Top biotech venture capital funds of 2018-2023

by Richard Murphey

Updated April 28, 2023

After a decade-long boom, biotech winter is here.

In 2023, venture capital investment into biopharma startups is on pace to hit its lowest level since 2016.

This post will describe the top biotech venture capital firms that drove this boom, and who is still investing today:

  • What kinds of investors fund biotech startups?
  • Who are the most active biotech VCs in Series A and B rounds?
  • Who are the most active seed and angel investors in biotech?
  • Which VCs made the most money from exits in 2018 through May 2023?

Who's investing?

In 2021, it seemed like everyone was investing in biotech. Today, only a select few investors are still active. And they are doing fewer deals.

The established biotech investors -- venture and crossover funds like RA Capital, Orbimed, ARCH, and Versant -- are still active, but at a lower volume than in the past. In addition to the stalwarts, there is a new group of VCs that have been picking up the pace.

The below charts illustrate this trend. In 2022, we see a decrease in activity of crossover investors and established biotech VCs at the B stage, and an increase in "other" investors (including family offices, sovereign wealth funds, and European funds). At the Series A stage, etablished US biotech VCs are ceding share to generalist tech / techbio VCs.

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A changing investor landscape

One paradox of venture capital investing today is that venture firms are still raising huge amounts of cash, despite investing less of that capital. Some of them, like ARCH, Flagship and Versant, are continuing to invest actively despite deteriorating downstream capital markets (these funds were some of the most active during the COVID bubble as well). Others are reserving more capital for their existing portfolio or to invest opportunistically. Other active investors at the Series A stage include techbio funds like Lux, Northpond and Lightspeed, and Catalio.

The crossover / Series B landscape has changed dramatically. RA Capital is still among the most active, though at a significantly lower level than in the past. Casdin and Orbimed are other traditional crossover funds that are still active (though at lower levels). Most of the other household crossover funds of years past have significantly scaled back.

Which VCs made the most from exits?

Below are the VCs who made the most from exits in 2018 through May 2023. This list includes biotech startups that raised $50M+ on NASDAQ or NYSE or were acquired while public (we don't have data for private M&A). The market values assume the investor held all shares since IPO. This table only includes data for companies where investors held 5% or more of common shares pre-IPO.

