The 14 Best VC Firms In San Diego, CA [2022]

The 14 Best VC Firms In San Diego, CA [2022]

Are you looking for a VC firm for your San Diego, CA based startup?

With its charming neighborhoods and diverse community, San Diego City is a fantastic place for startups.

The high concentration of Millenials in the city and the emergence of companies supporting entrepreneurs are some of the reasons why San Diego City is on track to becoming the next hub for startups.

Overall, the San Diego startup ecosystem provides a diverse, high-caliber, and impact-driven cohort of new companies each year.

While the needs of these new startups are as diverse as the products and solutions they offer, they all value connections with industry support through funding that can aid their venture to market.

Venture capital firms in San Diego offer good investment and provide startups business management approach, resources, and extensive networking opportunities for the founders.

However, finding the right investment firm for your startup can be a daunting task.

There are a number of successful venture capital firms in San Diego, CA, and we've curated a list of the best local firms in the area. Additionally, we provide you with:

  • Investment size
  • Funding stages
  • Typical industries the firm works with
  • Well known companies the VC firm has invested in

Here's the list:

1. Qualcomm Ventures

  • Location: Israel, San Diego
  • Industries: Technology
  • Investment Range: $500K to $10M
  • Stage: Seed Stage, Series B
  • Companies invested in: Affirmed, Airspace, SiFive

Qualcomm Ventures is a San Diego-based VC firm that helps entrepreneurs build revolutionary businesses that reshape the world around us.

The firm supports female-founded early-stage technology companies by investing in their transformative technologies with full commitment.

Qualcomm Ventures focuses on making investments in startups developing next-generation technologies that will promote future growth for Qualcomm Inc. The firm currently has 140+ active companies in its portfolio and has generated significant financial returns.

They typically invest anywhere from $500K to $1M. They've even invested more than $500M in their partnering companies to date.

Learn more about Qualcomm Ventures ➜

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2. Correlation Ventures

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Technology, Food, Data Science, Health, Aerospace
  • Investment Range: $100K to $4M
  • Stage: Seed Stage, Series A
  • Companies invested in: Upstart, AI Foundation, Clyde

Correlation Ventures new-age venture capital firm that likes to invest in technology-based startups of talented entrepreneurs.

The firm has an efficient decision-making process for its partnering businesses. They make decisions in under two weeks as they know that for every startup, time is money. The company strives hard to find the right investors and partners for emerging businesses.

They typically invest anywhere from $100K to $4M.

Learn more about Correlation Ventures ➜

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3. Avalon Ventures

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Technology, Life Sciences
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: Seed Stage
  • Companies invested in: Indix, Zynga, Cloudant

Avalon Ventures, a venture capital firm, provides investment to information technology and life sciences companies.

The firm has founded and funded more than 100 companies. They are passionate about backing talented entrepreneurs seeking to build market-leading companies. The firm's long-standing and successful focus has been on seed and early-stage companies.

Learn more about Avalon Ventures ➜

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4. TVC Capital

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Technology
  • Investment Range: $8M to $25M
  • Stage: Series A, Series C
  • Companies invested in: eVisit, Growflow, CreatorIQ

TVC Capital is a private equity firm that provides capital to technology-driven companies in San Diego.

Along with the capital, the firm also invests the time, energy, and expertise to help to scale the software businesses of its partners.

TVC focuses on providing growth-stage B2B software companies with the capital, resources, and guidance required to make them market leaders. Their goal is to accelerate growth, maximize value, and position for a profitable exit.

They typically invest anywhere from $8M to $25M.

Learn more about TVC Capital ➜

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5. Domain Associates

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Healthcare
  • Investment Range: $10M to $50M
  • Stage: Series A, Series C
  • Companies invested in: ESP Pharma, Milestone, ChromaCode

Domain Associates is one of the oldest and leading VC firms in San Diego.

The firm focuses on investing in Biotech companies in the region. To date, they have led a large number of successful investments in Biotech and Health tech companies. They usually target Series A and later-stage companies for investments.

The general range of funding of Domain Associates is anywhere from $10M to $50M.

Learn more about Domain Associates ➜

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6. BioMed Ventures

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Biotechnology
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: Seed Stage, Series C
  • Companies invested in: Not Disclosed

BioMed Ventures is an investment arm of BioMed Realty that focuses on providing capital to life science companies and businesses.

The firm mainly invests in the biotechnology, medical, and diagnostics sectors.

Learn more about BioMed Ventures ➜

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7. Torrey Pines Investment

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: Seed Stage, Series A
  • Companies invested in: Vaxxas, GITR, Avineuro

Torrey Pines Investment company has a team of investment professionals with extensive experience in entrepreneurship, venture capital, and operations.

The firm's successful biopharma incubators focuses on investing in early development stage assets from international pharma and biotech partners in CNS, oncology, and virology areas to bring them to commercial success.

Their goal is to help their partnering companies achieve growth, build value, and realize wealth.

Learn more about Torrey Pines Investment ➜

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8. Forward Ventures

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Biotechnology
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: All Stages
  • Companies invested in: Syndax, Viracta, Nereus

Forward Ventures is a leading life science venture capital firm from San Diego.

