Where the money is: The top 100(+) VCs investing in U.S. biotechs


Warning: Read this before looking at the sortable list below.
(No, I mean it. Stop.)


Bioregnum Bioregnum

2015 proved to be the biggest year on record for venture investing in U.S. biotechs. A total of $7.7 billion flowed into a range of startups, some clustered in Boston/Cambridge and San Francisco, but with quite a large amount finding its way to drug developers off the beaten biotech path.

This year the money has continued to flow at the same torrid pace, even though the IPO window for drug developers has dropped down to an uncomfortable squeeze space for the hottest, or most desperate, companies to aim at.

But how do the VCs rank in terms of deals and dollars? I asked Thomson Reuters, which does the numbers for the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association, and they came back with the list below. (No, wait for it.)

Thomson Reuters’ analyst gleans information for these numbers out of press releases, SEC filings, and wherever else they can be found. Deal numbers are fairly easy to track, as the VCs and companies enjoy putting out the numbers on their progress. Specific dollar amounts invested, which typically aren’t announced, are much harder to follow.

To come up with a dollar amount for the total invested by each VC, they took the total round reported and, in the absence of hard numbers, broke it down by averages. If 5 VCs bet $50 million on a company, that would count for $10 million each – even if the hard numbers don’t stack up that way. If there’s only one VC doing the round, that’s easier to keep track of.

David Mott, NEA

David Mott, NEA

What you get is an approximation of the total, which is why New Enterprise Associates—a VC group with a $3 billion global megafund that likes to go in big—ranks at the top of the list. If you base the list on the number of deals alone, a busy Polaris comes out on top.Many of the most prominent VCs do much, much more than just offer money. Third Rock has launched a wave of new companies on both coasts, always dispatching a partner to play interim helmsman. David Mott at NEA didn’t just back Mersana and its ADC tech, he grabbed the chairman’s spot on the board and has a hands-on role in management with CEO Anna Protopapas. When Amy Schulman left Pfizer’s consumer healthcare division and later took up residence at Polaris, she swiftly settled into playing a key role at 7 companies: CEO of Arsia, co-founder Lyndra and a board member of 5 more companies.

Amy Schulman, Polaris

Amy Schulman, Polaris

There’s also an interesting angle to watch in terms of the geography of money. Four of the top 5 VCs on this list are based in Boston/Cambridge. But California is home for 9 of the top 20. Throw in a couple from New York, close to the markets, and GSK’s S.R. One, with offices in Cambridge, MA and San Francisco as well as the pharma giant’s U.S. base in Pennsylvania, and you can see how the money at the top VCs stays close to the companies they invest in — or vice versa.

That’s an important distinction, as many of these venture investors don’t like to travel far for a board meeting. If a partner has 7 companies to watch, they’re likely not going to want to go globetrotting constantly. And that’s one reason why London and New York continue to be shortchanged on startup cash.

Fix that, and you’ll fix your hub development issues in up-and-coming territories. But trends are difficult things to fight, which is why San Francisco and Boston/Cambridge will continue to attract the lion’s share of the cash for some time to come.

I expect I’ll get quite a few calls on this one. And I’ll be happy to update the numbers if firms want to open up.

