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Anthropocene Ventures (Anthro) is an early-stage generalist deep tech and climate tech fund investing in entrepreneurs developing hardware solutions that affect and reduce humanity’s imprint on the Earth. Anthro is concerned with technologies and opportunities that are being created today that will sell and be viable solutions 10-15 years down the road in areas such as ocean health, AgTech, and FrontierTech. The team is comprised of skilled entrepreneurs and investors who want to take a hands-on approach to help grow pre-seed and seed-stage companies at their core.
- Stage: Pre-Seed-Series A
- Check Size: $300k-$3mm, depending on the stage
- Geography: Global
- Lead/Follow: Prefer to lead and be active in the lives of portfolio companies
- Revenue/Valuation Thresholds: No revenue is required
About the Fund
Why was the fund created?
Anthropocene Ventures was created to invest in and accelerate early-stage deep tech and climate tech startups, as few funds exist who are willing to make early bets into unorthodox hardware technologies. Brainstormed in 2018 and founded in 2021, Anthro seeks to fill the deeptech hardware investment void by providing hands-on, early-stage investments into tough technologies that can impact human life on a global scale.
What is Anthro’s core belief?
Anthro believes that entrepreneurs do not need to fit into a certain mold and that quality founders with promising technologies are coming out of all sectors with diverse skill sets. Anthro is particularly interested in and aligned with national labs, which are ripe with skilled engineers and entrepreneurs ready to bring technologies to market that used to take 30 years to commercialize within a decade.
What Domains does Anthro have Expertise In?
Anthro combines its internal knowledge and talent with a large network of technical advisers who are able to provide additional insights. The internal team has specific expertise in renewable energy, manufacturing, water, infrastructure, and general sciences. They seek outside help to better understand the intricacies of an innovative technology as a company progresses deeper into due diligence. Additionally, the Anthro team knows how to grow and scale businesses from concept to commercialization, and is able to support their portfolio companies through their countless entrepreneurial experiences and intimate understanding of the startup journey.
What type of portfolio support does the team provide?
In addition to infusing capital into startups, Anthro likes to be hands-on in their startups, especially at the seed stage. Anthro provides support in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
- Scaling industrial processes
- Support early-stage entrepreneurs (both physically and mentally)
- Running the business
- Operational support
- Networking with investors and strategic partners, particularly in Asia
- Skill development
What is Anthro’s investment process and timeline like?
- Pre-seed – Anthro moves particularly fast for very early-stage companies, making a decision within roughly 2 weeks. At this stage, Anthro focuses particularly on the team and the overall market size and potential for the product.
- Seed – The sweet spot for Anthro, these companies will undergo a lengthier due diligence process which can take upwards of a few weeks. Anthro does this as the investor team will be particularly active within the lives of these startups, taking board seats and being close advisers, helping with the day-to-day of these startups.
- Series A – Anthro will also move through these deals particularly quickly, as these companies tend to have traction, and the investor team works closely with investors in the company to move through diligence swiftly.
What would make Anthro consider deviating from their typical criteria?
As a generalist fund, Anthro has a lot of flexibility in terms of what the team will invest in. While not contrarian, the team will deviate from its typical criteria for stage and sector if the product or service positively impacts climate and humanity, is a clever solution to a real problem, and has a diverse founding team. Even though the fund is not an impact fund, the team will use impact as the driving factor for these investments.
About The Author
Partner @ The Impact
Matt is a Senior Associate with ADL Ventures, helping build the future of energy, transportation, and building materials through his consulting and business development work. Outside of his day job, Matt helps bridge the gap between startups and investors across all disciplines in climate.