The firm has a team of capable investment professionals with years of experience in entrepreneurship and funding. They have successfully invested in over 50 companies and currently have more than $500 million in capital under management. Forward Ventures’ program of life sciences and health care venture is currently investing in companies of all stages of development.

Learn more about Forward Ventures ➜

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9. Mesa Verde Venture Partners

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Life Sciences
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: Seed Stage
  • Companies invested in: CalciMedica, Equillium, Glycomine

Mesa Verde Venture Partners is an early-stage life science VC firm based in San Diego.

The firm focuses on creating partnerships with entrepreneurs to build successful companies. Their aim is to invest in a diversified portfolio of early-stage biomedical companies with a focus in San Diego and other traditionally underrepresented areas in life sciences venture capital. They provide capital to different biotech sectors including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, life science enabling tools, and digital health.

Learn more about Mesa Verde Venture Partners ➜

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10. Mission Ventures

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Technology
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: Seed Stage
  • Companies invested in: Not Disclosed

Mission Ventures, a San Diego-based VC firm, offers capital funding to early-stage companies to help them build successful enterprises.

The firm accomplishes its goal by investing in the most promising early-stage companies in high growth, emerging markets, and providing significant assistance to those companies as they develop. Partnering with Mission Ventures brings value-added capital, experience, management talent, and guidance to the most outstanding entrepreneurs in the region.

Learn more about Mission Ventures ➜

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11. Longley Capital

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Technology
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: Seed Stage, Series C
  • Companies invested in: Contently, Deskhub, Gosite

Longley Capital is an investment firm that invests in meaningful companies at the forefront of emerging technologies.

The firm focuses on underserved markets and with the help of its champion management teams, it accelerates enterprise value and mitigates portfolio risk. They implement business fundamentals, experiences, and control early in a company’s lifecycle to ensure success in later stages.

Learn more about Longley Capital ➜

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12. RiverVest

  • Location: San Diego, St Louis
  • Industries: Life Sciences
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: Seed Stage
  • Companies invested in: InterVene, Lumena, Allakos

RiverVest is a private venture capital firm that focuses on developing and supporting life science companies to address significant unmet needs of patients and deliver consistently strong results to investors.

The firm is striving hard to improve the patients' lives, build Biotech companies, support entrepreneurs, and earn the trust of investors through science, strategy, and innovation.

Learn more about RiverVest ➜

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13. Shepherd Ventures

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Technology, Life Sciences
  • Investment Range: Not Disclosed
  • Stage: Seed Stage, Series C
  • Companies invested in: Andigilog, Lucix, CEYX Technologies

Shepherd Ventures invests in information technology and life sciences companies.

The firm has passionate and experienced management teams and they only focus on generating significant capital appreciation through a balanced portfolio of early and later-stage equity investments in carefully selected shepherded growth companies.

The Managing Directors, Venture Partners, and Advisors of the firm are industry leaders who have extensive experience operating, guiding, and investing in information technology and life sciences companies in the region.

Learn more about Shepherd Ventures ➜

14. Connect

  • Location: San Diego
  • Industries: Technology, Life Sciences
  • Investment Range: $100K to $14M
  • Stage: Seed Stage, IPO
  • Companies invested in: Challenger, CommS, Drata

Connect is a network of capital funding that supports innovators and entrepreneurs by providing access to investors, mentors, and education.

It is a nonprofit company that focuses on helping entrepreneurs build great companies and together create a world-class innovation ecosystem.

The firm offers no-cost consulting and low-cost training to new and existing startup businesses.

They typically invest anywhere from $100K to $14M.

Learn more about Connect ➜

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What Are The Roles Of A Venture Capital Firm?

Typically, good venture capitalists in San Diego provide assistance to startups in many significant ways. The top five roles of VC firms include:

  • General Partners: As general partners, the VC firm is responsible for all fund investment decisions and normally invest their capital in the fund.
  • Venture Partners: The VC firm will source investment opportunities and they are paid based on the deals they close.
  • Investment Principals: The VC firms take the mid-level investment-focused position, and have experience in investment banking or other experience relative to the fund investment strategy.
  • Associates: Junior staff experienced in investment banking or management consulting.
  • Entrepreneur-in-residence: They are industry experts hired as advisors or consultants to the venture capital firm temporarily, and often assist with due diligence or pitching new startup ideas.

What Does A Venture Capitalist Look for When Making an Investment?

VC firms look for a competitive advantage in the market. They are interested in their portfolio companies to be able to generate sales and profits before competitors enter the market. Therefore, before putting money into an opportunity, the VC firms want to know if the firm's management is up to the task, that the size of the market opportunity, and whether the product has what it takes to make money.

Ideally, all this is to reduce the riskiness of the opportunity.

Why Would You Want A VC Investor?

Companies that are supported by venture capitalists are often at the start-up to expansion stage of their lives. In that case, such firms have huge growth potential, and often little or no track record. Such companies will rely on venture capital backing to meet the necessary potential.

The venture capital is often directed towards product development, marketing, manufacturing, and general business expansion investments.

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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