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Venrock logo

TypeLimited liability company
IndustryVenture Capital
FounderLaurance Rockefeller
HeadquartersPalo Alto, California, United States

Venrock, a compound of Venture and Rockefeller, is a venture capital firm formed in 1969 to build upon the successful investing activities of the Rockefeller family that began in the late 1930s. It has offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, and Boston, Massachusetts.


Venture capitalist Laurance S. Rockefeller (1910–2004) was the fourth of the six children of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. In January 1946 he formed Rockefeller Brothers, Inc., one of the first postwar venture-capital operations, starting with a capitalization of $1.5 million. There were eight partners in all, the five brothers and their sister, Abby, and two non family members Harper Woodward and MIT scientist, Ted Walkowicz. In 1969, the firm became known as Venrock.[1] Laurance S. Rockefeller became an investor in enterprises based on science and technology. His investment interests included the fields of aviation, aerospace, electronics, high temperature physics, composite materials, optics, lasers, data processing, thermionics, and nuclear power.[citation needed]

Venrock closed its seventh fund in July 2014 with 8 partners and its eighth fund in January 2017 with 15 partners, each fund totalling $450 million.[2][3]


Venrock invested more than $2.5 billion in more than 440 companies, resulting in 125 initial public offerings.[citation needed] Venrock focuses its investments on early-stage and start-up companies in information technology, healthcare and emerging technologies. These include: Intel, Apple, AppNexus, StrataCom, Check Point Software, Dapper Labs, DoubleClick, 3Com Corporation, Mosaic, PGP, Itek, Digex, Interos,[4] Shape Security, Phoenix, Second Rotation (gazelle), RedSeal and CTERA Networks, Juno Therapeutics. It also has a significant venture in the nascent nanotechnology field, with early funding of Nanosys and the nanotech division of Du Pont.[5] Others include BioTime.[6][7]

In the healthcare sector with partners such as Bryan Roberts, Venrock has invested in athenahealth, Grand Rounds, HealthSouth Corporation, MedPartners, Inc., Castlight Health, Caliper Technologies Corporation, Centocor, Geron,[8] senolytic startup UNITY Biotechnology,[9] Genetics Institute, Idec Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Illumina, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Sirna Therapeutics, and Sugen.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dolan, Kerry A. How Venrock Is Reinventing Itself. Forbes. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  2. ^ Loizos, Connie (January 26, 2017). Venrock has raised $450 million for its eighth fund — just like its seventh fund. TechCrunch. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  3. ^ Dolan, Kerry A. How Venrock Is Reinventing Itself. Forbes. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  4. ^ Interos (2020-03-12). Interos Raises $17.5M from Venrock and Kleiner Perkins to Grow Third-Party Risk Management Platform. GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  5. ^ Feder, Barnaby J. (March 15, 2004). TECHNOLOGY; Bashful vs. Brash in the New Field of Nanotech. New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  6. ^ SEC Schedule 13G, filed Feb. 17, 1999.
  7. ^ Bloomberg Link speaker profile. Archived from the original on 2013-08-03.
  8. ^ SEC Schedule 13G, filed Feb. 17, 1999.
  9. ^ Timmerman, Luke (27 October 2016). Arch, Fidelity, Bezos Bet $116M On Startup To Fight Diseases Of Aging. Forbes. Retrieved 2 January 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of Americas Greatest Family. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1988.
  • Winks, Robin W. Laurance S. Rockefeller: Catalyst for Conservation. New York: Island Press, 1997.

External links[edit]

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