True innovation is rare to find, but what is even more elusive are people with the drive to build their vision into a company that will transform an industry. Founders like these understand the hardships and grind of building something from scratch, a process often rife with financial concern, endless work hours and many other factors that can lead to great ideas never coming to fruition. Reaching the point where a founder feels confident enough to pitch their product to potential investors and venture capital firms is a huge milestone and one that can open the floodgates to becoming a profitable company. These are the 16 VC firms in Palo Alto that founders turn to when they are ready to take that leap.
Palo Alto VC Firms To Know
- Alloy Ventures
- Citi Ventures
- Hercules Capital
- True Ventures
- Uncork Capital
What they do: Accel understands its entrepreneurs on an individual level and seeks to support their uniquenesses as they work to grow enduring companies together. The VC firm backs startups and visions competing in the SaaS, security, development, and consumer marketplace industries, combining the powers of many innovative founders across spectrums.
Portfolio includes: Facebook, Slack, Dropbox, Spotify, Atlassian, Lynda.com, Seatgeek, GOAT and Braintree.
What they do: With passion and experience working with companies in the cybersecurity space, AllegisCyber Capital has created an investment platform that engages promising entrepreneurs and provides the market with the access, team building and operating experience they need to succeed. Designed to tackle current inefficiencies in cybersecurity solutions, AllegisCyber Capital’s Datatribe startup studio connects founders with industry leaders to create powerful companies where knowledge is the biggest competitive advantage.
Portfolio includes: Solera Networks, Area 1, Dragos, Source Defense, Platfora, Redowl, Moki and Bracket Computing.
What they do: Alloy Ventures has invested more than $1 billion into ground-breaking startups with goals of revolutionizing the technology, life sciences and cleantech industries. The firm works step-by-step with entrepreneurs to build businesses, leading to partnerships with major players impacting software, semiconductors, medical devices, diagnostics and more.
Portfolio includes: Cortina, Ensenda, Agari, Aegea Medical, Hightail, Scifiniti, Pacific Biosciences and Optimedica.
What they do: American Express Ventures focuses its investments into companies driving innovation in commerce, payments, fraud prevention, data analytics and cybersecurity. A wide global network backed by American Express provides ample opportunities for founders to find their niche within the consumer services, B2B services or core capabilities industries while making use of the company’s many resources.
Portfolio includes: Stripe, Warby Parker, Payfone, Freebird, Instacart, Bill.com, Better Mortgage and Turo.
What they do: Asset Management Ventures is helping companies grow within the digital health industry at a rapid rate, offering founders insight on emerging trends and a network of digital health stakeholders and entrepreneurs to partner with. The firm takes an active role in working with early-stage startups to combat challenges in hiring, strategic focus, technical development, sales channels and business partnerships, helping foster integrity and deep market knowledge within founders and teams.
Portfolio includes: Aegis, 31 Biosciences, Carta Healthcare, Mozio, Twist Bioscience, WellDoc, Rapidscan and Kii.
What they do: Capricorn manages a globally diverse portfolio with sustainability at the core of its investment process. The firm’s investment strategy seeks superior risk-adjusted returns by investing in and partnering with companies ready to provide lasting solutions to global problems, creating strong investments that make a positive impact.
Partners include: World Economic Forum, PRI, Prime, Ceres, Vision Ridge Partners, Tortoise, Fore Partnership and Martis Capital.
What they do: Catapult solves complex global problems by disrupting industries with companies focused on technology-enabled solutions. Focused singularly on companies with the potential to become the dominant platform of their industry, Catapult leverages its deep network of relationships with global assets to create widespread change.
Portfolio includes: Retailmenot, Earnest, Casper, Dollar Shave Club, Confident Cannabis, Freshly, Gusto, Jet, Lumosity and PopularPays.
What they do: Citi Ventures harnesses the power of Citi’s global network to empower businesses to deliver widespread technological, behavioral and societal change. The company operates a venture investing fund complete with access to an innovative network of founders reinventing technology, as well as an incubator that fosters collaboration and increased creativity amongst peers.
