The best VCs: Sequoia, Accel and KPCB have the most

Othe top firms are Benchmark Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and NEA

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
March 15, 2016
Short URL:

There are a lot of really great venture capitalists out there right now. I know that because Vator has been running a series for the past year or so where we have been interviewing one every week. We've done 47 of them so far and we haven't even begun to scratch the surface.

That's even more apparent to me now that CB Insights teamed up with The New York Times to identify the 100 best venture capitalists.

These are the firms that were more represented on the list. There were seven firms with at least four venture capitalists:

The top firm was Sequoia Capital, with seven VCs, including two in the top 10. They were James Goetz, who was named as the number 5 current venture capitalist, and Nanpeng (Neil) Shen, who was number nine. Michael Moritz (13), Roelof Botha (18), Douglas Leone (31), Alfred Lin (46) and Michael Goguen (75) also made the list. 

That last one on that list is no longer a Partner as Sequoia as of this weekend, after a major scandal sex scandal broke, but it still counts. 

Coming in right behind Sequoia was Accel Partners, with six VCs. They are: Sameer Gandhi (25), Ping Li (57), Andrew Braccia (65), Kevin Efrusy (72), Rich Wong (77), and Ryan Sweeney (89). 

In third place was Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with five venture capitalists making the list. The highest ranking VC was Mary Meeker, at 21, followed by Theodore Schlein (39), John Doerr (69), Brook Byers (83), and Beth Seidenberg (85). 

There were four firms on the list that wound up with four VCs. Benchmark Capital was represented by Peter Fenton, who was named as the number one venture capitalist right now, as well as Bill Gurley, who came in at number eight; Matt Cohler (24); and Mitch Lasky (86).

Lightspeed Venture Partners had John Vrionis (58), Jeremy Liew (60), Christopher Schaepe (78) and Ravi Mhatre (93); while Bessemer Venture Partners had Byron Deeter (43); Jeremy Levine (54), David Cowan (55), and Alex Ferrara (90). 

Finally, New Enterprise Associates was represented by Scott Sandell, who was named as number 10 of all current venture capitalists; as well as Harry Weller (41), Forest Baskett (49) and Krishna Kolluri (73).

Some of the criteria involved in figuring out how to rank all of these VCs included the frequency, size and volume of their exits; how connect they are to other investors; how consistent their investments are; and the frequency and size of high value, unexited companies.

All the data is from 2008 on, by the way, so these are all VCs who are active right now. 

So far I have only interviewed two of the top 100 venture capitalists: Mike Maples of Floodgate, number 14 on the list; and Aydin Senkut, of Felicis Ventures, number 16.

Looks like I have some catching up to do!

(Image source:

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Angel group/VC
Description: Benchmark is an early stage venture capital firm focusing in Social, Mobile, Local and Cloud companies that disrupt various industries. ...
Lightspeed Venture Partners
Service provider
Description: Lightspeed Venture Partners is a technology-focused venture capital firm that manages $1.3 billion of capital commitments. We closed Ligh...
Sequoia Capital
Angel group/VC
Description: Sequoia Capital is a venture capital firm founded by Don Valentine in 1972. The Wall Street Journal has called Sequoia Capital “one...
Angel group/VC
Description: We’ve developed a new approach to investing in world-changing ideas, which we call the Super Angel Approach.  Looking at the wor...
Bessemer Venture Partners
Angel group/VC
Description: In 1911, Henry Phipps founded Bessemer Securities to reinvest the proceeds of his sale of Carnegie Steel for the benefit of his descenden...
New Enterprise Associates
Angel group/VC
Description: Name of the company
CB Insights
Description: CB Insights is a private company database that provides real-time information on the world's most promising companies, their investors, ...
New York Times
Angel group/VC
Description: New York Times

Related news