THE 15 MOST ACTIVE EARLY STAGE SILICON VALLEY INVESTORS

Despite the difficult time, where travel and in-person meeting opportunities are limited, Silicon Valley Tech investors are still hungry to support entrepreneurs in building businesses with global #impact.

Part of our initiatives to bring Silicon valley to you, our team at Startup Basecamp compiled this list by evaluating the number of startups each investor funded to date according to publicly available data, in addition to their influence in the early-stage startup ecosystem. Sources used during the research process were CrunchBase, Venture Deal, Forbes, BusinessInsider, and AngelList, among others.

The following is a list of some of the most active and influential early-stage angel investors.  Please note that the order is arbitrary.

Disclosure: There are hundreds of active investors and I know there are many worthy people I am leaving out of this list. Please email me your information if you feel like I should have mentioned you.

#1 Peter Thiel

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Why he is important: Peter Thiel is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He co-founded PayPal, he made the first outside investment in Facebook, and he also co-founded Palantir Technologies, where he serves as chairman. He has provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp, and dozens of startups. He is a partner at Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has funded companies including SpaceX and Airbnb. His Thiel Foundation gives a small number of young entrepreneurs $100,000 over two years to skip college and pursue their business entrepreneurial dreams.

Home: San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment: Information Tech, AI, Advanced Computing, Fintech. 

Quote: “There are still many large white spaces on the map of human knowledge. You can go discover them. So do it. Get out there and fill in the blank spaces. Every single moment is a possibility to go to these new places and explore them.”

#2 Chamath Palihapitiya

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Why he is important: Chamath Palihapitiya is the Founder and Managing Partner of The Social+Capital Partnership – a venture capital fund based in Palo Alto, CA that incubates and invests in breakthrough companies in healthcare, education, financial services, mobile and enterprise software. The mission of Social Capital is to transform society by using technology to solve the world’s hardest problems. They do this by utilizing their people and capital to help bring the most promising and disruptive ideas worldwide for maximum impact. Before Social Capital, Chamath was the longest-tenured member of Facebook’s senior executive team. Chamath is also the Owner and Director of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. 

Home: Palo Alto, California, US.

Field of investment: Healthcare, Entreprise, Education Technology, Fintech, Frontier Tech, Consumer. 

Quote:We need to divorce ourselves from venture capital as an occupation and focus on using capital as a way to take really big bets on things that just seem totally audacious.”

#3 Alexis Ohanian

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Why he is important: Alexis Ohanian is an entrepreneur and investor in Brooklyn, NY, best known as the co-founder and executive chair of Reddit, a platform for online communities to share links and have discussions. Alexis has been called the “Mayor of the Internet.” He has fought against a bill that would have stifled internet innovation. He also is Head of Marketing at Hipmunk, founder of Breadpig, and an angel investor at Das Kapital Capital, LLC. Him and his partner have helped countless founders build startups at the earliest possible stage.

Home:
Miami, Florida, US.

Field of investment: Computer Software, Information Technology, Fintech, Gaming.

Quote: “Don’t be afraid to show your users that you give a damn. It should shine in everything you do, from the design of your website to the way you respond to feedback e-mails.”

#4 John Doerr

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Why he is important: John Doerr is an engineer, acclaimed venture capitalist, and the chairman of Kleiner Perkins.

John was an original investor and board member at Google and Amazon, helping to create more than half a million jobs and the world’s second and third most valuable companies. He is one of Silicon Valley’s most storied firms, having backed Amazon, AOL, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Google, Netscape and Twitter. John supports free online tutoring site Khan Academy and climate change-focused Climate Reality Project through his foundation.

Home: Menlo Park, California, US.

Field of investment: HealthTech, AI, EdTech, Information Technology.

Quote: “We must realize—and act on the realization—that if we try to focus on everything, we focus on nothing.”

