya Cap­i­tal Sdn Bhd 3 3 5.66 5.66 16.98
78 North Bridge Ven­ture Part­ners LP 4 3 4.04 5.39 16.16
79 Meritech Cap­i­tal Part­ners 2 1 8.04 16.09 16.09
80 Trin­no­vate Ven­tures Inc 2 2 7.95 7.95 15.90
81 Abing­worth Man­age­ment Ltd 2 2 7.94 7.94 15.88
82 Ven­bio Part­ners LLC 2 2 7.86 7.86 15.72
83 Newspring Cap­i­tal 2 2 7.84 7.84 15.68
84 Par­ti­san Man­age­ment Group, Inc. 2 2 7.63 7.63 15.25
85 Lon­gi­tude Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment Co LLC 3 3 4.95 4.95 14.85
86 Wind­ham Ven­ture Part­ners 2 2 7.23 7.23 14.46
87 Shire Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Inc. 1 1 14.35 14.35 14.35
88 Mer­ck Glob­al Health In­no­va­tion Fund LLC 3 3 4.72 4.72 14.16
89 Her­itage Group LLC 2 2 7.06 7.06 14.11
90 Ad­vent Ven­ture Part­ners LLP 2 2 6.92 6.92 13.83
91 Bei­jing Ben­cao In­vest­ment Ad­vi­sor Co Ltd 1 1 13.75 13.75 13.75
92 Gim­po Ind In­vest Fund Mgmt Co 1 1 13.75 13.75 13.75
93 Kaiser Per­ma­nente Ven­tures LLC 4 4 3.42 3.42 13.68
94 Biostar Ven­tures II LLC 2 2 6.79 6.79 13.57
95 Light­speed Man­age­ment Com­pa­ny LLC 3 3 4.52 4.52 13.55
96 Ab­b­Vie Biotech Ven­tures, Inc. 2 2 6.65 6.65 13.30
97 Aper­ture Ven­ture Part­ners LLC 3 3 4.43 4.43 13.29
98 Pal­adin Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment LLC 2 2 6.62 6.62 13.24
99 Third Point Ven­tures LP 1 1 13.05 13.05 13.05
100 Part­ners In­no­va­tion Fund LLC 4 3 3.23 4.31 12.93