Sequoia Capital has come out on top of Dealroom’s latest global ranking of VC investors, based on the success of the firms they back, as well as how early the firms were to back these fast-growing technology and software businesses with global potential.
The firm has added 35 unicorns to its tally of 319 since the start of 2022 alone.
In EMEA, London-based seed investor LocalGlobe has beaten all other global investors to be the most successful in terms of backing unicorn startups from the region.
Private market investment data has always been opaque in nature but venture capital as a data-rich industry has always leant itself to evaluation. However, Dealroom says its ranking provides a new level of transparency and objectivity for the industry. Investments are weighted by the stage at which firms invest in the most successful companies, with the aim of creating insights from a level playing field. For credibility, the ranking also publishes its workings and all the underlying data.
In contrast, other leading lists rank individual investors based on their self-declared investments, and unpublished performance data which cannot be scrutinised.
The 2023 Dealroom Investor Ranking sees London-based early stage investor LocalGlobe top the list of European seed stage investors. The venture capital fund which includes Melio, Motorway and Tide in its portfolio, has backed 13 EMEA unicorns at seed stage, of a total of 16 EMEA unicorns in the family of funds that make up Phoenix Court. The rankings suggest that LocalGlobe’s success in Europe will continue for some years to come, with a further 21 so-called future unicorns (private companies valued $250m-$1bn) in their portfolio. Index Ventures takes second place in EMEA, while Accel has backed the most EMEA startups at Series A stage (26).
Dealroom’s ranking of leading venture capital investors is intended to help founders, LPs, fellow investors and policymakers navigate the increasingly crowded venture capital market. There is pressure on all companies in the private markets to improve transparency, as fears mount that higher borrowing costs could adversely affect the sector. More transparency is also required around ESG which will also change VC behaviour.
Unlike other lists of VCs, Dealroom ranks venture capital firms, rather than individual investors, on their ability to spot potential stars at the different stages of investment. This means firms are being compared on a level playing field and the largest funds do not have an in-built advantage.