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Dec 9, 2013

Top 30 Venture Capital Firms of 2013

Who are the big spenders that help grease the wheels of biotech?

Top 30 Venture Capital Firms of 2013

This year’s list has been expanded to a top 30 in part to include the higher number of firms with funds totaling more than $1.1 billion compared with 2012. [Bobby4237 - Fotolia.com]

  • Just last week, a new biotech company called Juno Therapeutics was launched to the tune of $120 million in Series A financing. Where did this money come from? From the generous coffers of venture capital firms, including ARCH Venture Partners and the Alaska Permanent Fund. Such it is with every startup—venture capital is part of what makes new biotechs and biopharmas blossom. So, which VC companies invested money in those fields this year? Below is a list of 30 top venture capital firms, and broader financial firms that invest venture capital or other equity in early- to late-stage biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, ranked by total capital under management or, for some firms, total active “committed” capital from funds in use.

    This year’s list has been expanded to a top 30, in order to paint a more complete picture of biopharma venture investment and its key players—as well as to include the higher number of firms with funds totaling more than $1.1 billion compared with 2012.

    The firms themselves are the sources of much of the information, though in some instances they have declined comment on news reports that they are raising additional capital; those instances are included in footnotes where the companies have not challenged the accuracy of the reports. In a handful of instances, figures and facts came from biographies of the firms’ principals available on the websites of investee companies and publicly available investor presentations posted online.

    Interestingly, this year, five firms listed closed on new funds—less than the seven that did so last year, but a still-significant sign that more firms resumed raising new capital following years of near-standstill wrought by the 2007–09 recession.

  • #30. Enterprise Partners Venture Capital

    City (cities) where offices are located: La Jolla, CA

    Fund size and status: More than $1.1 billion under management across six funds

    Current fund: $353 million EPVI, closed 2001

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Ascenta Therapeutics, Celladon, Celula, Complete Genomics

    Typical investment range: Initial investment more typically ranges between $3 million and $10 million, with additional funds reserved for follow-on financings. Occasionally the partnership will invest as little as $300K in a seed stage venture. Preference for investing in California-based businesses

    Year established: 1985

  • #29. Delphi Ventures

    City (cities) where offices are located: Menlo Park, CA

    Fund size and status: More than $1.1 billion in eight funds

    Current fund: $300 million Delphi Ventures VIII, closed 2008

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Calithera Biosciences, Labcyte, NeurAxon, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, ProActa, PTC Therapeutics, Relypsa

    Typical investment range: Investment size ranges from $500,000 to $12 million per company

    Year established: 1988

  • #28. Abingworth

    City (cities) where offices are located: London; Menlo Park, CA; Waltham, MA

    Fund size and status: More than $1.25 billion under management across nine funds

    Most recent fund name: Abingworth Bioventures V, expanded to £392 million ($635 million) with the addition of £84 million ($136 million) raised in December 2008. The new monies were raised in an affiliated fund, Abingworth Bioventures V Co-Invest Growth Equity Fund. Firm also invests through Abingworth BioEquities, an open-ended fund and Abingworth’s first dedicated solely to investments in quoted stocks.1

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Ablynx, Algeta, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Amarin, Avedro, Avila Therapeutics, Avillon, Chiasma, Chroma Therapeutics, Clovis Oncology, Cytos Biotechnology, Dicerna Pharmceuticals, eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Epigenomics, EVF-Thyroid, GenSight Biologics, Hydra Biosciences, Intellikine, Labcyte, Magellan Biosciences, MD On-Line, Pathwork Diagnostics, Personalis, Portola Pharmaceuticals, PrimeraDx, Prosensa, SFJ Pharmaceuticals, Senseonics, Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Valeritas, Zogenix

    Typical investment range: $20 million to $50 million per company; Monies may be invested over more than one round of financing. Investments across all stages of company development including early and late-stage venture, venture investments in public equities (VIPEs), growth equity and public markets

    Year established: 1973

  • #27. Third Rock Ventures

    City (cities) where offices are located: Boston and San Francisco

    Fund size and status: More than $1.3 billion raised in three funds

    Current fund: $516 million Fund III, which closed in March and was created to help launch up to 16 new companies focused on “disruptive” areas of science and medicine

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Ablexis, Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Alcresta, Allena Pharmaceuticals, Alnara Pharmaceuticals, bluebirdbio, Blueprint Medicines, Constellation Pharmaceuticals, CytomX Therapeutics, Edimer, Eleven Biotherapeutics, Ember Therapeutics, Foundation Medicine, GlobalBlood Therapeutics, Igenica, JounceTherapeutics, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Lotus Tissue Repair, MyoKardia, PanOptica, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Sage Therapeutics, Topica Pharmaceuticals, WarpDriveBio, Zafgen

    Typical investment range: Seeks to lead investing rounds, making an initial investment of up to $50 million, ideally at the formative stage of company development

    Year established: 2007

  • #26. ARCH Venture Partners

    City (cities) where offices are located: Chicago; Austin, TX; Seattle; San Francisco; Dublin

    Fund size and status: Nearly $1.5 billion under management across seven funds

    Current fund: $400 million ARCH Venture Fund VII, closed 2007

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Achaogen, Acylin Therapeutics, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Allozyne, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Array BioPharma, BIND Biosciences, bluebird bio, Chiasma, Ensemble Therapeutics, Fate Therapeutics, GenVec, Groove BioPharma, Hua Medicine, Ikaria, Illumina, ISB Accelerator, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Lycera, NeurogesX, Nura, Omeros, Oncofactor, Permeon Biologics, PhaseRx, Pulmatrix, Receptos, Sorbent Therapeutics, Syros Pharmaceuticals, Theraclone Sciences, VBI Vaccines, VentiRx Pharaceuticals, VLST, XenoPort, XORI

    Typical investment range: Investment average or range per-company unavailable; firm applies "Innovation Investment" model that invests conservatively in a seed round and then leads and co-leads additional rounds to liquidity

    Year established: 1986 as not-for-profit ARCH Development Corp. by University of Chicago

  • #25. Burrill & Co.

