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500 Startups is a renowned global venture capital fund that provides early-stage funding to innovative startups across the world. Founded in 2010, the company has invested in over 2,500 startups in more than 75 countries, becoming one of the most active investors in the startup ecosystem. The fund's mission is to support entrepreneurs who are transforming the world by providing them with the necessary capital, mentorship, and resources to help their businesses grow and succeed. The company invests in various industries, from consumer products to financial technology, health tech to education, among others. With its vast network of mentors, investors, and partners, 500 Startups aims to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and create a positive impact on society. The fund's portfolio includes successful companies like Canva, Talkdesk, Udemy, and Grab, among others. In this article, we will explore the history, philosophy, and impact of 500 Startups on the startup ecosystem and the world at large.

Top FAQ on 500 Startups

1. What is 500 Startups?

500 Startups is a global venture capital fund that invests in innovative early-stage startups.

2. What kind of startups does 500 Startups invest in?

500 Startups invests in a broad range of startups, including tech, consumer products, healthcare, and more.

3. How much funding does 500 Startups provide to startups?

500 Startups typically invests between $50,000 and $250,000 in early-stage startups.

4. What are the criteria for startups to be eligible for funding from 500 Startups?

Startups must have a strong team, a scalable business model, and a product or service that addresses a significant market need.

5. Does 500 Startups provide mentorship and support to startups?

Yes, 500 Startups provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and resources to help startups grow and succeed.

6. How many startups has 500 Startups invested in?

500 Startups has invested in over 2,500 startups in more than 75 countries.

7. What is the success rate of startups that receive funding from 500 Startups?

The success rate of startups that receive funding from 500 Startups is around 20%.

8. Can startups apply for funding from 500 Startups?

Yes, startups can apply for funding from 500 Startups through their website.

9. Does 500 Startups only invest in startups based in the United States?

No, 500 Startups invests in startups from all over the world.

10. How can startups get in touch with 500 Startups?

Startups can get in touch with 500 Startups by submitting an application on their website or attending one of their events or pitch days.

11. Are there any alternatives to 500 Startups?

Competitor Description Difference
Y Combinator Global startup accelerator that provides seed funding, mentorship, and resources to startups. Both invest in early-stage startups but Y Combinator provides more resources and mentorship.
Sequoia Capital Global venture capital firm that invests in technology companies at all stages. 500 Startups focuses on early-stage startups while Sequoia Capital invests at all stages.
Andreessen Horowitz Venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups in the tech industry. Both invest in early-stage startups in the tech industry but Andreessen Horowitz also provides operational support.
Accel Partners Global venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups in the tech industry. Both invest in early-stage startups in the tech industry but Accel Partners has a larger portfolio.
Bessemer Venture Partners Global venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups in the tech industry. Both invest in early-stage startups in the tech industry but Bessemer Venture Partners focuses on a variety of industries.

Pros and Cons of 500 Startups


  • Provides funding for innovative early-stage startups
  • Offers global reach and investment opportunities
  • Brings together a network of experienced mentors and advisors
  • Offers access to resources and tools to help startups grow and scale
  • Provides opportunities for startups to connect with potential customers and partners
  • Helps startups navigate the complex world of fundraising and venture capital
  • Offers a diverse portfolio of companies across various industries and geographies
  • Has a successful track record of investing in and nurturing startups that have gone on to achieve significant success


  • High risk: As with any venture capital investment, there is a high level of risk involved in investing in early-stage startups. There is no guarantee that the startup will succeed, and investors may lose their entire investment.
  • Lack of control: Investors in 500 Startups do not have control over the management or direction of the startups they invest in. They are passive investors and must rely on the startup's founders to make sound business decisions.
  • Limited liquidity: Venture capital investments are typically illiquid, meaning that investors cannot easily buy or sell their shares. This can make it difficult for investors to exit their investment and realize a return on their investment.
  • Limited diversification: Investing in early-stage startups through a venture capital fund like 500 Startups may not provide as much diversification as investing in a more traditional portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
  • Fees: Like other investment vehicles, 500 Startups charges fees to investors. These may include management fees, performance fees, and other charges that can eat into an investor's returns.

Things You Didn't Know About 500 Startups

500 Startups is a global venture capital fund that invests in innovative early-stage startups. Founded in 2010 by Dave McClure, the company has become one of the most successful and well-known venture capital firms in the world.

The firm has invested in over 2,500 companies across more than 75 countries, making it one of the most active investors in the world. Its portfolio includes successful companies such as Twilio, SendGrid, and Udemy.

One of the unique features of 500 Startups is its global reach. The company has a presence across multiple continents and has made investments in a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, finance, and e-commerce.

500 Startups is also known for its accelerator program, which provides early-stage startups with funding, mentorship, and resources to help them grow and succeed. The program runs for four months and includes access to a network of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts.

To apply for the accelerator program, startups must have a minimum viable product and a clear business model. The company also looks for teams with strong leadership, a passion for their product, and a willingness to learn and adapt.

In addition to its accelerator program, 500 Startups also offers seed funding, growth capital, and access to its network of investors and mentors. The company has a track record of supporting startups from their earliest stages through to successful exits.

Overall, 500 Startups is a highly respected and successful venture capital firm that has made a significant impact on the startup ecosystem. Its global reach, focus on early-stage startups, and commitment to supporting entrepreneurs make it a valuable resource for any aspiring entrepreneur.

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