Category: deep tech

UTEC, one of Asia’s largest deep-tech investment firms, launches new $275M fund

The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC), a deep-tech investment firm, announced the first close of its fifth fund, which is expected to total 30 billion JPY (or about $275 million USD) by June 2021. UTEC currently has about $780 million in total assets under management, and says this makes it one of the largest venture capital funds focused on science and tech in Japan, and one of the largest deep-tech funds in Asia.

UTEC is an independent firm that works closely with universities. It is associated with The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), where it has a partnership with its Technology Licensing Office (TLO) to spin off and invest in companies that originated as research projects. It has also worked with researchers from Waseda University, Kyoto University, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Cambridge University, the National University of Singapore and the Indian Institute of Technology, among other institutions.

A map showing UTEC's deep-tech investments around the world

UTEC’s deep-tech investments around the world

Broadly speaking, UTEC focuses on three areas: healthcare and life sciences, information technology and physical sciences and engineering. More specifically, it is looking for tech that addresses some of the most important issues in Japan, including an aging population, labor shortage and the digitization of legacy industries.

“UTEC 5 will allow us to provide more funds from seed/early to pre-IPO/M&A stages in Japan and worldwide, on a wider scale and in a more consistent manner,” said managing partner and president Tomotaka Goji in a statement. “I believe this will further help our startups expand (Read more...)

Founded by Australia’s national science agency, Main Sequence launches $250M AUD deep tech fund

Main Sequence’s team (top row from left to right) Viringa Crawter, Bill Bartee, Mike Nicholls, Phil Morle; (bottom row from left to right) Stella Xu, Mike Zimmerman and Jen Baxter

Main Sequence’s team (top row from left to right) Viringa Crawter, Bill Bartee, Mike Nicholls, Phil Morle; (bottom row from left to right) Stella Xu, Mike Zimmerman and Jen Baxter

Main Sequence, the venture firm founded by Australia’s national science agency, announced today a new $250 million AUD (about $194.3 million USD) fund to invest in deep-tech startups. This is Main Sequence’s second fund and its oversubscribed raised included returning investors Horizons Ventures, Hostplus, Lockheed Martin, Temasek, private investors from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Mutual Trust, and family offices.

Launched in 2017 by government agency CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), Main Sequence now manages a total of $490 million AUD, including the CSIRO Innovation Fund. The firm works closely with scientists and researchers to commercialize their technology through its “venture science” model.

It starts by identifying challenges, then brings together scientists, a team, industry partners and investors to launch startups. Main Sequence’s second fund will look at issues including healthcare accessibility, increasing the world’s food supply, industrial productivity and space. One major focus will be decarbonization and addressing climate change, and that investment area will be led by Main Sequence partner Martin Duursma.

“Especially in the deep tech space, you don’t always have a company for every problem you’re trying to solve. So in addition to backing great founders who are working in one of our thesis areas, we will create companies to solve the problems and we do that as a partnership instead of (Read more...)