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.)


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


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

Click on row header to sort ->
Firm# Cos# DealsAvg DealAvg Co.Approx $(M)State
1New Enterprise Associates, Inc.23287.419.02207.36California
2F-Prime Capital Partners161711.0311.72187.59Massachusetts
3Third Rock Ventures LLC13168.4710.42135.52Massachusetts
4Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures7718.4218.42128.95Massachusetts
5RA Capital Management LLC18196.787.15128.75Massachusetts
6OrbiMed Advisors LLC20235.456.27125.35New York
7Polaris Partners29403.124.30124.84Massachusetts
8Flagship Ventures101110.1711.19111.87Massachusetts
9Deerfield Management Company LP14166.777.74108.34New York
10Venrock Inc12138.188.86106.32California
11Sofinnova Ventures Inc13166.337.79101.22California
12Norwest Venture Partners3423.8731.8395.50California
13Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC13175.286.9189.82California
14MPM Capital LLC16243.665.4987.83Massachusetts
15Canaan Partners23273.193.7486.06California
16Versant Venture Management, LLC16204.295.3685.83California
17New Leaf Venture Partners LLC13136.536.5384.84New York
18Tpg Growth LLC3327.1327.1381.39California
19Foresite Capital Management LLC11116.856.8575.38California
20S.R. One, Limited10126.037.2472.35Pennsylvania
21Arch Venture Partners LLC14144.924.9268.94Illinois
22Novartis Venture Funds12144.535.2863.40Non-US
23Column Group778.948.9462.60California
245AM Ventures LLC12144.385.1161.37California
25Frazier Management LLC13183.324.5959.70Washington
26Atlas Venture Advisors Inc18222.573.1556.64Massachusetts
27InterWest Partners LLC11124.484.8953.81California
28Longitude Capital Management Co LLC10114.835.3253.16California
29Wellington Management Company LLP886.546.5452.30Massachusetts
30EcoR1 Capital LLC886.426.4251.32California
31Ally Bridge Group Capital Partners II LP9114.675.7051.32Non-US
32Arboretum Ventures685.407.2143.23Michigan
33Domain Associates LLC12142.963.4641.50New Jersey
34Sandbox Industries LLC458.2310.2941.15Illinois
35Novo A/S17192.072.3139.35Non-US
36Hatteras Venture Partners10123.213.8538.53North Carolina
37ProQuest Investments2219.0319.0338.06Florida
38F Hoffmann La Roche AG675.306.1837.07Non-US
39CHL Medical Partners LP3312.2912.2936.86Connecticut
40Khosla Ventures LLC557.347.3436.72California
41Rock Springs Capital Management LP884.594.5936.69Maryland
42Venture Investors LLC12142.562.9835.80Wisconsin
43Lumira Capital Corp.775.045.0435.25Non-US
44Chicago Pacific Founders Fund LP1135.0035.0035.00Illinois
45HIG Capital LLC448.708.7034.79Florida
46Sequoia Capital448.598.5934.38California
47Aisling Capital LLC448.408.4033.60New York
48Vatera Healthcare Partners LLC1133.5033.5033.50New York
49Hope Investments Management Co Ltd1133.3333.3333.33Non-US
50Warburg Pincus LLC248.3316.6633.32New York
51Alexandria Real Estate Equities, LLC3311.0011.0033.01California
52Windham Venture Partners556.326.3231.58New York
53Lightstone Ventures LP774.394.3930.76California
54Takeda Ventures Inc2215.2315.2330.45California
55Sailing Capital Management Co Ltd2215.1415.1430.27Non-US
56Sanderling Ventures674.315.0230.15California
57Oak Investment Partners2215.0015.0030.00Connecticut
58Mohr Davidow Ventures455.947.4229.70California
59Mission Bay Capital LLC683.704.9329.61California
60HBM Healthcare Investments AG555.635.6328.17Non-US
61Tiger Management Corp2213.9013.9027.79New York
62Venbio Partners LLC555.445.4427.19California
63Morgenthaler Ventures10141.942.7227.17California
64Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners SAS455.386.7326.91Non-US
65Pfizer Venture Investments664.414.4126.44New York
66Sutter Hill Ventures2213.1913.1926.38California
67Puretech Ventures238.6713.0126.02Massachusetts
68Omega Fund Management LLC555.155.1525.73Massachusetts
69Morningside Technologies446.396.3925.54Non-US
70Sectoral Asset Management Inc446.336.3325.31Non-US
71Avalon Ventures, LLC664.214.2125.25California
72Bezos Expeditions1125.0025.0025.00Washington
73Osage Partners773.543.5424.81Pennsylvania
74Partners Innovation Fund LLC664.094.0924.55Massachusetts
75Aperture Venture Partners LLC773.493.4924.41New York
76Keiretsu Forum20231.051.2124.19California
77Sante Ventures773.323.3223.23Texas
78Pappas Ventures663.813.8122.83North Carolina
79Advanced Technology Ventures463.575.3621.44California
80Abingworth Management Ltd563.574.2821.41Non-US
81Baxter Ventures553.993.9919.96Illinois
82RiverVest Venture Partners LLC672.743.2019.21Missouri
83Tekla Healthcare Investors453.834.7819.13Massachusetts
84Correlation Ventures LP882.352.3518.81California
85Google Ventures663.103.1018.57California
86Remeditex Ventures LLC453.304.1216.49Texas
87HealthQuest Capital462.633.9415.78California
88Mountain Group Capital LLC781.932.2015.43Tennessee
89Advantage Capital Partners472.063.6114.45Louisiana
90U.S. Venture Partners581.812.8914.44California
91Lilly Ventures352.874.7814.34Indiana
92Radius Ventures LLC252.796.9813.95New York
93Intersouth Partners562.242.6813.41North Carolina
94Ascension Ventures452.322.9111.62Missouri
95Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC Inc561.842.2111.04New Jersey
96Prolog Ventures552.082.0810.39Missouri
97InCube Ventures LLC351.993.319.94California
98Partisan Management Group, Inc.561.451.748.71Colorado
99Healthcare Ventures, LLC551.571.577.84Massachusetts
100Tullis Health Investors471.011.767.05Connecticut
101MB Venture Partners LLC11140.440.566.21Tennessee
102Connecticut Innovations Inc10140.390.555.47Connecticut
103Mercury Partners Management LLC670.750.875.23Texas
105Sv Life Sciences Advisers Llp660.760.764.54Massachusetts
106Tech Coast Angels450.690.863.44California
107Innova Memphis Inc11130.190.232.49Tennessee
108Ben Franklin Technology Partners Southeastern PA990.170.171.53Pennsylvania
109Innovation Works Inc660.040.040.26Pennsylvania