Portfolio includes: Honey, Hopper, Jet, Freebird, Square, Scale Factor, Octane, Claritymoney, Optimizely and Plaid.
What they do: A boutique-by-design firm dedicated to helping a handful of companies each year, Costanoa Ventures believes in investing in companies creating transformative technologies for business uses. A heavy time investment in everything from marketing and sales to IT and HR sits at the core of what Costanoa Ventures offers businesses, ensuring a collaborative model where founders receive the care they need from Seed and Series A funding.
Portfolio includes: Amplify.AI, 6sense, Acme, BeyondHQ, GameChanger, Lively, Quizlet, Roadster, Vannevar Labs and Stealth.
What they do: Hercules Capital makes a difference by investing in companies discovering groundbreaking solutions in the technology, life sciences and sustainability industries. The firm’s portfolio features over 160 IPO and M&A exits and more than 490 companies funded, utilizing decades of experience to recognize what elements companies need most to thrive.
Portfolio includes: 23andMe, Buzz Media, DoorDash, DocuSign, Facebook, Impossible Foods, Nextdoor, Pintrest, Seatgeek, Lyft and Bustle.
What they do: Next47 is focused on backing startups who are using deep technologies to solve industry challenges on a fundamental level. Companies featured in the firm’s portfolio include startups devoting resources to advancing artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, autonomous transportation, IoT, robotics, automation technologies and augmented reality. Next47 is also partnered with Siemens to deliver a robust network of resources on a global scale.
Portfolio includes: Built Robotics, Avidbots, Yellowbrick, Turvo, GeckoRobotics, Aeva, Deepscale and Verkanda.
What they do: Norwest Venture Partners helps businesses at every stage of growth receive the support they need to combat today’s operational challenges. Though the firm works to back startups across industries, Norwest's primary focus remains on fostering change in healthcare, specifically impacting healthcare services, pharmaceutical services, healthcare IT, technology-enabled services, consumer digital health, medical devices and diagnostics.
Portfolio includes: Uber, Plaid, Lumosity, Kendra Scott, Health Catalyst, NationWide Healthcare, VisitPay and Impel NeuroPharma.
What they do: Symphony Technology Group Partners combines forces with world-class management teams to build customer-centric market winners in the technology industry. The firm has extensive experience in carve outs, public to private transactions and private equity investments, allowing data, software and analytics ventures to grow with the proper backing.
Portfolio includes: AFS Technologies, Dodge Data & Analytics, Jobrapido, SPH Analytics, Symphony Talent and Escalent.
What they do: True Ventures has fostered a community that offers companies more than just money, but collaboration, creativity and heart as well. The firm provides the proper amount of financial capital as well as an abundance of financial support to build diverse teams across industries, optimizing them to be as innovative as possible.
Portfolio includes: Peloton, Fitbit, Ring, About.me, Handshake, Tray.io, Sweetgreen, Hashicorp, Automattic and Prime Roots.
What they do: Uncork Capital works with innovators in the SaaS, consumer, marketplace, and hardware industries to provide financial backing and resources, whether it's operating as the lead investor or working alongside additional seed investors. Founded as SoftTech VC in 2004, Uncork Capital keeps transparency at the top of its focus at all times and helps founders raise smart money and make better decisions when it comes to hiring, management, strategy and more.
Portfolio includes: Fitbit, Eventbrite, DroneDeploy, Poshmark, Postmates, Tempo, LaunchDarkly, Molekule, Zefr, Shippo and Bleacher Report.
What they do: UniWill Ventures was founded by two millennial professionals with a passion for helping early-stage startups build strategic development plans, deliver products to market and bring in additional investors, leading to strong companies ready to compete within their industries. Disruptive players and innovative dreamers are welcome to grow their passions alongside UniWill Ventures’s ambitious community.
Portfolio focus: AI, telecom, edtech, fintech, consumer marketplace, VR/AR, IoT, life sciences, space and clean energy.