In VC Ranking, New & Small Firms Make The Biggest Splash

Attention MBAs: You don’t have to work for one of the biggest venture capital companies to make a big difference. That’s the takeaway from a new study conducted by Oliver Gottschalg, a professor of strategy at HEC Paris, showing that size alone has little bearing on a firm’s impact.

The 2022 HEC Paris-DowJones Venture Capital Performance Ranking, released June 14, showcases the world’s top VC firms based on their historic performance. Identifying the firms that have generated the best performance for investors and cumulatively raised over $100 million between 2009 and 2018 in terms of aggregate performance, it shows that exceptional returns are occurring at many new, smaller firms — and ranks one of those little guys in the top spot.

“In terms of size and vintage, the analysis shows a notable split at the top of the rankings,” Gottschalg says. “This surprising data suggest that these new VC firms deliver the greatest returns, followed by a group of stellar incumbents who have grown in size over the years while still outperforming the average VC.”


HEC Paris’ Olivier Gottschalg: VC firm ranking shows “increasing globalization of the private equity sector and the emergence of formidable players from various regions around the world”

The ranking is based on analysis of data on private equity fund performance sourced from Preqin, a London-based investment data company that provides financial data and insight on the alternative assets market, as well as directly from PE firms. Using Gottschalg’s unique methodology, it ranks IA Ventures, a small, New York-based firm founded in 2010, in the top spot, while in second and third place, respectively, are new VC firms Blackbird and Group 11. See below for the complete 20-firm ranking.

U.S.-based VC firms continue to dominate both halves of the ranking, including six out of the top 10 positions. Anthos Capital, Glilot Capital Partners, Oak HC/FT Partners, March Capital Partners, G Squared, SmartFin, and Blume Ventures complete the list of top-performing small and young VC firms. New firms make up half of the ranking, while positions from 11 to 20 are predominantly taken by more mature VC firms.

“This indicates the increasing globalization of the private equity sector and the emergence of formidable players from various regions around the world,” Gottschalg says. “But among the firms ranked 11-20, the U.S. players maintained their dominance, occupying nine out of the 10 positions, reenforcing their strong presence in the industry.”


Along with the U.S.-based firms are one VC each from Israel, Belgium, Australia, and India in the top 10. Alpha JWC Ventures, an Indonesia firm, is the only non-U.S. company in the lower half of the ranking.

To compile the ranking, HEC Paris and DowJones used a variety of data sources, including the Preqin PE fund performance database and information directly provided by PE Firms. Data was gathered in November 2022 on the universe of VC firms worldwide on which Preqin provides performance data, or which provided data directly to HEC for the purpose of the performance rankings.

“This results in a sample of 415 PE firms and the 766 funds they raised between 2009 and 2018 show an aggregate equity volume of $159 billion,” Gottschalg says. “From this starting sample, we selected all those PE firms that met the criteria. These include at least two funds which raised over the 2009 to 2018 period for which full performance information is available; performance data available on all of these the funds, over $100 million raised during this time; investments in U.S., EU, or globally and at least 10 observation years (i.e. the sum of the ‘age’ of all funds as of today).”

The 95 firms that passed the criteria raised total equity of more than $66 billion through 270 funds between 2009 and 2018.

The 2022 HEC Paris-DowJones Venture Capital Performance Ranking

Rank Company Performance Ranking Headquarters
1 IA Ventures 3.92 United States
2 Blackbird 2.65 Australia
3 Group 11 1.77 United States
4 Anthos Capital 1.37 United States
5 Glilot Capital Partners 1.35 Israel
6 Oak HC/FT Partners 1.28 United States
7 March Capital Partners 1.01 United States
8 G Squared 1.01 United States
9 SmartFin 0.95 Belgium
10 Blume Ventures 0.87 India
11 Storm Ventures 0.75 United States
12 True Ventures 0.75 United States
13 General Catalyst Partners 0.73 United States
14 Alpha JWC Ventures 0.69 Indonesia
15 Summit Partners 0.64 United States
16 Cervin Ventures 0.64 United States
17 Foresite Capital 0.58 United States
18 Scale Venture Partners 0.57 United States
19 Battery Ventures 0.56 United States
20 Threshold Ventures 0.52 United States


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