(You’re good to go.) — John Carroll


spreadsheet Table

Top 100 VC firms investing in U.S. biotech companies
Based on 2015 deals

Click on row header to sort ->
Firm # Cos # Deals Avg Deal Avg Co. Approx $(M) State
1 New Enterprise Associates, Inc. 23 28 7.41 9.02 207.36 California
2 F-Prime Capital Partners 16 17 11.03 11.72 187.59 Massachusetts
3 Third Rock Ventures LLC 13 16 8.47 10.42 135.52 Massachusetts
4 Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures 7 7 18.42 18.42 128.95 Massachusetts
5 RA Capital Management LLC 18 19 6.78 7.15 128.75 Massachusetts
6 OrbiMed Advisors LLC 20 23 5.45 6.27 125.35 New York
7 Polaris Partners 29 40 3.12 4.30 124.84 Massachusetts
8 Flagship Ventures 10 11 10.17 11.19 111.87 Massachusetts
9 Deerfield Management Company LP 14 16 6.77 7.74 108.34 New York
10 Venrock Inc 12 13 8.18 8.86 106.32 California
11 Sofinnova Ventures Inc 13 16 6.33 7.79 101.22 California
12 Norwest Venture Partners 3 4 23.87 31.83 95.50 California
13 Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC 13 17 5.28 6.91 89.82 California
14 MPM Capital LLC 16 24 3.66 5.49 87.83 Massachusetts
15 Canaan Partners 23 27 3.19 3.74 86.06 California
16 Versant Venture Management, LLC 16 20 4.29 5.36 85.83 California
17 New Leaf Venture Partners LLC 13 13 6.53 6.53 84.84 New York
18 Tpg Growth LLC 3 3 27.13 27.13 81.39 California
19 Foresite Capital Management LLC 11 11 6.85 6.85 75.38 California
20 S.R. One, Limited 10 12 6.03 7.24 72.35 Pennsylvania
21 Arch Venture Partners LLC 14 14 4.92 4.92 68.94 Illinois
22 Novartis Venture Funds 12 14 4.53 5.28 63.40 Non-US
23 Column Group 7 7 8.94 8.94 62.60 California
24 5AM Ventures LLC 12 14 4.38 5.11 61.37 California
25 Frazier Management LLC 13 18 3.32 4.59 59.70 Washington
26 Atlas Venture Advisors Inc 18 22 2.57 3.15 56.64 Massachusetts
27 InterWest Partners LLC 11 12 4.48 4.89 53.81 California
28 Longitude Capital Management Co LLC 10 11 4.83 5.32 53.16 California
29 Wellington Management Company LLP 8 8 6.54 6.54 52.30 Massachusetts
30 EcoR1 Capital LLC 8 8 6.42 6.42 51.32 California
31 Ally Bridge Group Capital Partners II LP 9 11 4.67 5.70 51.32 Non-US
32 Arboretum Ventures 6 8 5.40 7.21 43.23 Michigan
33 Domain Associates LLC 12 14 2.96 3.46 41.50 New Jersey
34 Sandbox Industries LLC 4 5 8.23 10.29 41.15 Illinois
35 Novo A/S 17 19 2.07 2.31 39.35 Non-US
36 Hatteras Venture Partners 10 12 3.21 3.85 38.53 North Carolina
37 ProQuest Investments 2 2 19.03 19.03 38.06 Florida
38 F Hoffmann La Roche AG 6 7 5.30 6.18 37.07 Non-US
39 CHL Medical Partners LP 3 3 12.29 12.29 36.86 Connecticut
40 Khosla Ventures LLC 5 5 7.34 7.34 36.72 California
41 Rock Springs Capital Management LP 8 8 4.59 4.59 36.69 Maryland
42 Venture Investors LLC 12 14 2.56 2.98 35.80 Wisconsin
43 Lumira Capital Corp. 7 7 5.04 5.04 35.25 Non-US
44 Chicago Pacific Founders Fund LP 1 1 35.00 35.00 35.00 Illinois
45 HIG Capital LLC 4 4 8.70 8.70 34.79 Florida
46 Sequoia Capital 4 4 8.59 8.59 34.38 California
47 Aisling Capital LLC 4 4 8.40 8.40 33.60 New York
48 Vatera Healthcare Partners LLC 1 1 33.50 33.50 33.50 New York
49 Hope Investments Management Co Ltd 1 1 33.33 33.33 33.33 Non-US
50 Warburg Pincus LLC 2 4 8.33 16.66 33.32 New York
51 Alexandria Real Estate Equities, LLC 3 3 11.00 11.00 33.01 California
52 Windham Venture Partners 5 5 6.32 6.32 31.58 New York
