12 Best VC Firms in San Mateo

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Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Mateo is a thriving spot for tech startups and entrepreneurs. Finding the right venture capital support is key if you’re looking to kick-start your business or take it to the next level. This article will introduce you to the best VC firms in San Mateo that are known for empowering new businesses.

BlueRun Ventures

BlueRun Ventures, established in 1998, is a venture capital firm based in San Mateo, California. The firm, initially known as Nokia Venture Partners, mainly invests in the mobile software, services, and fintech sectors​​. BlueRun Ventures focuses on early-stage investments and operates offices in the United States, Shanghai, Beijing, and Korea, indicating a global investment approach​​​​. BlueRun Ventures is also recognized for its supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary tools and resources for growth and development.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, UK, China, Israel, South Korea, Singapore, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong

Operating since: 1998

Stages: Seed, Series A

Investment Focus: FinTech, Digital Health, Enterprise Software, Consumer Experiences, Commerce, Mobile, Internet

Number of investments: 250

Number of exits: 104

Check size: $10k – $10m

Notable investments: Caffeine, BlueCart

Founders/Key People: Jonathan Ebinger, Stephanie Pop 

Website: https://www.brv.com 

DNX Ventures

DNX Ventures is a venture capital firm focusing on early-stage B2B startups, primarily in the United States and Japan. They invest in sectors such as cloud and enterprise software, cybersecurity, frontier tech, fintech, and retail tech. DNX’s average initial check size ranges from $1 million to $5 million. The firm actively engages in sourcing, conducting due diligence, and supporting their portfolio companies, especially in challenging markets like Japan where cultural and language barriers are significant. DNX Ventures offers co-investment opportunities and works closely with family offices for direct investments at later stages​​.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: UK, USA, Israel, Canada, Japan, Germany, Finland, Portugal, Singapore

Operating since: 2011

Stages: Seed,Series A,Series B

Investment Focus: Enterprise (Frontier Tech,HardTech,Cyber Security,FinTech,Enterprise SaaS,Cloud,AI/Automation,RetailTech)

Number of investments: 327

Number of exits: 70

Check size: $1m to $5 million

Notable investments: BlackBerry, PayStand

Founders/Key People: Eva Nahari, Yoshimi Nomura

Website: https://www.dnx.vc/ 

Inventus Capital Partners

Inventus Capital Partners is a venture capital firm known for being the initial investors in numerous successful startups, including seven unicorns, two of which achieved multi-unicorn IPOs in 2021. The firm specializes in early investments, offering up to $3 million in seed capital to help startups reach significant Series A funding and scale quickly. Inventus operates with a high conviction, focusing on a select number of new teams each year and maintaining a collaborative approach with founders, leveraging its team’s extensive entrepreneurial and Silicon Valley experience.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States, India, South Korea, Canada.

Operating since: 2005

Investment Focus: Enterprise Software, Cloud Computing, AI, Data Analytics, FinTech, InsurTech, EdTech, Cyber Security, Digital Media, Consumer Internet, HRTech, Mobile Tech, HealthTech, Digital Health, Gaming, MarTech, Supply Chain, E-commerce, Marketplaces.

Stages: Pre-Seed,Seed, Series A, Series B+.

Number of investments: 112

Number of exits: 20

Check size: $1m – $10m

Notable investments: Poshmark, PolicyBazaar

Founders/Key People: Manu Rekhi

Website: https://www.inventuscap.com/

Propel Venture Partners

Propel Venture Partners, founded in 2016, is an independent venture capital firm based in San Carlos, California, focusing on early-stage investments in the financial services and technology sectors. The firm is known for investing in companies across various stages, from concept to growth, and has a particular interest in startups offering services in payments, remittances, credit, insurance, security, compliance, wealth management, and e-commerce.

