Creative types across many industries bring their fledgling projects to Kickstarter members to get their projects funded. When you launch a campaign on the platform, you have to specify how much money you require (by a certain date) and then have that funding goal reached or exceeded. If you don’t meet your funding goals, pledgers keep their money and you get nothing.
The main drawback is that Kickstarter then takes 5% of all funds raised for the privilege of using their platform, and their payment processing company takes a further 3 – 5% too. They do have huge marketing chops, but don’t expect much help getting your campaign off the ground; it has to pick up steam on its own before the site will get behind you with free advertising and social media exposure. There have been some massive projects launched from here including The Coolest Cooler (over $13M raised), Pebble Time (over $20M raised), The World’s Best Travel Jacket (over $9M raised), and the latest Veronica Mars movie starring Kristen Bell (almost $6M raised).
Funds raised / currently managed: ~ $2 billion
Focus industries: Creative projects such as music, film, art, technology, design, games, fashion, food, publishing, and other creative fields.
Fundera is a free-to-use marketplace where entrepreneurs and business owners can search and shop for the lowest rates on the best small business loan for their needs. With this marketplace you can view several loan options all at once and then apply to all of your selected lenders with a single application.
In addition to this marketplace, free resources and tools can be found on Fundera’s website. Fundera offers transparent pricing and terms.
Funds provided: $220 million
Focus industries: All industries, with a focus on small business
Founded by social gaming genius, Joshua Kushner, Thrive Capital is a relatively new investment firm with over a billion dollars in investments made to date.
The firm was one of three firms to put their money into Instagram’s series B influx of $50M, and have a number of other multi-million dollar investments in other tech, media, and consumer goods’ companies Jet (recently sold to Walmart for $3.3B), Honor, Unity Technologies, Lattice, Slack, Justworks, Joyable, Zola, Kinnek, Urban Compass, GitHub, Mapbox, Artsy, Stripe, Opendoor, Harry’s, and Instacart.
Funds raised / currently managed: ~ $1.3 billion
Focus industries: Web development, social, e-commerce, consumer goods, media.
Lerer Hippeau Ventures is a New York-based, seed stage venture capital fund run by Ken Lerer, Ben Lerer and Eric Hippeau. LHV invests in founders in the earliest stages of a startup’s life, seeking out those entrepreneurs with product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition.
They make the claim that they’re the most active investors in the state of New York, but have shown a willingness to invest money wherever their interests may lie. The company’s portfolio includes Augury, BuzzFeed, Even Financial, Expa Capital, Fundera, Giphy, chartbeat, Warby Parker, Payable, Percolate Industries, Soylent, ZergNet and many others.
Funds raised / currently managed: ~ $246 billion
Focus industries: Mobile, software, ecommerce, enterprise, SaaS, and others.
Andreessen Horowitz and team typically back Internet startups with requirements reaching into the tens and hundreds of millions in series A. They don’t make investments in smaller companies.
This conglomerate of wealthy investors includes the two founders and several other mega wealthy investors. The founding team of Marc Andreesen and Ben Horowitz have been investing privately for years and as a team since 2009. They’ve both been early investors in many of the most popular Internet startups out there including Twitter, Skype, Facebook, Groupon, Airbnb, Foursquare and Optimizely, to name a few. The company manages approximately $4B in assets and only works with Internet startups with a strong proof of concept to back their ideas.
Funds raised / currently managed: ~4.5 billion
Focus industries: Internet businesses.
- Address: 2865 Sand Hill Road, Suite 101, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Greycroft is yet another big player in the investment space. They have a long list of ventures they’re willing to invest in, but are most interested in service technologies and service businesses.
The VC firm has 272 investments in 172 companies and have been a part of 40 acquisitions as of late 2016. They invest at all funding levels including private equity investments from the partners, and are big believers in building big relationships with the companies they give their money to. Huge media, tech and manufacturing connections make Greycroft a definite plus for seed-stage startups needing a much needed marketing boost to launch their products and services successfully. Notable investments made include: AppAnnie, Baublebar, Braintree, Buddy Media, CMG, Collective, Dasher, Extreme Reach, FriendBuy, 9Gag, Huffington Post, JW Player, Klout, 9Flats.com, Lithium, Maker Studios, Plain Vanilla, Pulse, 33Across, TheRealReal, Trunk Club and WideOrbit among others.