#5 Marc Andreessen

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Why he is important: Marc Andreessen is a cofounder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He is an innovator and creator. Marc co-created the Mosaic internet browser and co-founded Netscape, which later sold to AOL for $4.2 billion. Andreessen is also a co-founder of Ning, a company that provides a platform for social networking websites. He is on the board of directors of Facebook. Andreessen was one of six inductees in the World Wide Web Hall of Fame announced at the First International Conference on the World-Wide Web in 1994.

Home:
Menlo Park, California, US.

Field of investment:
Neurotech, Computer Software, Information Technology, AI, IoT.

Quote:
“It’s really rare for people to have a successful start-up in this industry without a breakthrough product. I’ll take it a step further. It has to be a radical product. It has to be something where, when people look at it, at first they say, ‘I don’t get it, I don’t understand it. I think it’s too weird, I think it’s too unusual.”

#6 Tim Draper

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Why he is important: Tim Draper’s goal is to bring together young entrepreneurs, startup founders, executives, and investors all under one roof. He helps entrepreneurs drive their visions through funding, education, media, and government reform. He has founded thirty Draper venture funds, Draper University, Bizworld, and two statewide initiatives to improve governance and education. He is a founding partner of Draper Associates and DFJ. Thanks to Tim’s original suggestion to use “viral marketing” in web-based e-mail to spread an Internet product to its market, Hotmail was successful.

Home:
Redwood City, California, US.

Field of investment:
Fintech, Information Technology, Advanced Computing, PTaaS.

Quote:
“Monopolies are bad because people get bad service for high prices. Competition is good because people get good service for competitive prices.”

#7 Naval Ravikant

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Why he is important: Naval Ravikant is the CEO and a co-founder of AngelList. He previously co-founded Epinions (which went public as part of Shopping.com) and Vast.com. He is an active Angel investor, and has invested in over 100 companies, including Twitter, Uber, Yammer, Stack Overflow and Wanelo, when they were in their early stage.

Home:
San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment:
HealthTech, Ecommerce, AI, SaaS, Fintech,

Quote:
“Competing without software is like competing without electricity.”

#8 Jason Calacanis

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Why he is important: Jason McCabe Calacanis hosts “This Week In Startups” and is the founder and CEO of Inside.com.
Calacanis co-founded and was the CEO of Weblogs, Inc., a network of popular weblogs that was sold to AOL, where he became senior vice president. He was also named general manager of AOL’s Netscape and was responsible for the July 2006 relaunch of the iconic browser as a social bookmarking news site.
He was also the founder of Rising Tide Studios, a media company that published the magazines Silicon Alley Reporter and Digital Coast Reporter. The flagship publication later became Venture Reporter, a venture capital database.

Home:
San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment:
Computer Software, AI, EdTech, Information Technology, SaaS.

Quote:
You have to have a big vision and take very small steps to get there. You have to be humble as you execute but visionary and gigantic in terms of your aspiration. In the internet industry it’s not about grand innovation, it’s about a lot of little innovations: every day, every week, every month, making something a little bit better.

#9 Reid Hoffman

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Why he is important: Reid Hoffman focuses on building products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants and businesses that have network effects. He possesses a unique understanding of consumer behavior and the dynamics of viral businesses, as well as deep experience in driving companies from the earliest stages through periods of explosive growth. Ranging from Linkedin to PayPal, from Airbnb to Convoy to Facebook, Reid invests in businesses with network effects and collaborates on building their product ecosystems. Reid co-founded LinkedIn and also served as executive vice president at PayPal. He currently serves on the boards of Airbnb, Aurora, Coda, Convoy, Entrepreneur First, Gixo, Microsoft, Nauto, Xapo and a few early stage companies still in stealth.

Home:
San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment:
Information Technology, Fintech, Computer Software, Gaming.

Quote:
“An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.”

#10 Keith Rabois

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Why he is important: Keith Rabois is the General Partner at Founders Fund. He has been instrumental in driving five startups from their early stages to successful IPOs. He has provided seed capital to another ten companies that are currently valued at over $1 B, including Airbnb, Lyft, YouTube, Wish, Yammer. He specializes in funding early-stage companies with a primary focus in consumer, financial services and health care innovation. Rabois has also led investments in a broad array of startups including, DoorDash, Stripe, Thoughtspot, Affirm, Even Financial, and Piazza.

