15 Firms Willing To Plop Money In Your Company

Investing In Big Ideas

Money. Every startup needs it and while most everyone boostraps in the beginning, bigger growth calls for larger sums of capital.

And that's where finding the right partner who understands the technology or the service a company it's investing in means all the difference between success--in the form of additional funding rounds, an IPO or even a sale--or closing up shop.

What follows is a roundup of venture capital firms, incubators, accelerators and others that have a presence in the channel, executives that come from the channel or a track record of investing in companies relevant to this space. It is by no means comprehensive, but the variety shows just how much money is out there for the taking.


Type: Accelerator

Headquarters: Boulder, Colo.

Think of Techstars as a school for tech startups. Companies get $18,000 in seed funding and can also choose to take on $100,000 in debt. This is a three-month mentoring program with program locations in Boston, Boulder, Colo., Chicago, New York, Seattle, London and Austin, Texas.

It's competitive: About 10 companies are accepted into each program. Techstars graduates, totaling more than 2,500, have raised over $588 million since going through the program. About 35 of those were acquired, including Cambridge, Mass.-based social media platform manager oneforty, which HubSpot bought, and cloud hypervisor ZeroVM of San Antonio, to Rackspace in November.

The accelerator's backed by more than 75 venture capital firms and angel investors.


Type: Incubator

Headquarters: Pasadena, Calif.

It helps to work in an office where there's free lunch three days out of the week, along with a game room and Starbucks coffee machine. Those are some of the perks Idealab offers the companies it helps grow in its downtown Pasadena "lab." Idealab has helped grow more than 125 tech startups in the communications and security, software and mobile spaces, among others. It currently has 12 companies in residence, including business intelligence provider Anomaly and 3-D printer maker New Matter.

Idealab was founded by Bill Gross, who started GNP Development--developer of Lotus 1-2-3 natural language HAL--with his brother. Gross went on to become a software engineer at Lotus after it bought GNP in 1985. He founded educational software publisher Knowledge Adventure in 1991.


Type: Accelerator

Headquarters: Los Angeles

The accelerator in January raised more than $8 million for its second fund to fuel into startups, with backers that included Accel Partners, Siemer Ventures, Deep Fork Capital and several others. This fund already has helped seed mobile app fabric maker Affinity Networks and Solution-as-a-Service online video platform FanBread.

Amplify offers startups a four-month course where company executives can work out of the NextSpace@Amplify office.

The seed funding Amplify offers isn't a one-size-fits-all approach like some. Investments range from $50,000 to $150,000.

Columbia Capital

Funding Type: Venture Capital/Private Equity

Headquarters: Alexandria, Va.

Columbia Capital didn't originally start out as a venture capital firm. Its founders were a group of former wireless communications execs who wanted to serve as consultants in what they saw as a growing market. The growth potential, however, was too big to pass up and the founders started funneling some of their own money into investing companies in the mobile networks space, and a VC was born.

Columbia currently manages about $2.5 billion and has invested in more than 150 companies since its start in 1989.

Its investment strategy focuses on companies in the areas of mobile, cloud/enterprise IT, Internet infrastructure, cybersecurity and media. Recent investments include 2nd Watch, Cloud Sherpas and Virtustream.

The Fabric

Type: Venture Capital/Incubator

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

The Fabric doesn't like to be pigeonholed as a venture capital firm or an incubator. It says it resembles both.

The company, which gets its name from the pieces of hardware and software interconnected in the data center, looks for entrepreneurs with which to partner and co-found a company. The Fabric offers seed funding to companies and also provides the R&D space in India, helps build an executive team and then stays on with a company through additional funding rounds.

It's raised about $10.5 million and invests between $1.5 million to $2 million per company.

VeloCloud was its first investment, and there are at least four others under its fold in various stages of funding.


Type: Venture Capital

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

Artiman boasts a team of partners that all have experience starting up a company and hold advanced degrees in science and technology.

More recently, the firm snagged some headlines when a couple of its partners criticized tech VC firms in a Wall Street Journal article published this month for investing in commercialized companies rather than the startups conducting actual research and development.

Artiman's also big on impressing upon the early-stage companies it brings under its fold the importance of partnerships, including those found in the channel, to succeed in the marketplace.

Intel Capital

Type: Investment/M&A arm of Intel

Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.

It's not difficult to understand why Intel is in this roundup. Take its sheer size and where Intel sits within the industry for starters.

Intel Capital has poured in excess of $11 billion into more than 1,300 companies in various stages of development worldwide since 1991. The track record for its portfolio companies is pretty good too: 207 IPOs and 354 sales or mergers.

