In the past 12 months we have invested in ~300 companies, opened up a new office in San Francisco and continued to grow our family internationally. 500 now has a presence in 10 countries, and we have invested in over
50 countries globally. Our team collectively speaks over 20 languages, and 1/3 of us weren’t born in the US — our goal is to reflect the diversity of our global portfolio. 안녕하세요! Olá! नमस्कार!
Along with this international expansion, we continued to invest, guide and connect 500 companies with a strong network of global mentors, advisors, investors and other fellow startups. #500Strong
Now where shall we begin? 2014 has been one hell of a ride. We launched our new office in San Francisco (called “500 Del Norte”) and ran both SF and Mountain View accelerator programs in tandem at 120 startups per year. We also ran 2 batches in Mexico City, and our accelerator programs now graduate over 150 companies per year.
We hosted three Demo Days in 2014, hundreds of investors attended our event and many companies raised over $1M (Vessel, SourceEasy, Carelulu, Pop Up Archive,Totspot, ProductBio, Neighborly, Lenda, Shopline, RAIN, ProductBio, Givesurance, Shakr,Zoomforth, Shippo, Unwind Me, Holidog, PredictionIO, Whale Path, DOZ, FameBit,TargetingMantra, Friend Trusted, just to name a few). We believe scale and frequency are critical to the success of our accelerator program, so we are very focused on scaling ourselves. We wanna give a big high five to all of our hardworking startups, you made us proud this year.
In addition to the accelerator, 500 has also invested in another ~150 companies this past year via our seed programs and related affiliate funds. We now invest in more startups per year than any other venture firm or accelerator and according to CB Insights, and we were the most active investor in the world in 2013 and 2014.
2014 has treated us well and with some of the smartest people in the industry joining the #500family, we’re taking off faster than Uber’s surge prices on New Year’s Eve.
Big wins from 500 Companies
Credit Karma: Tops $1 Billion Vallue with $75 million in new funding
TheRealReal: Raises $20 Million
Tradesy: Nets $13 Million Series B
ToutApp: Closes $3.35 million Series A round
Intercom: Raises Another $23M
Emprego Ligado: Closes $7M Series A round
Viva Real: Closes $41.7 Million Series C
Growing Global Community
In addition to our accelerator, 500 continues to make great progress investing internationally in a number of fast-growing markets such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, East Asia and the Middle East / North Africa (MENA). Earlier this year, we launched the 500 Durians fund to focus on investments in SE Asia, run by our new managing partner and native Malaysian Khailee Ng.
We have been one of the most active investors in Latin America (over 100 investments across Mexico, Brazil, and the LatAm region in the past three years), and we recently hired Hasan Haider as a venture partner in the Middle East to help with our growing investments in that region.
This year we welcomed Bedy Yang and Khailee Ng as new 500 Startups Managing Partners.
Bedy has been with us for three years, speaks four languages fluently, and has made over 50 investments globally, including 25 investments in Brazil. She’s also sourced and funded three deals via our 500 Women Syndicate Fund. If you’re interested in backing women-led startups, join us on our third deal.
Khailee joined us two years ago to lead investments in the Southeast Asia region through our 500 Durians microfund. Since joining Khailee has made over 30 investments across SE Asia, including regional blockbuster GrabTaxi. Read up on Khailee’s Investing Statement here.
Events & Marketing
On the marketing front, 500 Startups recently passed massive milestone — our twitter account now has over 260,000 followers (LOL Dave you’re never gonna catch up) and our 500 Podcast was featured as ’Top New Podcast’ in the iTunes store. Kudos to Mark Saldana, #bowdownbitches 😉
In 2014 we hosted tech conferences such as Commercism (e-commerce), Weapons of Mass Distribution (marketing), PreMoney (investing), and Warm Gun (design). We also traveled cross-country via our 500 Roadshow and made a trip to Southeast Asia with GeeksOnaPlane (GOAP). And in the new year, 500 Startups is going to be on TV — 500 Startups and Highway 1 are teaming up to create a new show on the Syfy Network. #500Famous
As we say adios to 2014 and look forward to 2015, we thank all of the entire 500 Family for a fabulous year. We raise our glasses in your honor and wish you all a happy fucking new year. We <3 you all, and 500 wouldn’t be anything without the amazing family of founders, mentors, and investors that have our back.
Catch up on all things 500 in 2015 beyond: