There are plenty of reasons why companies seek venture capital (VC) investments. Owners of cash-strapped young start-ups in particular can benefit from the experience and connections VC firms can offer—something unavailable through bank loans, money from friends and family or maxing out their credit cards.

Not only can VC investors write bigger checks, they offer experience, connections and expertise that is hard to find elsewhere. Plus, in many cases, VC investors are experts at helping guide entrepreneurs through quick growth and scaling businesses fast.

“If you are looking for and positioned for explosive growth, that’s what venture capitalists do for a living,” says Rich Stendardo, CEO of Yottaa Inc., an e-commerce technology company that works to speed up desktop and mobile websites.

According to an Internet Retailer report entitled Top Investors in E-Commerce to be released next week, overall, the number and value of VC investments in e-commerce companies fell off fairly significantly in 2016 when compared with 2015, as experts say the market was in somewhat of a correction mode after a big year of funding in 2015. Still, there was plenty of cash to go around last year, as VCs closed nearly 300 funding rounds related to e-commerce that combined were worth more than $2.6 billion.

Here’s a snapshot of the top players investing in online retailers and the technology companies that serve them, as well as some insight into what venture capitalists look for in a good bet.

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