It's also active. Intel Capital's invested about $162 million in the first half of this year, with 27 of those companies representing new investments. The breadth of Intel's coverage area is vast. It's stage-agnostic and goes after companies in the enterprise, mobility, Internet, digital media and semiconductor spaces via funds such as the Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund and Intel Capital Connected Car Fund, among others.

New Enterprise Associates

Type: Venture Capital

Headquarters: U.S. offices in Menlo Park, Calif., Cambridge, Mass., and Washington, D.C. area

Anyone who even remotely tracks the flow of capital in the broader tech space has seen New Enterprise Associates mentioned in at least one funding round this year. The company provided $7 million in Series A funding to San Francisco-based mNectar this month. It also went in with The Fabric and Venrock on VeloCloud's $21 million capital raising in June. And in May, there were three deals announced for investments in Captora, Acquia and Fyusion, of which NEA participated.

NEA's technology focus is on software and services, systems, consumer and Internet, and energy. It's also active in the health care space. The firm is stage-agnostic, dabbling with companies ranging from startups in need of seed funding to those that are publicly traded. NEA late last year opened an office in Cambridge, Mass.

Samsung Venture Investment

Type: Investment arm of Samsung Group

Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea

Samsung Venture Investment is another no-brainer in some ways for why it's included in this roundup.

Samsung Venture Investment focuses on the semiconductor, telecommunication, software, Internet and bio-engineering sectors, among others, for its investments in companies that range from startups to those planning for an initial public offering.

Recent activity included $30.72 million in Series E funding for Austin, Texas-based Multiscreen-as-a-Service provider Phunware in June. Samsung Venture also went in with Fortinet and Docomo Capital on a $42 million funding round for Santa Clara, Calif.-based identify management services provider Centrify in May.

Docomo Capital

Type: Venture Capital

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

NTT Docomo, Japan's largest mobile carrier, looks to startups--like many large technology companies--to stay ahead of the competition. And it's been strategic and aggressive about its approach for staying on top of next-generation mobile technologies.

Its subsidiary, Docomo Capital, has about a $100 million pot to invest in mobile technology companies that its parent company can use in future products or services.That work is also supplemented by another NTT Docomo subsidiary established in 2011, Docomo Innovations, also of Palo Alto. Its Innovations arm does research in the telecommunications space and has an internal structure organized into four departments: mobile network technology, network services innovation, Android product innovation, and business development and investment.

T echnology Crossover Ventures

Type: Venture Capital

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

Technology Crossover Ventures said in March it closed on its $2.23 billion TCV VIII fund, bringing the total it's raised to roughly $10 billion.

TCV, which has invested in more than 200 companies since its 1995 founding, focuses solely on companies in the technology industry. Its areas of focus include Internet, business and financial services, infrastructure and software, with a strategy that provides investment usually in exchange for minority stakes in companies.

TCV this month led a $50 million Series E funding round for San Francisco-based cloud customer, contact vendor NewVoiceMedia. That followed the June announcement that Seattle-based data analytics provider ExtraHop closed on its $41 million Series C round, also led by TCV.

Milestone Venture Partners

Type: Venture Capital

Headquarters: New York

Milestone Venture Partners is a regional play.

It invests in early-stage companies located in and around New York that develop technologies that in some way elevate a particular business service and don't need more than $5 million to turn a profit and provide a return on investment.

The company has about $70 million under management in its portfolio.

Late last year, Milestone Venture was one of several investors that participated in the first round funding for Philadelphia-based cloud managed services provider Cloudnexa, which raised $2.3 million.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Type: Venture Capital/Incubator/Accelerator

Headquarters: Harrisburg, Pa.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an economic development program funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. The program was created through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and so its focus is on growing tech startups throughout the state.

The program invested $6.3 million in seed funding to nearly 40 companies last year. Companies in its stable managed to raise $193 million in later funding rounds. The program also provided advisory services to more than 235 companies last year.

Accel Partners

Type: Venture Capital

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

To say Accel Partners is an active technology VC would be a major understatement.

The firm's been a part of a number of recent deals.

The company's invested in more than 300 technology companies and was an early investor in Facebook. It led the $61 million Series A round for New York-based video startup Pond5, announced this month. It also invested in Santa Clara, Calif.-based Arista Networks, which raised $226 million in an initial public offering this year.

Its investments in the tech space are varied and include companies in the infrastructure, Internet and consumer services, mobile and software, and cloud-enabled services worlds.

SAP Ventures

Type: Venture Capital

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

If it sounds familiar that's because it is.

SAP Ventures is a spinoff of the Germany-based software maker that shares the same name and from where it raised its capital.

SAP Ventures manages a portfolio of about $1.4 billion and invests between $5 million and $20 million in tech companies that work within the enterprise space.

SAP Ventures this month provided $20 million to Spain-based Scytl, which develops solutions used for electronic voting.