Firm name Num. of portfolio IPOs Num. of portfolio public M&A Proceeds at IPO price Proceeds at May 3, 2023 Portfolio IPOs Portfolio public M&A
Flagship100$2,324,518,440$7,748,624,415Axcella Health, Evelo Biosciences, Kaleido Biosciences, Moderna, Rubius Therapeutics, Sigilon Therapeutics, Foghorn Therapeutics, Codiak Biosciences, Sana Biotechnology, Omega Therapeutics
Orbimed379$2,523,243,319$2,093,371,200Alector, Armo Biosciences, Arcutis Biotherapeutics, Arvinas, Crinetics, 89Bio, Harpoon Therapeutics, Imara, Keros Therapeutics, LogicBio Therapeutics, NextCure, Passage Bio, Principia Biopharma, Prevail Therapeutics, Repare Therapeutics, SpringWorks Therapeutics, Tricida, Synthorx, resTORbio, Verrica Pharmaceuticals, Galecto, PMV Pharmaceuticals, Kinnate Biopharma, Graybug Vision, Silverback Therapeutics, Prelude Therapeutics, Fusion Pharmaceuticals, Terns Pharmaceuticals, Edgewise Therapeutics, Decibel Therapeutics, Oric Pharmaceuticals, Ikena Oncology, VectivBio, Janux Therapeutics, Adagio Therapeutics, Theseus Pharmaceuticals, Third Harmonic BioArmo Biosciences, LogicBio Therapeutics, Principia Biopharma, Prevail Therapeutics, Synthorx, Turning Point Therapeutics, Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Audentes Therapeutics, Loxo Oncology
Viking Global120$1,443,046,065$1,700,420,785BridgeBio, Moderna, Zentalis Pharmaceuticals, Athira Pharma, PMV Pharmaceuticals, 4D Molecular Therapeutics, Edgewise Therapeutics, Pharvaris, AbCellera, Talaris Therapeutics, Rallybio, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals
PureTech30$319,561,897$1,643,537,926Karuna Pharmaceuticals, resTORbio, Vor Biopharma
RA Capital Management385$1,405,022,140$1,143,880,077Akouos, Arvinas, Black Diamond Therapeutics, Crinetics, 89Bio, Imara, Lyra Therapeutics, Vaxcyte, Prevail Therapeutics, Solid Biosciences, Satsuma Pharmaceuticals, Synthorx, Olema Pharmaceuticals, Dyne Therapeutics, Kinnate Biopharma, Vor Biopharma, Bolt Biotherapeutics, iTeos Therapeutics, Inozyme, Connect Biopharma, Achilles Therapeutics, Day One Biopharmaceuticals, Werewolf Therapeutics, Janux Therapeutics, Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Aerovate Therapeutics, Cyteir Therapeutics, Icosavax, Adagio Therapeutics, Eliem Therapeutics, DICE Therapeutics, Tyra Bio, Pyxis Oncology, IO Biotech, LianBio, PepGen, AN2 Therapeutics, Acrivon TherapeuticsAkouos, Forma Therapeutics, Prevail Therapeutics, Synthorx, Ra Pharmaceuticals
ARCH Venture Partners151$1,607,373,751$983,409,265Beam Therapeutics, Homology Medicines, Gossamer Bio, Karuna Pharmaceuticals, Scholar Rock, Unity Biotechnology, Codiak Biosciences, Metacrine, Juno Therapeutics, Sana Biotechnology, Singular Genomic Systems, Erasca, Verve Therapeutics, Lyell Immunopharma, Prime MedicineJuno Therapeutics
Atlas Venture161$1,358,004,698$850,301,545Akero Therapeutics, Avrobio, Bicycle Therapeutics, Generation Bio, Magenta Therapeutics, Replimune, Surface Oncology, Translate Bio, Unum Therapeutics, Dyne Therapeutics, Kymera Therapeutics, Ikena Oncology, Day One Biopharmaceuticals, Xilio Therapeutics, Vigil Neuroscience, Third Harmonic BioTranslate Bio
Foresite Capital122$1,024,628,342$774,921,513Fulcrum Therapeutics, Keros Therapeutics, Arcus Biosciences, Replimune, Kinnate Biopharma, Aimmune Therapeutics, 10x Genomics, Pharvaris, Cullinan Oncology, Nurix Therapeutics, Lyell Immunopharma, Theseus PharmaceuticalsTurning Point Therapeutics, Aimmune Therapeutics
Sofinnova167$515,171,525$770,769,196Akouos, Entasis Therapeutics, Galera Therapeutics, Hookipa Pharma, Iterum Therapeutics, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Karuna Pharmaceuticals, NextCure, Principia Biopharma, Y-mAbs Therapeutics, Spark Therapeutics, Bolt Biotherapeutics, Inozyme, Vera Therapeutics, Aerovate Therapeutics, MaxCyteAkouos, Entasis Therapeutics, Principia Biopharma, Audentes Therapeutics, Spark Therapeutics, Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, CinCor Pharma
Cormorant Asset Management225$457,214,791$757,836,431Avrobio, Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Kezar Life Sciences, Principia Biopharma, Avidity Biosciences, Satsuma Pharmaceuticals, C4 Therapeutics, Olema Pharmaceuticals, Atea Pharmaceuticals, Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, Galecto, Design Therapeutics, Longboard Pharmaceuticals, Rain Therapeutics, Biomea Fusion, Aerovate Therapeutics, Erasca, Ambrx, Monte Rosa Therapeutics, Elevation Oncology, Immuneering CorporationConstellation Pharmaceuticals, Forma Therapeutics, Principia Biopharma, Turning Point Therapeutics, Prometheus Biosciences
Perceptive Advisors162$901,081,550$748,678,265Crinetics, Frequency Therapeutics, Ideaya Biosciences, Kodiak Sciences, Lyra Therapeutics, MeiraGTx, Solid Biosciences, SpringWorks Therapeutics, Verrica Pharmaceuticals, Athira Pharma, C4 Therapeutics, Rain Therapeutics, Pyxis Oncology, IsoPlexis, LianBio, Acrivon TherapeuticsDova Pharmaceuticals, Prometheus Biosciences
Third Rock92$1,028,995,856$679,413,004Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Fulcrum Therapeutics, Magenta Therapeutics, Neon Therapeutics, Pliant Therapeutics, Revolution Medicines, Decibel Therapeutics, Relay Therapeutics, Nurix TherapeuticsConstellation Pharmaceuticals, MyoKardia
Versant153$1,282,224,916$657,222,166Akero Therapeutics, Aprea Therapeutics, Black Diamond Therapeutics, Crinetics, Gritstone Oncology, Oyster Point Pharma, Passage Bio, Repare Therapeutics, Aligos Therapeutics, Pandion Therapeutics, Lava Therapeutics, VectivBio, Monte Rosa Therapeutics, Century Therapeutics, Graphite BioOyster Point Pharma, Audentes Therapeutics, Pandion Therapeutics
Venrock82$676,870,870$634,447,614Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Milestone Pharmaceuticals, Unity Biotechnology, AveXis, 10x Genomics, Instil Bio, Cyteir TherapeuticsConstellation Pharmaceuticals, AveXis
Baker Brothers133$822,026,420$612,711,506Atreca, Cabaletta Bio, Hookipa Pharma, IGM Biosciences, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Kodiak Sciences, Principia Biopharma, Prelude Therapeutics, Aligos Therapeutics, Spark Therapeutics, Immunocore, Achilles Therapeutics, TScan TherapeuticsForma Therapeutics, Principia Biopharma, Spark Therapeutics

