You have that once-in-a-generation business idea. You have the know-how to create your product. What’s the one thing you’re most likely missing as a startup founder? Money. That’s where venture capital (VC) firms come into play. VC firms put up cash to help startups research their ideas, produce their products and grow their companies. In return, VC’s reap the financial benefits along with the successful company.
San Francisco, the world’s most fertile area for startups, is brimming with successful VC firms just waiting to invest in the next big idea. The Bay Area is home to a diverse range of VCs, all with different investing styles, expertise areas and strategies. They range from well-established firms with more than 30 years of experience to emerging tech-focused VCs that are startups themselves. Check out our list of the 15 brightest San Francisco Bay Area venture capital firms investing wisely in the future of tech.
Top VC Firms in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Builders VC
- G Squared
- Alpha Bridge Ventures
- Forerunner Ventures
- 137 Ventures
- Founders Fund
- True Ventures
What they do: SignalFire combines data and capital to help grow both seed and growth stage companies. Using over two billion data points, SignalFire’s platform gives companies insights on everything from the best-fit talent to help run the company to pricing tools that forecast revenue.
Companies they’ve invested in: Grammarly, Lime, Elliptic, OneSignal and ClassDojo.
What they do: Builders VC invests in companies that focus on modernizing antiquated industries. The company currently has investments in the healthcare, industrial tech, agricultural tech and real estate industries.
Companies they’ve invested in: Oscar Health, Ambyint, Grabit and Portside.
What they do: VC firm 8 Decimal Capital focuses on investments in the blockchain sector. The firm makes investments in blockchain companies that they believe will have a large impact on the worldwide adoption of ledger technology, not only in finance, but other industries as well.
Companies they’ve invested in: Chainlink, Dfinity, GoodMoney and Polkadot.
What they do: G Squared invests in businesses across various stages of growth. Whether it’s seed money or a Series E, G squared believes that investing in the entrepreneur is one of the most important aspects of a business. The firm currently focuses on investments in cloud computing, big data, marketplaces, mobility 2.0, social media and sustainability.
Companies they’ve invested in: Spotify, Postmates, Instacart, Pinterest, Uber and Dropbox.
What they do: Alpha Bridge Ventures not only invests capital in post-seed stage companies, but it also invests in the personal development of the company’s founders. The VC firm introduced “Atlas,” their tool to offer support to founders. Atlas uses comprehensive data to measure the physical and emotional health, as well as the leadership abilities, of founders to ensure that both leadership and the company are proactive and healthy.
Companies they’ve invested in: Quip, Imperfect Foods, Alpha Foods and Albert.
What they do: NightDragon Security is a cybersecurity-focused VC firm. The investment and advisory firm lends capital to companies across all stages of growth, including late stage. The company invests in startups that focus on all aspects of cybersecurity, ranging from deal flow to threat insights and infrastructure operation.
Companies they’ve invested in: Forescout, FireEye, Risksense, Jask and ForgeRock.
What they do: Granite Ventures is an early-stage VC firm (pre-revenue, seed, Series A and B) focusing on cloud-based technology, mobility and Internet applications. The firm currently invests anywhere from $500,000 to $10 million throughout the life of a company based on industry and proprietary technologies.
Companies they’ve invested in: Lucidworks, Smule, AirPair and Blockcypher.
What they do: Battery Ventures is a tech-focused VC firm that invests in companies that are in the seed or growth stages. The company mainly makes investments in startups that deal with application software, IT infrastructure, and consumer Internet and mobile. Battery, based in Boston but with a large presence in San Francisco, has also invested more than $6 billion through their private equity branch.
Companies they’ve invested in: Sprinklr, Marketo, Mendix, Niantic and ServiceTitan.
What they do: Forerunner Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in “companies that rewrite the rules of culture.” The firm invests in everything from brand platforms and backend SaaS to marketplaces and retail technologies that bring about cultural shifts with innovative products.
Companies they’ve invested in: Away, Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club, Glossier, Hims, Outdoor Voices and Warby Parker.
What they do: Shasta Ventures is an early-stage (seed and Series A) venture capital firm investing mainly in software for business. The company has made investments in “Smart Software” (B2B software) across the marketing, sales, cybersecurity, IT and financial services industries. Shasta Ventures currently makes about 8-10 investments each year across the US.
Companies they’ve invested in: Apptio, Canva, ClassDojo, Hinge, Imperfect Produce, Nextdoor and Turo.
What they do: VC 137 Ventures focuses on growth-stage investments. The company looks for high-growth startups with 50% year-over-year- growth, greater than $10 million in annual revenue and a diversified customer base with predictable revenue streams. To date, 137 Ventures has over $1 billion in assets under management.
Companies they’ve invested in: SpaceX, Wish, Flexport, Spotify, Airbnb, Lattice and Fair.
What they do: First Round Capital helps get startups off the ground with pre-seed, seed or Series A investments. The company not only offers financial capital, but access to more than 80 startup events a year and help with fundraising pitches. They also connect new investments with other companies in their portfolio for guidance and to even use their products.
Companies they’ve invested in: Against Gravity, Blue Apron, Ring, MetroMile, Refinery29 and Rover.
What they do: Founders Fund is a VC firm that invests in transformational technologies in aerospace, transportation, biotech, advanced machinery and energy. The firm, founded by PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Ken Howery, invests in companies working on emerging technologies that “if they succeed, their technology will be extraordinarily valuable."
Companies they’ve invested in: SpaceX, Airbnb, Facebook, Lyft, Postmates, Compass, Flexport and Affirm.
What they do: Formation 8 invests in companies in seed, early or growth stages. The company looks for investment opportunities in a wide-range of industries, including healthcare, energy, finance, business processes, consumer and education.
Companies they’ve invested in: Lucid, NextVR, Plated, Oscar Health and ZenReach.
What they do: True Ventures uses its $2 billion in capital to invest in early stage startups. The company’s portfolio includes startups in industries ranging from commerce to hardware and healthcare. In addition to capital, True Ventures spends a large amount of resources on education for founders, including mental health wellbeing courses and classes on how to simplify sales predictability.
Companies they’ve invested in: Blue Bottle Coffee, FitBit, Ring, Duo, Sweetgreen and Peloton.