    City (cities) where offices are located: San Francisco

    Fund size and status: $1.5 billion under management across seven funds

    Current fund: $505 million Burrill Capital Fund IV, closed for second time 2012

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Adlyfe, Catalyst Biosciences, Captaris Therapeutics, Cerca Inights Chromatin, LightSciences Oncology, Logical Therapeutics, Neos Therapeutics, Neurotech, Newbridge Pharmaceuticals, Nora Therapeutics, Odyssey Thera, Scynexis, Sentinext Therapeutics, Waterstone Pharmaceuticals, XDx

    Typical investment range: Average funding: $5 million to $15 million over the life of a company. Most investments are expected to be in the startup through mezzanine stages. The largest number of investments are targeted to Series A and B rounds; the firm does invest in public entities. Principally invests in the United States and Europe, but has strategic interests globally

    Year established: 1994

  • #24. Versant Ventures

    City (cities) where offices are located: Menlo Park, CA; Newport Beach, CA; San Francisco; Basel, Switzerland; Vancouver, BC

    Fund size and status: $1.6 billion in committed capital across four funds; disclosed plans in October 2013 to raise a $250 million fifth fund2

    Current fund: $500 million Versant Venture Capital IV L.P., closed 2008

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: 5AM Ventures, Achaogen, Audentes Therapeutics, Biotie Therapies, CymaBay Therapeutics (formerly Metabolex), Flap, Flexion Therapeutics, Fluidigm, Gensight Biologics, Groove Biopharma (formerly Mirina), Immune Design, Inception 1, Inception 2, Inception 3, Novira Therapeutics, OpGen, Panmira Pharmaceuticals, PhaseRx, Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, RuiYi, Spark Diagnostics, Theraclone Sciences, VLST.

    Typical investment range: Initial investments have started at $250,000; total investments have been as large as $30 million

    Year established: 1999

  • #23. HealthCare Ventures

    City (cities) where offices are located: Cambridge, MA

    Fund size and status: $1.6 billion under management across nine funds

    Current fund: $250 million HealthCare Ventures IX L.P., closed 2010

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Aciex, Adheron Therapeutics, Anchor Therapeutics, Anexon, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Apofore, BIKAM Pharmaceuticals, Catalyst Biosciences, Cleveland HeartLab, DecImmune Therapeutics, Dekkun, Galleon Pharmaceuticals, GITR, GlobeImmune, InfaCare Pharmaceutical, Mosaic Biosciences, nanoMR, PathoGenetix, PharmAthene, Promedior, ProteoStasis Therapeutics, Radius Health, Seahorse Bioscience, Shape Pharmaceuticals, Stemgent, Synovex, Tensha Therapeutics, TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, Theraclone Sciences, Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Trevena, VaxInnate, Vaxxas, Xencor

    Typical investment range: Up to $20 million total investment to achieve human proof-of-concept; invest predominantly in late preclinical and early clinical-stage, focused companies with the goal of advancing a single product to human proof-of-concept and exit through sale to a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company

    Year established: 1985

  • #22. Bay City Capital

    City (cities) where offices are located: San Francisco

    Fund size and status: $1.6 billion in capital commitments across five general life sciences VC funds and three VC funds targeting specific geographies or sectors of the life sciences

    Current general life-sci VC fund: $500 million Bay City Capital Fund V, closed in 2007. Most recent sector fund is Decheng Capital China Life Sciences USD Fund I

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Aciex, Aviir, BrainCells, Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Civitas Therapeutics, Conatus Pharmaceuticals, Cydan, CymaBay Therapeutics (formerly Metabolex), Dermira, Epizyme, Hyperion Therapeutics, Intarcia Therapeutics, Interleukin Genetics, ITC Nexus, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Merus Biopharmaceuticals, Nabsys, Poniard Pharmaceuticals, PharmAkea Therapeutics, Presidio Pharmaceuticals, PTC Therapeutics, ReSet Therapeutics, Sunesis, Vivaldi Biosciences

    Typical investment range: Investment average or range per-company unavailable. Typically serves as lead or co-lead investor

    Year established: 1997

  • #21. Advanced Technology Ventures

    City (cities) where offices are located: Palo Alto, CA, and Boston

    Fund size and status: $1.6 billion under management across eight funds

    Current fund: $305 million ATV Fund VIII, closed 2007

    Current biopharma portfolio companies: Acceleron Pharma, Calithera Biosciences, Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Five Prime Therapeutics, Hydra Biosciences, Portola Pharmaceuticals, Second Genome, Thrasos Therapeutics, Verastem

    Typical investment range: Investment average or range per-company unavailable

    Year established: 1979

  • Have you ever experienced difficulty obtaining funds for a biotech enterprise?



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