Home:
San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment:
Computer Software, HealthTech, Advanced Computing, Legal Tech.

Quote:
The team you build is the company you build.

#11 Garry Tan

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Why he is important: Garry is a designer, engineer, and founder turned early stage investor, co-founding Initialized Capital with Alexis Ohanian in 2013. The firm has invested at the earliest stages of companies like Coinbase, Flexport, Instacart, and Cruise.
Prior to Initialized, Garry spent nearly 5 years as a partner at Y Combinator, advising and funding more than 1,000 companies and founders. He was co-founder of YC-backed blog platform Posterous (acquired by Twitter in 2012) and previously worked at Palantir as a founding member of the engineering team.

Home: San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment:
Fintech, Advanced Computing, Information Technology, AI, Computer Software.

Quote:
“It’s not innovation until it gets built.”

#12 Michael Moritz

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Why he is important: Michael Moritz is Chairman of Sequoia Capital. He represented Sequoia in its investments in Google, Yahoo, PayPal, Flextronics, Kayak, Pure Digital, and Zappos.com.
He also represents Sequoia’s interests in Klarna, Green Do, and Stripe, LinkedIn, Instacart, PopSugar, and The Melt. Part of The Midas List: Top Tech Investors 2020, on Forbes.

Home:
San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment:
Computer Software, Fintech, Information Technology, Advanced Computing, Mobile Tech.

Quote:
There’s nothing more invigorating than being deeply involved with a small company and a young team of founders out to do something incredibly special.”

#13 Andrew Chen

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Why he is important: Andrew Chen is a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, focusing on consumer technology. He is known for leading the Rider Growth teams at Uber in the past.
He also writes about mobile, metrics, and growth on his website. He is an advisor/investor for tech startups including AngelList, Barkbox, Boba Guys, Dropbox, Front, Gusto, Kiva, Product Hunt, Tinder, Workato and others.
Previously, he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mohr Davidow Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based firm with $2B under management.

Home:
San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment:
Legal Tech, Information Technology, Fintech, Computer Software.

Quote:
“Getting to product/market fit is hard, and even though you feel like you’re failing, you’re actually not. Turns out every startup has to go through this, but not every startup survives it.”

#14 Brian Jacobs

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Why he is important: Brian Jacobs is the founder of Emergence Capital and Moai Capital. He has over 25 years of venture capital experience and broad experience helping both consumer and business-oriented startups.
Brian was an early General Partner at St. Paul Venture Capital and helped to grow the firm to one of the 15 largest venture investors in the country. He led the firm’s Silicon Valley investing activities. He is an experienced board member who has served on dozens of public and private boards. He currently serves on the boards of Bill.com, Drivewyze, Impartner, Eversight, and InsideView.

Home:
San Mateo, California, US.

Field of investment:
HealthTech, SaaS, Computer Software, Fintech.

Quote:
“We believe that we can make better investments and we can help our companies better if we stay small. We want everyone in our team to be involved.”

#15 Rebecca Lynn

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Why she is important: Rebecca is Co-founder and General Partner at Canvas Ventures (recognized by Midas as Top VC Firm to Watch), a thesis based and early-stage venture firm investing in AI, FinTech, digital health, SaaS, and mobile. She led investments in Lending Club, Check (acquired by Intuit), and FutureAdvisor (acquired by BlackRock), Vida Health, Honore, and Luminar Technologies.
She has been named to Forbes Midas List four times.

Home:
San Francisco, California, US.

Field of investment:
AI, Fintech, Health Tech, SaaS, mobile.

Quote:
“Life happens. And often things that seem the most tragic are actually the catalyst for something even better. And what makes it a catastrophe or something a catalyst is really your attitude towards it and how you see it the next day.”

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