Funds raised / currently managed: ~ $800 billion
Focus industries: Cable service providers, media, Internet, mobile, connectivity products, consulting services, food products, household products, Internet retail, legal services, media and Information Services, Information Technology, restaurants, hotels and leisure, real estate services (B2C), recreational goods, specialty retail.
- Address: 1375 East 6 Street, Suite 1, Los Angeles, CA 90021
- Phone: (213) 896-7126
- Fax: (213) 402-2859
FFVC is a smaller group of 5 angel investors and 20 team members including business experts and tech advisers, headed by founder John Frankel, who invest largely in the tech space. While that can be a very vague industry description, you’ll note from their list of preferences that there’s little they won’t sink their teeth into, if the investment is right.
They’ll invests as little as $50K right up to a million dollars if they believe in your company. FFVC is a great option if the bigger firms have turned you down because you don’t need enough money for it to be worth their time writing the check. FFVC will help you get off the ground and grow, mentoring you along the way. They offer early and growth stage investments, as well as debt financing deals. Investments include CyberX, Greycork, Bloomz, Pebble Post, Sure, Fluent, Great Horn, Staffly, Print.io, 500px, Foundersuite, and Tackk among others.
Funds raised / currently managed: ~ $140 billion
Focus industries: Advertising, cloud, UAVs, smart technology, cloud security, AI, consumer, enterprise software, crowdsourcing, ecommerce, education, enterprise, financial services, hardware, marketing, mobile, social, wearables.
Insight has operations in over 65 countries worldwide, making them the perfect fit for a foreign firm seeking investment funds from wealthy American VC firms. They may have one of the best mentorship programs in the investment industry, immediately connecting their startup managers with CEOs who have decades of experience working in their specific industry niche. They’re big on technology, so if your brand doesn’t have products that require buttons to be pushed or mouses to be clicked, Insight isn’t the right fit for you.
Companies they’ve invested in and stuck with throughout the years include Anaqua, Cartrawler, Bright Edge, 6 Waves, Skytap, Invaluable, Chegg.com, Yext, Vela, SpotHero, Udemy, Nextdoor, Virgin (Pulse), Flipboard, DataCore, Shopify, WorkForce Software, IndieGogo, Hootsuite, and many others. They also hold plenty of investor/investee events where you can meet and greet with industry-specific CEOs, startup owners, and investor partners.
Funds raised / currently managed: ~10 billion
Focus industries: Growth-stage software, data, Internet companies.
Collaborative Fund was founded by investment veteran Craig Shapiro, is based out of NYC and works solely with North American based entrepreneurs. They have a smallish roster of angels and other VC firms that add to their fund including musician Pharrell Williams, YouTube sensation Chad Hurley, and KCPB partner John Maeda. This young firm’s goals range from helping early stage startups realize their dreams and full potential, and investing in projects that lead to long-term beneficial change and sustainability.
They look for honest-to-goodness brands that really dig themselves into the membrane of society, focusing on driving the best customer experience possible. Some of the seed and early stage companies they’ve invested in include: Fundrise, Karma, Socar, Bugger, AngelList, Kickstarter, Smarty Pants, Makespace, Reddit, HelloTech, Good Eggs, Makesense, Code Academy, LIFX, Lyft, Task Rabbit, and several others.
Funds raised / currently managed: ~ $113 billion
Focus industries: Curated Internet, education, wellness products, peer-to-peer software
IDG Ventures is a truly global venture capitalists with multiple funds dedicated to the types of investments a startup will need. They fund seed, early and multiple series of growth funds, and have offices wherever your startup might need them to be including North America, Korea, China, South East Asia and the Middle East.
They’ve helped build 220 companies and counting, and have unlimited access to valuable cross-industry data from their parent company, the International Data Group: a tech-based media company that helps them to educate their startups on how to maximize market growth most efficiently. Key investments include: Andromedia, Appboy, Baby Center, Beepi, Blue Box, Chubbies, Datanyze, Flowdock, Indiegogo, OnBeep, Olive, ParkMe, SimplyHired, Uplift, Yesware, and several others.
Funds raised / currently managed: ~3.6 billion
Focus industries: Information technology, healthcare, apps, Internet, social media, gaming, finance, payment processing.