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Top seed funds

Prior to 2018 or so, there wasn't really a biotech seed market. But in the last few years, the biotech seed market has exploded. Dozens of new investors have emerged who are focused on funding scientifically ambitious biotech companies, often started by younger scientific founders (as opposed to the experienced professional entrepreneurs that often run VC-backed biotech startups).

Data on seed funding is less comprehensive than later-stage funding, as these companies don't publicize their raises as often. To identify the top biotech seed investors, I asked biotech founders in my network who have raised $1M+ in seed capital in the last 2 years.

This methodology ensures that the investors on the list are 1) actively investing and 2) founder friendly. However, this list is not comprehensive and certainly omits some great investors. If you are a founder and think I should add an investor to the list, let me know.

Note: this list was created in 2020-2021. These investors may or may not be active as of 2023

Fund name Blog Notable investments Location Investor type Team
5AM Ventures, Arvinas, Ceterix Orthopedics, Vor Biopharma, ViveveBoston, San Francisco Bay AreaSeed, VentureKush Parmar, Andrew Schwab, David Allison, Jamil Beg, Mira Chaurushiya, Brian Daniels, Rebecca Lucia, Deborah Palestrant, John Diekman, Michelle Ho, Pengpeng Li, Kevin Nguyen, Scott Rocklage, Jason Ruth
8VC Genomics, Bolt Threads, Mantra BioSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, VentureFrancisco Gimenez, David Moskowitz, Alex Kolicich
Alix Ventures Health, Circularis, Xilis, EleganSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedChas Pulido, Ron Shigeta
Andreessen Horowitz Bio, Scribe Therapeutics, Asimov, FreenomeSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, Venture, GrowthJudy Savitskaya, Jorge Conde, Vijay Pande, Andy Tran, Frank Chen, Julie Yoo, Justin Larkin, JT Evans
Apollo Health Ventures, SeedJens Eckstein, Nils Regge, Alexandra Bause, Anela Vukoja
ApolloSan Francisco Bay AreaAcceleratorMax Altman, Sam Altman, Jack Altman
ARTIS, Freenome, Eko, IdbyDNA, Fabric Genomics, Aether BiomachinesSeedStuart Peterson, Vasudev Bailey, Austin Walne
Asset Management Ventures, Freenome, HealthTap, Audentes Therapeutics, 3T BiosciencesSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, VentureSkip Fleshman, Lou Lange, Rich Simoni, Melina Mathur, Luke Lee
Augustin KuCloud9, Hexagon bio, StemCentRx, SyntheXLas Vegas, NevadaAngelAugustin Ku
Axial Biosciences, Inflammatix, Genedit, Unnatural ProductsSan Francisco Bay AreaAngelJoshua Elkington
BioRock Ventures, Seal Rock Therapeutics, Octagon Therapeutics, AN2 Therapeutics, Primmune TherapeuticsSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedMary Wheeler
Bioverge Labs, Enclear Therapies, Echo, Blue Mesa, Occamz RazorSan Francisco Bay AreaAngelNeil Littman
Boom CapitalMammoth Biosciences, A-Alpha Bio, FaunaBio, System1 BiosciencesSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedCelestine Schnugg
Cambrian BiopharmaNew York CitySeedJames Peyer, Christian Angermeyer, Juliete Han, Tauhid Ali, Dennis Yamashita, Georg Terstappen
Canaan Therapeutics, Synthekine, Onkos Surgical, Pathios Therapeutics, Pact PharmaSan Francisco Bay Area, New York CitySeed, VentureBrent Ahrens, Colleen Cuffaro, Julie Grant, Nina Kjellson, Stephen Bloch, Tim Shannon, Wende Hutton
Civilization VenturesBillionToOne, Omada Health, Lemonaid, Foresight Diagnostics, Singular Bio, Convergent Genomics, Rocket Pharma, Prellis BiologicsSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, VentureShahram Seyedin-Noor
