EDITED BY REBECCA SZKUTAK AND ALEX KONRAD
APRIL 14, 2022, 10:00AM
Catch a fast-growing tech company early enough as an investor, and even a late-stage funding pullback — not to mention a less than desirable exit environment — can’t slow you down. But with new multi-billion-dollar funds in the mix, and established firms getting ever bigger, such specialists can be easy to overlook. For the first time in 2022, the Midas List franchise is highlighting these early-stage investors with the debut of the Midas Seed list.
In partnership with TrueBridge, Forbes is proud to unveil its first annual ranking of the top 25 seed investors worldwide. The list highlights the top early-stage backers that invest in founders before their companies have strong revenue streams or notable market share. ZhenFund founding partner and CEO Anna Fang (Above) takes the top spot on the debut list. The China-based investor has spent an 11-year career backing more than 30 future unicorns at the seed stage, including social media platform Xiaohongshu (also known as RED), now valued at $20 billion, and Horizon Robotics, now valued at $4 billion.
The Midas Seed list includes some names that longtime Midas readers will know, including Forerunner Ventures cofounder Kirsten Green, Pejman Nozad of Pear VC, and Floodgate’s Ann Miura-Ko. But it also features a number of investors that deserve such an introduction, given their strong reputations and portfolios, including Boldstart’s Ed Sim, Freestyle Capital’s Jenny Lefcourt and Haystack’s Semil Shah.
To qualify, investors are measured by their portfolio companies that have gone public or been acquired for at least $50 million, or have a private valuation that is more than $100 million. In addition, for a deal to be Midas Seed eligible, it must currently hold a valuation that has tripled since the VC’s original investment. Only investors from true seed firms are considered for MIdas Seed, meaning multistage players or angel investors are not eligible. The list is also capped at one individual investor per fund. A data-driven list, Midas Seed was compiled through a combination of public data sources and firm submissions.