The Venture Studio Index
Data on venture studios and their startups. For startup founders, EIRs, investors, LPs and anyone interested in venture studios.
The Venture Studio Index is a free, public database of venture studios and their startups.
We are currently tracking 108 venture studios and 543 venture studio startups, growing at ~10% and ~20% per year, respectively.
The public database is available here. This initial version was created through hundreds of hours of research on studio portfolio pages, press releases and LinkedIn. See methodology and data limitations for additional background.
We believe this is the first and only database of its kind.
We are continually adding to our database based on findings from our research team and community. For additions and feedback, email email@example.com or leave a comment in the database.
Sign up below for updates.
What is a venture studio?
Venture studios ideate, build, launch and new startups. They perform interviews, identify anchor customers, develop prototypes, recruit a founding team and provide financial backing.
They are distinct from venture capital firms and startup accelerators who back existing companies. A firm is a venture studio is if their startups would not exist without them.
Some fantastic articles outline the operations of specific ventures studios:
High Alpha (High Alpha blog)
Sutter Hill Ventures (Kevin Kwok)
Wilbur Labs (Startup Studio Insider)
Who are the most successful venture studios?
Example successful venture studios include:
Venture studios have proven their model across different countries, various specialities including deep tech, healthcare, consumer and b2b software. Some are affiliated with larger venture capital firms, others corporate partners. Many operate independently.
What are the most successful venture studio startups?
Example successful venture studio startups include:
Example recent venture studio startups include:
Attributes of successful venture studio startups:
Most are b2b. Easier to get certainty around a business users’ unmet needs and willingness to pay vs predicting consumer preferences
Wide span of industries, many of which are outside the expertise of typical entrepreneurs
Others are based on recent trends like telehealth or cloud (in 2012)
The chart and tables above are based on our initial database as of July 11, 2022, and our data is incomplete. Additionally, some venture studios keep their startups in stealth for years and others never report their startups for strategic reasons (though we do our best to find them anyway).
We are continually adding to our database based on findings from our community and research team. Sign up below for updates.
What is driving the growth of venture studios?
Proven history of successful venture studio startups.
Attractive economics of ventures studio investments. Where a seed stage venture capital firm may invest $1-2mm in a startup to own 10-20% of a startup, a venture studio can invest $500K-$1mm to launch a new company and own 50%.
Increasing the available pool of founders. Founders can now launch startups without needing an idea, anchor customers or a prototype by partnering with a venture studio who supplies all three.
Unlocking new startup ideas. Venture studios invest in relationships with corporate executives, scientific researchers and government buyers, and monetize those investments across many startups. Other venture studios hire teams to diligence numerous, obscure industries, and invest only in those with proven unmet needs and budgets.
Attractive opportunity for venture studio founders. Venture studios are often founded by entrepreneurs with successful exits who want to leverage their experience across multiple bets without having to invest the years building new startups themselves.
Key Risk: Can venture studios recruit talented founders?
The key risk to venture studios is whether they can attract talented founders to run their companies. Founders partnering with venture studios typically receive 25 to 40% of the equity in their startup. Operators with successful exits may be happy to develop their own ideas and own a higher percentage of their company. "Mercenary" CEOs may not have the staying power to navigate a new venture to a successful outcome.
On the other hand, partnering with a venture studio who provides a vetted idea, capital and operational resources reduces the risk of profile of a new startup and may increasingly be an attractive career track for young talent. This may significantly widen the talent pool of potential founders who would otherwise be turned off by the risks of entrepreneurship.
We also may see increasing economics given to more seasoned founders as competition among venture studios increases.
Finally, given the attractive entry economics of venture studio investment and the high volume of startups they launch, venture studios may not need unicorn level outcomes. Just a predictable flow of medium scale outcomes to continue their investing model.
What ideas are venture studios working on right now?
Many venture studios outline their upcoming startup ideas in their job posts, for example:
BCG Digital Ventures: CTO of new internet security services startup
Fractal Software: Various EIR roles for new vertical B2B SaaS businesses
Redesign Health: CEO for StealthCo tech enabled services for cardiology groups
Redesign Health: CEO for StealthCo psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy practice
Redesign Health: CEO for StealthCo analytics for value based care payers
Redesign Health: CEO for StealthCo virtual care partner for OB/GYNs
The Production Board: Pioneer for new biotech, food or agriculture venture
TandemLaunch: Co-founder, Product lead for stealth bioplastics startup
Wilbur Labs: EIR for stealth online privacy protection services company
Other venture studios publicize ideas they’re currently incubating to invite discussion with potential founders and customers. For example:
Slimmer.ai is incubating a AI workflow tool to help law firms with complex legal cases.
High Alpha lists several B2B SaaS ideas they are developing including: NFT experiences for DTC brands, Activating product alumni networks, Human-powered customer marketing, and Network-led recruiting
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This Week in Venture Studios
New additions to the database from the community and our team of researchers
Job postings for founders and venture studio executives
News, podcasts and relevant industry updates
What founder backgrounds are venture studios targeting? Which have been most successful?
How to evaluate venture studios
How successful are startups launched by venture studios compared to independent startups?
Best practices and strategies determining venture studio success
Would be interesting to keep track of the returns that these Venture Studios are getting. How much are they investing into each startup? How much equity do they get? And how much are their startups currently value at? I know its more work, but would find this very useful if you had that info!