Codon CapitalArcus Biosciences, Bolt Threads, Flexus Biosciences, Oric Pharmaceuticals, Shattuck Labs, ZymergenSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, VentureKarl Handelsman, Mitchell Mutz
DCVC, C16 Biosciences, Cofactor Genomics, Orca BioSeed, Venture Zachary Bogue, John Hamer, Kiersten Stead, James Hardiman, Armen vidian, Ali Tamaseb, Anna Fokina, John Cumbers, Christopher Meldrum, Andy May
Digitalis Ventures Therapeutics, Terray Therapeutics, The Mighty, MollyBox, Onc.AI, Rejuvenate BioNew York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, BostonSeedGeoff Smith, Sam Bjork
E-Fund / Point Reyes Management1910 Genetics, Industrial Microbes, Spiral Genetics, Nano CheqSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedSophia Collier, Chula Reynolds, Matt Esh
Endpoint Ventures (angel syndicate of founders of GeneWEAVE and Endpoint Health)Billion to One, Shasqi, Indee Labs, Meru Health, Reverie Labs, The One Healthcare Company, Viosera Therapeutics, SynkrinoSan Francisco Bay AreaAngelDiego Rey, Jason Springs, Leo Teixeira
Fifty Years VChttps://fiftyyears.substack.comHelixNano, Opentrons, Tierra Biosciences, Athelas, Memphis MeatsSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedEla Madej, Seth Bannon, Shuo Yang
Foobar VCCircularis, VitroLabs, Radix Labs, Nextmind, HelixNanoSeedDavid Helgason
FoundersX Ventures1910 Genetics,, Kernal Bio, Trexo RoboticsSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed to GrowthHelen Liang, Benjamin Xu, Tom Kosnik, Cyrus Hodes, John Sun, Wendy Hayes
Genoa Ventures Biosystems, Intabio, Intervenn, Ionpath, Synthomics, Tropic BiosciencesSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedJenny Rooke, Richard Kenny, Bill Hyun, Paul Conley, Paco Cifuentes
Georges Harik23andMe, uBiome, Metabiota, Adimab, Tegmine TherapeuticsSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedGeorges Harik
Gwen CheniTinctorium, Lupa Bio, SynthexSan Francisco Bay AreaAngelGwen Cheni
Hof Capital, Metagenomi, XGenomes, Ovid Research, BillionToOneNew York City, San Francisco Bay Area, LondonSeed, Venture Victor Wang, Hisham Elhaddad, Neil Devani
Humboldt FundMemphis Meats, Meatable, NotCo, Mission Barns, Ansa Biotechnologies, Geltor, Miroculus, Finch Therapeutics, BrightSeedSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedBenjamin Quiroga, Sebastian Bernales
Hummingbird VenturesBillionToOne, Basecamp Research, KernalLondon, AntwerpSeed, Series A, Series BFirat Ileri, Tess van Stekelenburg, Pablo Lubroth
Incube VenturesCorhythm, Neurolink, Rani Therapeutics, Spinal ModulationSan JoseSeedMar Perez, Andrew Farquharson, Mir Imran, Talat Imran, Mark Sieczkarek, Wayne Roe
IndieBio Age Meats, SugarLogix, Prellis Biologics, JunglaSan Francisco Bay Area, New York CityAcceleratorJun Axup, Po Bronson, Stephen Chambers, Rodrigo Mallo Leiva, Alex Kopelyan, Pae U
James HongAthelas, Hexagon Bio, Tegmine Therapeutics, Emerald Cloud Lab, Emerald TherapeuticsSan Francisco Bay AreaAngelJames Hong
Jude Gomila Pharma, Cofactor Genomics, Coral Genomics, Viosera Therapeutics, Gingko BioworksSan Francisco Bay AreaAngelJude Gomila
KdT Ventures Biosciences, PathAI, 54Gene, EleganAustinSeed, VentureCain McClary, Mack Healy, Rima Chakrabarti, Phil Grayeski
Khosla Ventures Bio, BIOAGE, Cellino, E25Bio, Editas Medicine, eGenesis, Eligo Biosciences, Encellin, Fountain Therapeutics, GEn1ESan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, VentureVinod Khosla, Alex Morgan, Justin Kao, Kristina Simmons
Liquid2 VenturesC16 Biosciences, Solugen, AthelasSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedMichael Ma, Nate Montana, Joe Montana, Mike Miller
