Compelling Investment Opportunities in Deep Tech Sectors
September 5, 2021 | Scott Murphy
With our Deep Tech Fund, we’re aiming to source innovative, venture-backed companies that are changing society and offering compelling investment opportunities. See below to learn what the near future holds for promising deep tech technologies, including AI, blockchain, quantum computing, robotics, and more.
AI refers to computing where the system learns without being explicitly programmed. It’s now evolving to the point where AI is as good if not better than humans for some tasks. In the future, silicon AI chips will perform or accelerate machine learning tasks at the device level, and hyper-automation will accelerate data processing and insights. It’s noteworthy that in PwC’s report on Eight Essential Technologies, more CEOs across various regions reported it to be the technology of greatest interest.
- Autonomous mobility
- Customer assessment and service (using Natural Language Processing)
- Data analytics
- Marketing and commerce
- Monitoring and controlling factory machinery
- Video and imagery, analytics in surveillance, monitoring, detection
Sample Deep Tech Fund 1 Portfolio Company: Mythic has developed a unique compute platform that enables running AI models in edge devices. The company’s button-sized chips operate at a fraction of the cost and power of a traditional GPU chip, allowing AI to be used in smart camera systems, intelligent appliances, gaming, drones, and much more. Read More »
Robotics and Drones
Robots and drones will become smarter, more specialized, and more ubiquitous in a variety of industries, especially as we evolve to a low-touch society. From repetitive, mundane tasks to dangerous and physically demanding work, to tireless monitoring and precision movements, they will become our eyes, ears, and hands.
- Aerial drones for inspection, mapping, and surveillance in construction, insurance, safety, etc.
- Inventory, warehousing
Sample Alumni Ventures Portfolio Company: Canvas Construction is creating high-quality tools for workers while matching the building demand of future decades and generations. The company is leveraging advancements in collaborative robotics and machine learning to build a new class of tools for the drywall finishing space. Read More »
Quantum computers can process massive amounts of data at unprecedented speeds — helping solve problems that are impossible to tackle today. The technology is still developing, with the first demonstrations and services emerging — including, as you might have guessed, Quantum as a Service (QaaS). And already there are countervailing concerns about the security of encryption in the face of quantum computers.
- Managing energy use and production
- Superfast processing and computing
Sample Deep Tech Fund 1 Portfolio Company: Zapata has developed a software stack that lets corporations use quantum computing to address their hardest problems. The company’s software serves as a much-needed integration layer between hardware providers and customers seeking application solutions. Read More »
The rise of Bitcoin in 2009 introduced the idea of transactions and data sharing in a distributed ledger (DL). Key benefits: information stored on blocks can’t be modified, information is verified, data is public, and the data source remains encrypted. The expansion of blockchain as a differentiated solution will continue as processing becomes more efficient and applications of DL grow more compelling to various industries. Already, Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is emerging: a cloud-based service for users to develop their own digital productions using blockchain.
- Decentralized apps
- Smart contracts
- Supply chain management
Sample Alumni Ventures Portfolio Company: BlockFi provides diversified financial services for cryptoasset investors. Launched primarily as a lender against cryptoassets, the company has expanded its product portfolio to include a crypto trading platform, a mobile app, and more. Read More »
Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality
Virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality — all fall into the bucket of “extended reality” that provides immersive experiences blending the real and virtual worlds. The entertainment aspect of the technology is the tip of the iceberg here.
- Training, education
- Work collaboration
Sample Alumni Ventures Portfolio Company: Medivis is using augmented reality and artificial intelligence to facilitate advanced medical imaging and surgical visualization. The company’s flagship product is SurgicalAR, a visualization platform that collects a patient’s imaging data directly from a hospital. Read More »
Biotech and Drug Discovery
Biotech uses existing biological processes or produces new ones to create vaccines and antibodies, as well as study and manipulate genes to cure diseases and improve crop yield. Computers will play an ever-increasing role in discovering cures and treatments, and personalized treatments and targeted therapies will become much more feasible.
- Pharma, health
Sample Alumni Ventures Portfolio Company: Strateos has developed a cloud laboratory for pharma and biotech companies that makes drug discovery better, faster, and cheaper. The company’s robotic laboratories can be accessed remotely via a cloud-based system to help streamline laboratory workflows. Read More »
Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Advanced materials and manufacturing will be used to create superior, complicated structures used in various industries. Materials will be created through AI-generated chemistry, nanotechnology, and biology. Advanced manufacturing will use new tools and technology, such as control sensors, 3-D printing, laser printing, sustainable tech, and more. As economies of scale kick in, those options will be increasingly cost-competitive with established alternatives.
- Smart textiles, responsive to the environment
- CO2 capture
- Superior energy solutions, battery technologies
- Medical devices
Sample Deep Tech Fund 1 Portfolio Company: Citrine is creating an information platform that hastens the R&D process for large material and chemical companies. The platform leverages AI and machine learning to accelerate product development, guide R&D strategy, and disseminate scientific knowledge and data across an enterprise. Read More »
- Boston Consulting Group . (2019, July). The Dawn of the Deep Tech Ecosystem. A Deep Dive to Deep Tech Investing.
- Likens, S. (2020, December 18). Eight Emerging Technologies and Six Convergence Themes You Need to Know About. PwC.
- Louise, N. (2020, December 26). Top 10 TechnologyTrends of 2021 and Beyond. TechStartups.
- Patro, A. R. (2020, May 28). DeepTech & Corporate Innovation: The Rise Of a New Juggernaut. T-Hub Hyderabad.