I was sitting at my Mom's kitchen table after graduating from college. I had a degree in Political Science and had picked up a bit of coding. I knew I wanted to work in tech and all of the opportunities were in San Francisco. I'd spent lots of time applying for jobs but it all seemed so random. How did I know the companies I was applying to were "good ones"? To me it seemed I was reaching out to whoever happened to be paying to post a job on the internet, was that really the best measure of what companies I should be trying to work at? There were clearly the successful monopolists like Facebook, Amazon, Google but everyone wanted to work there. How was I supposed to differentiate the next hot startup, one that would launch my career?
It turns out identifying successful startups isn't easy. Fortunately there's a whole industry of people working on this problem, they are called Venture Capitalists. Depending on the funding round and size of the investment they may be referred to as "Angel Investors" or "Institutional Investors". There are even "Private Equity firms" that routinely buy and sell later stage companies. If you're going to work in startups it can be helpful to learn about these different types of financing, but for our purposes starting out it's important to know that most of these types of peoples are financiers looking for a high Return On Investment (ROI) by putting money in a company's bank account. Investors often get paid before employees at special "liquidity events" like when new shares are issued in a funding round, when the company is bought or sold or when the company has an Initial Public Offering (IPO). In the simplest sense, being a successful Venture Capitalist is predicated on one's ability to identify successful startups, especially ones that are going to 10X or 100X an initial investment.
The two most important things to understand about startup investing, as a business, are (1) that effectively all the returns are concentrated in a few big winners, and (2) that the best ideas look initially like bad ideas. - Paul Graham, Co-Founder of Y Combinator
Venture Capitalists are often in a much better position to identify "winning" companies than job seekers are. VC firms hear pitches from thousands of startups every year and invest millions of dollars into new ventures. There are quality paid tools like Crunchbase and LinkedIn Premium that help investors find leads and filter through the noise. Investors see startup financials and have spent years in the industry learning what works and what doesn't. They meet the founders personally, build relationships and understand where startups are at and where they're going. If you're a job seeker looking to join a startup on the track to success, as measured by liquidity events it makes sense to factor in what investors have financed the startup and what the track record of those investors are.
Unfortunately job hunting is nerve wracking, time intensive and it can be hard to find all the companies that successful VC firms have invested in. Often candidates don't even research the companies they're applying to, let alone the investors that are financing the company. Doing your research about companies you're applying to is a sure way to stand out during the interview process but it takes a lot of time. To identify companies that successful VC firms have invested in you need to know 1) who the successful Venture Capital firms are and 2) what companies those firms have invested in. Once you have that list of companies you can target them for jobs.
We've taken the first step and identified some of the "top tier" VC firms. Many of these firms have offices on Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley and have made untold fortunes for their Limited Partners (LPs). There are plenty of startups in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area that are wildly successful without investment by these firms but many of the biggest Silicon Valley success stories were financed by these firms.
Startup Portfolios of Successful Venture Capital Firms
A Venture Capital firm's "portfolio" is a list of companies they have made investments in. To see the full portfolio of each Venture Capital firm please create an account or login to your Employbl dashbaord (it's free 💯).
- Y Combinator portfolio companies
- SV Angel portfolio companies
- a16z portfolio companies
- 500 Startups portfolio companies
- Sequoia Capital portfolio companies
- Kleiner Perkins portfolio companies
- Google Ventures (GV) portfolio companies
- Founders Fund portfolio companies
- First Round Capital portfolio companies
- Greylock portfolio companies
- Accel portfolio companies
- Khosla Ventures portfolio companies
- Lightspeed Venture Capital portfolio companies
- Benchmark Capital portfolio companies
- Social Capital portfolio companies
- Spark Capital portfolio companies
- Menlo Ventures portfolio companies
- Kapor Capital portfolio companies
- Union Square Ventures portfolio companies
How to use this data
Once you login to your Employbl dashboard you'll be able to filter for companies by investor on the main company search page. For instance, to find companies that have gone through the YC startup accelerator select that investor from the dropdown like so:
You can also select multiple investors to see all companies that any of those Venture Capitalists have invested in:
To filter down results you can combine these filters to search by location. So for example the below query will return all companies that have been invested in by YC, First Round Capital or a16z and have an office in Oakland, CA:
If you use this please let me know what you think by tweeting at Employbl Jobs :)
We partnered with Diffbot to pull in investment data about thousands of startups and tech companies. We're looking to expand on these filtering capabilities to find companies by funding round (Series A, Series B etc), corporate industry and tech stack. Diffbot has one of the largest knowledge graphs on the internet. We're looking forward to bringing high quality information to job seekers for free. If you have feedback, feature ideas or see something that we can improve or just want to say "hi" best way to reach us to tweet me @connor11528 or @Employbl_Jobs. Thanks for reading!