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18 Philadelphia venture capital firms you should know

The top VC firms in  Philadelphia Seed rounds

Let’s look at the most active seed VC funds operating in and around Philadelphia. Most VC investments in 2020 and 2021 were focused on software and SaaS companies. The top seed round Philadelphia venture capital investors include:

  1. Dorm Room Fund
  2. Dreamit
  3. Robinhood Ventures
  4. Ben Franklin Technology Partners
  5. SeventySix Capital
  6. Genacast Ventures

The Dorm Room Fund, established by First Round back in 2012, is a special kind of VC run by students and the leading seed stage VC investors by number of deals. Accelerator and Micro VC Dreamit achieved the second place, closely followed by Robinhood Ventures, each of which are active early seed investors in Philadelphia.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners is one of the most active pre-seed and seed investors in the region and started and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

SeventySix Capital and Genacast Ventures only made a handful of new investments in the past year.



Who else invests in Philadelphia?

The bulk of VC investment in Philadelphia tech is done by non-Philadelphia VC firms.

Find Out More



Top Series A VC investors in Philadelphia

  1. First Round
  2. Chestnut Street Ventures
  3. SRI Capital
  4. Osage Venture Partners
  5. MissionOG
  6. Rittenhouse Ventures

First Round Capital is one of the well-known VC firms in the US. Besides Boston, the firm has offices in New York City and San Francisco. First Round often acts as the first institutional money source for startups, but does Series A rounds as well.


Chestnut Street Ventures is a venture fund that is exclusively investing in University of Pennsylvania alum-led companies. SRI Capital on the other hand has a global focus and provides classic early stage capital for promising tech companies in the US and in India.

Focused on early stage investments, Osage Venture Partners and MissionOG target companies in the B2B software industry. Both funds made a handful of new investments in the past year.

Rittenhouse Ventures has a unique healthcare SaaS focus and a large majority of their investments have been local Mid-Atlantic companies.


Pennsylvania Venture Capital Firms


Top later stage VCs

Although Philadelphia might not be the obvious place for raising late stage investments, a couple of firms do Series B and growth stage rounds.

  1. NewSpring Capital
  2. Susquehanna Growth Equity
  3. LLR Partners
  4. Safeguard Scientifics

NewSpring Capital is leading the pack for later stage investments with more than 10 investments in the past year, closely followed by Susquehanna Growth Equity. Both firms invest in software and information technology.

Another SaaS focused middle market investor in Pennsylvania is LLR Partners. Philadelphia based Safeguard Scientifics provides capital for later stage health care and tech companies.



Top Philadelphia based VCs investing in Biotech and Life Sciences


Biotech investors do not have a strong presence in Philadelphia. Two local VCs actively invest in life science companies:

  1. BioAdvance
  2. Quaker Partners

Seed stage investor BioAdvance is funding Biotech R&D, pharma and medical devices in the Mid-Atlantic region. The firm is investing in healthcare IT as well. Quaker Partners is an early stage healthcare-focused venture capital firm.


The Venture Capital Firms You Need to Know in Philadelphia


Ben Franklin Technology Partners

State-backed Ben Franklin Technology Partners is supporting young tech companies with seed investments in Pennsylvania. The fund’s recent investments include Houwzer (FinTech + Real Estate), Halo Labs (Biopharma), NeuroFlow (Behavioral Health) and Play Impossible (IoT + Gaming).


BioAdvance

BioAdvance is a Philadelphia based fund that invests in life sciences and biotech companies like Halo Labs (Biopharma), ENB Therapeutics (Immunotherapy), Bainbridge Health (Digital Health) and Oncora Medical (Health Care + Predictive Analytics).


Chestnut Street Ventures

Chestnut Street Ventures has an exclusive interest in startups run by University of Pennsylvania alumni. Some of the recent startups backed by the VC are Capella Space (Satellites + Image Recognition), NeuroFlow (Behavioral Health),  Bainbridge Health (Digital Health + Data Analytics) and Verity Studios (Drones).


Dorm Room Fund

Likewise with a focus on universities the Dorm Room Fund invests in student-founded startups. The funds is run by students and  powered by First Round Capital. Recent investments include Flo Recruit (HR+ Recruiting), PowerSpike (Marketing Tech), Infinite Uptime (Predictive Analytics), Karuna Health (Digital Health) and Young Alfred (Insurance Tech + Curated Marketplaces).


Dreamit

Dreamit is the accelerator and MicroVC behind startups such as Cherre (Real Estate Tech + Business Intelligence), InquisitHealth (Digital Health +  Social Network), Kognition (IoT + Smart Home), Raxar Technology (IIot) and SafKan (Medical Devices + Consumer).


First Round

First Round is one of the most prominent VC funds in the US. Their First Round Review magazine is a leading source of information and inspiration for startup founders. First Round operated out of NYC, San Francisco and Philadelphia. The fund let recent seed and early-stage investments in Caper (Retail Tech), Bowery Farming (AgTech + Robotics), Crossbeam (Business Intelligence), Alma Health (Digital Health + Mental Health) and Court Buddy (Legal Tech + Curated Marketplaces).


