Tracing the VCJ 50

Like the creature in the 1958 science fiction movie The Blob, the VCJ 50 just keeps expanding, consuming ever larger quantities of institutional capital.

Click on the presentation above for a deeper dive into the VCJ 50

The world’s 50 largest venture firms collectively raised $309.2 billion from the start of 2017 to mid-2022. That’s a 46 percent increase from our 2021 ranking and an 88 percent jump from the inaugural list in 2020.

The 10 largest firms grew at an even faster clip. That group raised a cumulative $172.9 billion over five years, up 65 percent from last year’s total and more than double the 2020 sum. As a percentage of this year’s VCJ 50, the top 10 accounted for 56 percent of the pie, up from about half of each of the two prior years.

For the third year in a row, New York growth investor Insight Partners ranked number one on our list with a fundraising haul of $38.7 billion. That is double the amount the firm raised for our inaugural list in 2020 and 2.4 times bigger than its 2021 total.

Click here to read more about this year’s VCJ 50

The biggest riser on this year’s list was Bain Capital Ventures, which shot up eight places from number 29 to 21. Four other firms rose four places: General Catalyst (from 13 to 9), Founders Fund (14 to 10), Qiming Venture Partners (17 to 13) and Menlo Ventures (41 to 37).

The big question is what will next year look like? Will the blob keep growing or will LPs pull back? Many have found themselves over-allocated to alternative assets because the value of their public holdings has plummeted.

One thing is certain: the firms that have been successful with fundraising are happy they didn’t wait. Says Arif Janmohamed, a partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners (5): “We were lucky to have begun our conversations late last year, well before the decline in global financial markets, so the denominator effect hadn’t [kicked in yet].”

How we ranked the firms on the VCJ 50

The 2022 VCJ 50 is based on the amount of direct investment capital raised by firms for the purpose of venture investing in seed, early-, late- or multi-stage deals. For this third annual VCJ 50 tabulation, the capital raised is between January 1, 2017, and June 30, 2022.

What counts?

Limited partnerships, co-investment funds, separate accounts, capital raised by VC firms that happen to be publicly traded, and seed capital for GP commitment across seed, early- , late- and multi-stage strategies.

VC and capital defined

For the purpose of the VCJ 50, the definition of venture used was capital raised for a dedicated program of investing directly into private businesses. Capital raised definitively means capital committed to a venture capital direct investment program.

Fundraising means the fund has had a final or official interim close after January 1, 2017. We counted the full amount of a fund if it has a close after this date. And we counted the full amount of an interim close (a real one, not a soft-circle) that has occurred recently, even if no official announcement has been made. We also count capital raised through co-investment vehicles.

What does not count?

Expected capital commitments, public funds, capital raised from retail investors, contributions from sponsoring entities, capital raised for funds of funds, secondaries vehicles, real assets funds, debt funds (including mezzanine funds), hedge funds, capital raised on a deal-by-deal basis, leverage and PIPEs.