Headquarters: USA (San Carlos, California)

Investment Geography: USA, Latin American regions

Operating since: 2016

Investment Focus: Financial Services, FinTech (Consumer, Enterprise, Software), Web3

Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B

Number of investments: 85

Number of exits: 19

Check size: $100k – $500k, $500k – $1m, $1m – $3m, $3m – $10m

Notable investments: Coinbase, DocuSign, Hippo Insurance, ChargeAfter

Founders/Key People: Jay Reinemann, David Mort

Website: http://www.propel.vc/

Sierra Ventures

Sierra Ventures is a prominent venture capital firm based in San Mateo, California, known for its focus on early-stage investments in emerging technology companies. Since its establishment in 1982 by Peter Wendell, the firm has made significant contributions to the tech industry by investing in a wide array of sectors, including enterprise, artificial intelligence, healthcare, commerce, and infrastructure. Some of its notable investments include companies that have gone public or have been acquired by industry giants, such as Intuit, Micromuse, and AuthenTec, showcasing its successful track record in identifying and nurturing high-potential startups.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States, India, Canada, China, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Australia, Singapore.

Operating since: 1982

Investment Focus: Next Generation Enterprise (AI/ML, Big Data, Cloud, FinTech, HealthTech, IoT/Infrastructure, Marketplaces, SaaS & Enterprise Apps, Cyber Security), Emerging Tech (5G/Wireless, Devices, Blockchain, Robotics, VR/AR).

Stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Series B.

Number of investments: 584

Number of exits: 125

Check size: $1M – $50M

Notable investments: Intuit, MakeMyTrip

Founders/Key People: Tim Guleri

Website: http://www.sierraventures.com/

Cyber Mentor Fund

Cyber Mentor Fund is a venture capital investment firm based in San Francisco, California, focused on cybersecurity. Founded in 2018, they are known for their mentorship-driven approach, emphasizing support and guidance for their portfolio companies. Their strategy involves empowering entrepreneurs and startups in cybersecurity through mentorship, network access, and financial support. Cyber Mentor Fund’s approach is centered on creating robust and innovative security solutions to enhance the online security of enterprises and governments.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, UK, Canada

Operating since: 2018

Stages: Seed,Series A

Investment Focus: Cyber Security,Enterprise Software,SaaS

Number of investments: 42

Number of exits: 7

Check size: $100k – $4.5m

Notable investments: CyCognito, Resilience

Founders/Key People: Joe Eandi, Julia Pardee

Website: https://cybermentorfund.com 

Draper Dragon

Draper Dragon, established in 2006 by Larry Li, Andy Tang, Bobby Chao, and Tim Draper, is a cross-border venture fund bridging Silicon Valley and Asia. With offices in Silicon Valley, Toronto, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangalore, the firm focuses on early-stage companies poised to disrupt and transform their industries. The firm’s notable investments include Microport Medical, Ledger, Yeepay, Otter, 1047 Games, and Jing Jin Electric. Draper Dragon typically engages in funding rounds with investments in the range of $10 to $50 million. Their investment focus is primarily on early-stage ventures, and they have been notably active in the technology and healthcare sectors. 

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, China, Singapore, Canada, France, India, Philippines, Seychelles, Hong Kong, South Korea

Operating since: 2006

Stages: Seed,Series A,Series B

Investment Focus: Blockchain, Web 3, HealthCare,Sustainability, Hardware Solutions, Consumer Digital, Enterprise Digital, SaaS/Software

Number of investments: 99

Number of exits: 12

Check size: $10 to $50 million

Notable investments: 1047games, Ledger

Founders/Key People: Richard Wang, James Morales

Website: https://draperdragon.com 

Emergence Capital

Emergence Capital is a venture capital firm specializing in enterprise cloud and software as a service (SaaS) applications. Established in 2003 and located in San Mateo, CA, the firm predominantly supports early and growth-stage startups, focusing particularly on Series A and Series B financing. Emergence Capital’s investment strategy centers on backing companies that are developing the next generation of enterprise technology. 