Genacast Ventures

Genacast Ventures is a Philadelphia based seed stage fund, but has not been very active recently. The fund is investing in B2B companies and funded Staq (Marketing Tech + Media) and DrayNow (On Demand + Logistics + Transportation).


LLR Partners

LLR Partners also does seed stage SaaS investments. Notable investments include Edlio (CMS), Onapsis (Network Security), MedBridge (Digital Health + Edtech) and Midigator (Fraud and Risk Management).


MissionOG

Another notable addition to the list is MissionOG, offering early stage and later stage capital and targeting B2B software startups. Many of their investments include fintechs like Bridge Financial Technology, Venminder, Bento for Business and Alkami Technology.


NewSpring Capital

NewSpring Capital is a very active later stage fund. Unlike many other VCs, which tend to look at tech startups at the seed or early stage general, NewSpring Capita invests specifically in growth stage companies and has been quite active. The fund made more than 10 investments in 2020 and some of these firms include NuORDER (Retail Tech + Fashion), Messagepoint (CRM), Vacasa (Travel + Accomodation), ExecOnline (Edtech) and ParkWhiz (Transportation + Logistics).


Osage Venture Partners

Osage Venture Partners invests in B2B software companies on the East Coast. In addition to seed investments, the company also focuses on firms at the early stage. Notable investments include ExecOnline (Edtech), DrayNow (On Demand + Logistics + Transportation), BookKeeping Express (Fintech) and indico data solutions (Developer Tools + AI).


Quaker Partners

Unlike many other Philadelphia based VCs, which tend to look at software and SaaS startups, Quaker Partners funds innovative technologies in the life science and bio-tech . Quaker Partners has invested in the likes of Vesper Medical and Intact Vascular (medical devices).


Rittenhouse Ventures

Rittenhouse Ventures is not new to the scene, having been launched in 2008. The fund aims to provide early-growth stage (Series B/C) companies with access to much-needed capital primarily in healthcare and pharma IT. Investments include SquareFoot (Real Estate tech), Inpensa (Fintech + Business Intelligence), Energage (HR tech), Piano Software (Digital Media + Payments).


Robin Hood Ventures

Robin Hood Ventures is the most active group of angel investors in the Philadelphia region. Some of their investments include Simply Good Jars (Food + Wellness), Lia Diagnostics (Medical Devices), Virion Therapeutics (Life Sciences), Proscia (Biotech/Pharma + Machine Learning) and Burrow (E-Commerce + Lifestyle + Consumers).


Safeguard Scientifics

Another later stage investors from Philadelphia is Safeguard Scientifics. The fund invests in health care technology like medical devices (Trice Medical and InfoBionic) and digital health (Zipnosis and meQuilibrium).


SeventySix Capital

SeventySix Capital invests in technology startups and focuses on consumer products and services. Investments include Vegas Stats & Information Network (Media Company), Play by Play Sports Broadcasting Camps (Media + Sports) and ShotTracker (IoT + Sports).


SRI Capital

SRI Capital is one of the Pennsylvania VC companies that specializes in investments in India. The fund operates in the US and India. Recent portfolio companies include VideoKen (Edtech + AI), LetsMD (Health Care +  Curated Marketplaces), Fakespot Adtech + AI) and Fischer Block (Cleantech + IIot).


Susquehanna Growth Equity

Besides the US the fund is active in Canada, Israel and Europe. Susquehanna Growth Equity is targeted at growth stage businesses like Poppulo (Collaboration + Enterprise SaaS), WhiteSource (Developer Tools), PerkSpot (HR + Insurance tech), Phorest (CRM) and OrderMyGear (E-Commerce + Sports).


5 Reasons why Philadelphia’s Startup Ecosystem is Unique

Philadelphia is home to a number of well-known universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Drexel University. Numerous other universities and colleges like Saint Joseph’s University, La Salle University and the College of Philadelphia are located in the city and nuture a place where new ideas are created by startups and entrepreneurs.

The city provides a mix of talent, cost and business environment benefits that has created an important alternative to bigger and better known startup hubs like Silicon Valley. Located just one and a half hours from Washington DC, Baltimore and New York City, Philadelphia is acknowledged for its culture, quality of living and affordable real estate market.

Major conferences like TEDx Philadelphia, Forbes 30 Under 30 and WordCamp Philly are other factors that attract top talent to the city.

Coworking spaces, incubators and seed programs like Walnut Street Labs, NextFab, Project Liberty and Localhost provide resources and tools for rapid-growth tech companies. 

Philadelphia is one of the top ten areas in the US for venture capital according to Pitchbook, with $1.4 billion invested in 2020. 


Who else invests in Philadelphia?

The bulk of VC investment in Philadelphia tech is done by non-Philadelphia VC firms.

Find Out More