The discovery of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family members VEGF, VEGF-B, placental growth factor (PlGF), VEGF-C and VEGF-D and their receptors VEGFR-1, -2 and -3 has provided tools for studying the vascular system in development as well as in diseases ranging from ischemic heart disease to cancer. VEGF has been established as the prime angiogenic molecule during development, adult physiology and pathology. PlGF may primarily mediate arteriogenesis, the formation of collateral arteries from preexisting arterioles, with potential future therapeutic use in for example occlusive atherosclerotic disease. VEGF-C and VEGF-D are primarily lymphangiogenic factors, but they can also induce angiogenesis in some conditions. While many studies have addressed the role of angiogenesis and the blood vasculature in human physiology, the lymphatic vascular system has until recently attracted very little attention. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in angiogenesis research and provide an overview of the molecular players involved in lymphangiogenesis.