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, France, China, Canada, Argentina, Israel

Operating since: 2003

Stages: Seed,Series A,Series B,Series C,Series D

Investment Focus: Coaching Networks (AI,ML for Human Productivity),Deskless Workforce (Health Care, Construction,Retail,Transportation),Industry Cloud (Vertical Software)

Number of investments: 296

Number of exits: 85

Check size: $4m – $20m

Notable investments: Salesforce, Zoom

Founders/Key People: Gordon Ritter, Julie Bell

Website: https://www.emcap.com 

Emergent Ventures

Emergent Ventures, launched in 2016, is a unique fellowship and grant program under the Mercatus Center. It supports entrepreneurs and brilliant minds with scalable, innovative ideas to significantly improve society. The program provides funding to global applicants, with specific support available for projects focusing on regions like India, Canada, the Caribbean, and Ukraine. Additionally, Emergent Ventures has initiatives like Fast Grants for STEM talent identification and Fast Grants for COVID-19 science, aiming to identify underrepresented talent in STEM fields and support critical research in health science, respectively​​.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: India, USA, Canada, Philippines, Ukraine

Operating since: 2016

Stages: Pre-Seed,Seed,Series A

Investment Focus: Intelligent Software (Enterprise Software,SaaS,Cloud Infrastructure, AI, Machine Learning, Modern Data Processing), Smart Mobility (Personal Mobility,B2B Logistics, Delivery Networks, Vehicle Electrification)

Number of investments: 73

Number of exits: 10

Check size: $25k – $1m

Notable investments: AccelData, Observe.AI

Founders/Key People: Ankur Jain, Anupam Rastogi

Website: https://www.emergent.vc 

Fuel Capital

Fuel Capital is a venture capital firm based in San Francisco, California. The firm specializes in providing funding during the early stages of company development, focusing on pre-seed, seed, and Series A rounds. Their investment approach is diverse, covering sectors such as consumer, marketplaces, software, and infrastructure businesses. Some of their notable investments include companies like Flexport, Convoy, and Radar. Regarding their check sizes, Fuel Capital typically invests in ranges from $100K to $500K and up to $1M.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Greece

Operating since: 2013

Stages: Pre-Seed,Seed,Series A

Investment Focus: Developer Tools,Enterprise Software,Consumer Marketplaces

Number of investments: 183

Number of exits: 60

Check size: $100K – $1M

Notable investments: Lattice, Tradeshift

Founders/Key People: Chris Howard, Jamie Viggiano

Website: https://www.fuelcapital.com 

Wasabi Ventures

Wasabi Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that focuses on investing in startups, particularly in the mobile, SaaS, and artificial intelligence sectors. The firm, based in Palo Alto, California, also operates as an incubator and consulting service for early-stage technology companies. Their approach to investment includes a unique triple vetting process, emphasizing risk mitigation and security selection. This process is central to their investment strategy, ensuring that every deal they consider is rigorously evaluated.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States, United Kingdom.

Operating since: 2003

Investment Focus: Enterprise Software, AdTech, Cyber Security, Media and Entertainment, HealthTech, EdTech, Consumer Internet.

Stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Series B.

Number of investments: 61

Number of exits: 8

Check size: $100K – $2M

Notable investments: Pursue Care, RepairPal

Founders/Key People: TK Kuegler

Website: https://www.wasabivp.com/

Wildcat Venture Partners

Wildcat Venture Partners, established in 2015 and based in California, is a venture capital firm investing in next-generation technology entrepreneurs. They focus on B2B and B2B2C startups, particularly those leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to disrupt various industrial sectors. The firm emphasizes investments in sectors with significant inefficiencies, with a keen interest in human health and energy transition.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Canada.

Operating since: 2015

Investment Focus: Digital Health, EdTech, Enterprise SaaS, FinTech (Machine Learning/AI, Cloud & Mobility, Internet of Things, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Blockchain, Eldercare, Robotics).

Stage: Pre-Seed,Seed,Series A, Series B.

Number of investments: 46

Number of exits: 12

Check size: $50K – $5M

Notable investments: C3.ai, Coupa

Founders/Key People: Elisa Jagerson, Geoffery Moore

Website: https://wildcat.vc/

Conclusion

Choosing the right VC firm can be a pivotal move for your startup, especially in a competitive environment like San Mateo. The VC firms we’ve highlighted are known for their strategic support and investment success. Evaluate what each firm can offer in terms of resources, expertise, and networks. Picking the right partner will provide the boost your business needs to thrive in the dynamic Silicon Valley ecosystem.

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