Ranking the Best Early-Stage Venture Capitalists: How Tribe Capital Selected the 2023 Seed 100 and Seed 30 Lists

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Tribe Capital is an asset management company that uses data-driven models to identify and invest in some of the best early-stage venture capitalists. Each year, their Seed 100 and Seed 30 lists recognize the investors they believe have exceptional skill and a high likelihood of continued success in the venture capital and angel investment space. This competitiveness to earn a spot on the list has seen Tribe Capital analyze over 1,600 investors for the 2023 rankings.

Navigating the competition was Jake Ellowitz, partner at Tribe Capital and the data scientist behind their mathematical models for the startup and venture-capital industries. According to him, the methodology starts with Crunchbase and PitchBook data, with each criterion carrying equal weight. To make the list, investors must have a minimum of five investments between 2008 and 2023, hopefully resulting in an exit (IPO or acquisition) which carries the most influence in differentiating candidates. The process was further updated this year to account for a slower dealmaking environment, enabling emerging managers to enter the scope and measure the success of more women investors, which saw the Seed 30 increase from 25 to 30.

Despite the success of this approach, Tribe Capital also acknowledges the great investors that weren’t listed. In an industry that is historically white-glove, investors may have to wait years for their investments to show signs of success or exit to form a track record. This is why they created their Weather Report to anticipate the capital supply and demand, predicting a fundraising desert and slowness ahead. On the other hand, seed investing has proven to be acyclic, allowing seed-stage companies to operate on their lean strategies and develop products quicker with the help of large language models. With this in mind, the opportunities for seed investing, and the investors themselves, will grow in volume and diversity.

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