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Top corporate venture investors of 2013

Corporate venture investing had a big year in 2013. When the final tally is in, dollars invested in U.S.-based startups alone could exceed any year since 2001.

So which corporations were most active? Many of the usual suspects rise to the top of the list, according to data Thomson Reuters (publisher of VCJ). They include Google Ventures, Intel Capital and Comcast Ventures.

Also high on the list are less well-known players E.ON SE, Tengelmann E-Commerce GmbH, both out of Germany, and Tencent Collaboration Fund from China.

Worldwide, 255 corporate investors backed 974 companies with $4.28 billion, according to the data. As large as these numbers are, they likely understate the real capital flow. That’s because the data fail to capture some of the year’s deal activity.

For instance, Intel Capital in December said it invested $300 million in 124 deals in 2013, about half of which were made outside North America. This included 52 new investments and 72 follow-on investments.

The Thomson Reuters data only captures 80 of them and $240 million of the investments.

Google Ventures said it made 75 new investments in 2013. The Thomson Reuters data show 61 deals with $278 million invested 

To view the list of investors, see the accompanying table of deal flow and funding levels. While some of the totals probably understate actual activity, they offer a useful glimpse of the corporate venturing universe and its level of participation.