Longevity Fund Oncology, Celevity, Decibel Therapeutics, Fauna Bio, Precision BiosciencesSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, AcceleratorLaura Deming
Luminous VenturesOxford VR, Optellum, Vital, Active Global, Astroscreen, Biobeats, Beyond…, Climax Foods, Ellipsis Health, Facesoft, FloxLondonSeedIsabel Fox, Lomax Ward, Simon Hsu, Peter Crane, Alasdair Thong, Miao He, Josh Liu, John Spindler, James Joll, Csaba Konkoly
Lux Capital Neuroscience, Recursion Pharma, Genocea, Auris Surgical Robotics, KallyopeNew York City, San Francisco Bay AreaSeedZavain Dar, Adam Goulburn, Ian Peikon, Robert Paull
Mars Bio, Better Earth, Encellin, ArmadaSeed, Venture Robert Rhinehart, Arye Lipman, Llewellyn Cox,
Mayfield Bio, Mammoth Biosciences, Qventus, Endpoint HealthSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, VentureTim Chang, Arvind Gupta, Ursheet Parikh, Navin Chaddha
Mission BioCapitalZymergen, Cell Design Labs, Alector, Bolt Threads, Nocion Therapeutics, Wild Type, Pandion Therapeutics, GlycomineSan Francisco Bay AreaSeed, VentureDoug Crawford, Peter Parker, Steve Tregay, Johannes Fruehauf, Eric Linsley, Robert Blazej
New Ventures Funds (Scientia Ventures) Therapeutics, Royalty Pharma, Fibrogen, CibusNew York CitySeed, VentureJonathan Finn, Mark Finn, Henry Glorikian, Rory Riggs, Richard Warburg, John Dessouki
NFX Biosciences, C2i Genomics, Twist Biosciences. Armada, Genome CompilerSan Francisco Bay Area, IsraelSeedJames Currier, Pete Flint, Gigi Levy-Weiss, Morgan Beller, Shayma Sharif, Brittany Yoon
Nordic Makers, Helix Nano, BiolibNordic CountriesSeedMoaffak Ahmed, Michael Seifert, Esben Gadsboll, Klaus Nyengaard, Martin Von Haller Gronbaek, Lars Floe Nielsen, Alexander Aghassipour, David Helgason, Benjamin Ratz
OMX VenturesFinch TherapeuticsSeed, VentureDaniel Fero, Nick Haft, Craig Asher
Pacific 8 Bioscience, BillionToOne, Dorian Therapeutics, Fauna Bio, Karius, Cura TherapeuticsTaipei, San Francisco Bay AreaSeedChris Shu, Jack Liang, Ser-Chen Fu
Paul Buchheit Genomics, Bikanta, Cue Health, Comprehend, LuministSan Francisco Bay AreaAngelPaul Buchheit
Paul Graham Graham
Petri BioBostonAccelerator, SeedTony Kulesa, Jaye Goldstein, Brian Baynes, Jamie Goldstein, Christian Caraco, Josh Moser
Point Nine Coppey, Ricardo Sequerra, Christoph Janz, Pawel Chudzinski
Presight CapitalTerran Biosciences, Peptilogics, Enclear TherapiesNew York CitySeedChristian Angermayer, Fabian Hansen
Refactor Capital Biology, Computational Biology / Chemistry, Therapeutics, Longevity, Genomics, AI / ML, OtherSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedZal Bilimoria, David Lee
Sam Altman Altman
Sea LaneCradle Genomics, Spring Discovery, Q BioSeed, VentureLing Wong
Tech.BioSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedOmri Drory
True Ventures, Fauna Bio, Intervenn Biosciences, Prellis Biologics, SymbiomeSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedRohit Sharma, Adam D'Augelli
Tsingyuan Ventures Therapeutics, Namocell, Erisyon, Cardea BioSeedMichael Jin, Steve Sun, Biao He
Wireframe VenturesMammoth Biosciences, Reverie Labs, GeneticureSan Francisco Bay AreaSeedHarsh Patel, Paul Straub
Y Combinator Therapeutics, Gingko Bioworks, Alpine Roads, Solugen, AthelasSan FranciscoAcceleratorJared Friedman, Paul Bucheit, Michael Seibel, Uri Lopatin
Yleana Venture Partners/Emles AdvisorsSeed

To stay updated on biopharma startup funding and exit trends through 2020, check out our free startup dashboard for summary info updated on a regular basis.

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