Castor Ventures

Smart, Simple Venture Portfolios with Community


What Is Castor Ventures?

 

A smart, simple way for MIT alums and friends of the community to add venture capital to their portfolio. We are also…

  • A full-time alumni investment team
  • An Investment Committee with broad professional, investing, and entrepreneurial experience
  • 27k subscribers and community members
  • Private, for-profit, and not officially sanctioned by the university

 

Follow the Fund

“Castor Ventures is an amazing opportunity for MIT grads to get exposure to the VC-world, and specifically to MIT-helmed startups. I have gotten to learn about a wide array of MIT-connected companies in different industries, learn how they are breaking new ground, and invest in them. Castor Ventures is amazingly well-run thanks to the expertise of Alain Hanover and Cainon Coates, who are very knowledgeable and accessible. This has been a great experience for me and also can be for other MIT grads.”

William Chuang

The Castor team has done a phenomenal job of finding investment ‘gems’, only available through the prolific MIT community. Beyond the exposure to strong investment opportunities, being a part of the fund gives a cool window into the next generation of cutting-edge solutions and innovations.

Zeid Barakat

“Castor is committed to working alongside the best entrepreneurs. The entire team is incredibly professional and easy to work with. Moreover, their decision-making process was as smooth as I’ve ever seen.”

Maha Ibrahim

“Castor Ventures provides access to a diverse group of cutting-edge technology companies and I feel fortunate to be able to both recommend and review innovative MIT-connected companies that are under consideration for the portfolio. I’ve enjoyed working with this team, which is very productive in sourcing new opportunities and has always been responsive to any questions.”

Karl Gemperli

Why You May Want to Add Venture Capital to Your Portfolio

 
  1. VC returns have been strong over many periods1
  2. VC returns are largely uncorrelated with other asset classes2
  3. A great way to be an impact investor

Footnotes:
1. Cambridge Associates, Venture Capital Benchmarks
2. Top Tier, The Inverse Correlation Between Venture and Public Markets


Investment Strategy

Smart, Simple Venture Investing

Diversified Venture Portfolio

~20 – 30 deals per fund, diversified by stage, sector, and geography

Co-Invest with Strong Lead Investors

We exclusively invest alongside established VC investors

Deal Access via Alumni Connections

Entrepreneurial teams desire our investment because we are a meaningful check, low friction, and have a large rolodex

Co-Invest Alongside Leading Venture Firms

Invest In Deals Most Individuals Never Know About or Get Access To

  • 3M New Ventures
  • 500 Startups
  • Accel Partners
  • Accomplice
  • Alsop Louie Partners
  • Andreessen Horowitz
  • Arena Ventures
  • Aspect Venture Partners
  • Atlas Ventures
  • Benchmark
  • Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Bezos Expeditions
  • BlackRock
  • Blockchain Capital
  • Borealis Ventures
  • Comcast Ventures
  • CrunchFund
  • DFJ Capital
  • Drive Capital
  • Flybridge Capital
  • Elephant Partners
  • Founder Collective
  • Foundry Group
  • F-Prime Capital (Fidelity)
  • General Catalyst Partners
  • Golden Seeds
  • Goldman Sachs Ventures
  • Google Ventures
  • Greylock Partners
  • Highland Capital
  • Javelin Partners
  • Khosla Ventures
  • Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • Link Ventures
  • Maveron
  • Menlo Ventures
  • ML Capital
  • New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
  • Nokia Growth Partners
  • Norwest Venture Partners
  • NXT Ventures
  • Obvious Ventures
  • OrbiMed
  • Pelion Venture Partners
  • Relay Ventures
  • Resolute Ventures
  • Sequoia Capital
  • Summit Partners
  • Space Angels
  • SV Angel
  • Thiel Capital
  • Venrock
  • Winklevoss Capital
  • Y Combinator

AVG has invested alongside the firms listed above, but they are listed for illustrative purposes only. There is not guarantee that a particular fund or deal will invest alongside one of the firms listed above.


How does Castor Ventures assemble a great portfolio for me?

  • Full-time investment team wakes up every morning dedicated to delivering a diverse portfolio to investors
  • An Investment Committee with broad professional, investing, and entrepreneurial experience
  • We use our MIT alumni and broader Alumni Ventures Group network to access deals that simply are not available to most individuals
  • We only invest in deals with a strong lead investor, often combining their due diligence with our own
See the Castor Portfolio

“Castor is a super-responsive, well-connected co-investor which is a go-to shop anytime we’re looking at a start-up with an MIT connection. It’s a smart, easy to work with team and I’m happy to make introductions to Castor knowing the companies will be treated well.”

Jerry Bird

“Castor is a unique MIT alum led fund and I am thrilled to suggest MIT connected companies, that I meet or mentor, for them to consider investing. They always look out for investing in innovative startups, follow up with meetings and have a great investment portfolio. I have learned a lot from Alain’s leadership on how to do due diligence and research investments. I was able to look at deal flows for emerging tech companies outside Boston, in London, in Israel, backed by top VC firms.”

Gayatri Sarkar

“Castor Ventures goes above and beyond to cater to entrepreneurs. Castor’s diligence process was quick and unobtrusive. Moreover, one of the key advantages is Castor’s extensive network, which can lead to significant business development opportunities.”

Dror Sharon

“Castor Ventures was very quick and easy to work with through the diligence process easing the burden of fundraising and allowing us to achieve our goals. Moreover, since their investment, the Castor team has been a great partner as they have introduced us to dozens of business development opportunities.”

Jan Schnorr

Castor is a unique opportunity to support and connect with interesting MIT-connected entrepreneurs.  As a member of the Investment Committee, I’m amazed by the companies we see and enjoy reviewing the businesses for potential investments by the fund.  The IC is supported by the full time team of Alain and Cainon who are well connected and thoughtful about how we invest.  I’ve learned a lot and met great fellow alums along the way.

Kerry James

The AVG Syndicate

 

Syndications are opportunities to invest in single asset funds that give you more exposure to a specific company you may be excited about and in which one or more of our AVG Funds will also be investing.

 

How it works:

  • Investors can opt into Syndication as they wish.
  • Opportunities are sourced by our 40+ full-time investment professionals and our Office of Investments.
  • All opportunities have passed our diligence process and are being invested in by one or more of our funds.
  • Minimums are typically $25K per opportunity, or $10K for Venture Club members.
  • Typically, only about 5-10% of our investments are offered to our Syndicate - normally when we are able to acquire a larger investment allocation.

RECENT DEAL

Rigetti is a full-stack quantum computing start-up. It focuses on designing and manufacturing superconducting quantum integrated circuits, building software to enable quantum computing, and integrating its systems into a cloud infrastructure.

Co-investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Data Collective, and Y Combinator.

 

RECENT DEAL

Tembo Health provides a telemedicine platform connecting nursing home residents with specialized care providers through an intuitive video chat platform. This enables patients to access convenient, high-value specialty medical care at a safe distance.

Co-investors include Bloomberg Beta Founder and General Partner Karen Klein.

AVG regularly hosts webinars (~1 per week) on a variety of topics that are designed to appeal to both new and seasoned venture investors.