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Limited liability company
Industry Venture Capital
Founded 1969
Headquarters Palo Alto, California, United States
Products Investments

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 August 1969, the firm became known as Venrock.[citation needed] 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]

In January 2017, Venrock closed its eighth fund with $450 million. It had closed its seventh fund for the same amount in July 2014.[1]


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 and emerging technologies. These include: Intel, Apple, AppNexus, StrataCom, Check Point Software, DoubleClick, 3Com Corporation, Mosaic, PGP, Itek, Digex, Shape Security, Phoenix, Second Rotation (gazelle), RedSeal and CTERA Networks. It also has a significant venture in the nascent nanotechnology field, with early funding of Nanosys and the nanotech division of Du Pont.[2] Others include BioTime.[3][4]

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,[5] senolytic startup [NITY Biotechnology,[6] Genetics Institute, Idec Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Illumina, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Sirna Therapeutics, and Sugen.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

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

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