53 Lightstone Ventures LP 7 7 4.39 4.39 30.76 California
54 Takeda Ventures Inc 2 2 15.23 15.23 30.45 California
55 Sailing Capital Management Co Ltd 2 2 15.14 15.14 30.27 Non-US
56 Sanderling Ventures 6 7 4.31 5.02 30.15 California
57 Oak Investment Partners 2 2 15.00 15.00 30.00 Connecticut
58 Mohr Davidow Ventures 4 5 5.94 7.42 29.70 California
59 Mission Bay Capital LLC 6 8 3.70 4.93 29.61 California
60 HBM Healthcare Investments AG 5 5 5.63 5.63 28.17 Non-US
61 Tiger Management Corp 2 2 13.90 13.90 27.79 New York
62 Venbio Partners LLC 5 5 5.44 5.44 27.19 California
63 Morgenthaler Ventures 10 14 1.94 2.72 27.17 California
64 Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners SAS 4 5 5.38 6.73 26.91 Non-US
65 Pfizer Venture Investments 6 6 4.41 4.41 26.44 New York
66 Sutter Hill Ventures 2 2 13.19 13.19 26.38 California
67 Puretech Ventures 2 3 8.67 13.01 26.02 Massachusetts
68 Omega Fund Management LLC 5 5 5.15 5.15 25.73 Massachusetts
69 Morningside Technologies 4 4 6.39 6.39 25.54 Non-US
70 Sectoral Asset Management Inc 4 4 6.33 6.33 25.31 Non-US
71 Avalon Ventures, LLC 6 6 4.21 4.21 25.25 California
72 Bezos Expeditions 1 1 25.00 25.00 25.00 Washington
73 Osage Partners 7 7 3.54 3.54 24.81 Pennsylvania
74 Partners Innovation Fund LLC 6 6 4.09 4.09 24.55 Massachusetts
75 Aperture Venture Partners LLC 7 7 3.49 3.49 24.41 New York
76 Keiretsu Forum 20 23 1.05 1.21 24.19 California
77 Sante Ventures 7 7 3.32 3.32 23.23 Texas
78 Pappas Ventures 6 6 3.81 3.81 22.83 North Carolina
79 Advanced Technology Ventures 4 6 3.57 5.36 21.44 California
80 Abingworth Management Ltd 5 6 3.57 4.28 21.41 Non-US
81 Baxter Ventures 5 5 3.99 3.99 19.96 Illinois
82 RiverVest Venture Partners LLC 6 7 2.74 3.20 19.21 Missouri
83 Tekla Healthcare Investors 4 5 3.83 4.78 19.13 Massachusetts
84 Correlation Ventures LP 8 8 2.35 2.35 18.81 California
85 Google Ventures 6 6 3.10 3.10 18.57 California
86 Remeditex Ventures LLC 4 5 3.30 4.12 16.49 Texas
87 HealthQuest Capital 4 6 2.63 3.94 15.78 California
88 Mountain Group Capital LLC 7 8 1.93 2.20 15.43 Tennessee
89 Advantage Capital Partners 4 7 2.06 3.61 14.45 Louisiana
90 U.S. Venture Partners 5 8 1.81 2.89 14.44 California
91 Lilly Ventures 3 5 2.87 4.78 14.34 Indiana
92 Radius Ventures LLC 2 5 2.79 6.98 13.95 New York
93 Intersouth Partners 5 6 2.24 2.68 13.41 North Carolina
94 Ascension Ventures 4 5 2.32 2.91 11.62 Missouri
95 Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC Inc 5 6 1.84 2.21 11.04 New Jersey
96 Prolog Ventures 5 5 2.08 2.08 10.39 Missouri
97 InCube Ventures LLC 3 5 1.99 3.31 9.94 California
98 Partisan Management Group, Inc. 5 6 1.45 1.74 8.71 Colorado
99 Healthcare Ventures, LLC 5 5 1.57 1.57 7.84 Massachusetts
100 Tullis Health Investors 4 7 1.01 1.76 7.05 Connecticut
101 MB Venture Partners LLC 11 14 0.44 0.56 6.21 Tennessee
102 Connecticut Innovations Inc 10 14 0.39 0.55 5.47 Connecticut
103 Mercury Partners Management LLC 6 7 0.75 0.87 5.23 Texas
104 BioGenerator 10 11 0.46 0.50 5.01 Missouri
105 Sv Life Sciences Advisers Llp 6 6 0.76 0.76 4.54 Massachusetts
106 Tech Coast Angels 4 5 0.69 0.86 3.44 California
107 Innova Memphis Inc 11 13 0.19 0.23 2.49 Tennessee
108 Ben Franklin Technology Partners Southeastern PA 9 9 0.17 0.17 1.53 Pennsylvania
109 Innovation Works Inc 6 6 0.04 0.04 0.26 Pennsylvania


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Top 30 VC Firms