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Investor Highlight: Walden Catalyst and Deep-Tech 🕳️

Investor Highlight: Walden Catalyst and Deep-Tech 🕳️
November 9, 2021

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Deep-tech sounds to me like a description of simplistic techno beats to which you can dance at 3am after-hours parties in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. Turns out, I’m not far off. The concept of deep-tech refers to the use of tech’s most straightforward tenets -- science and technology -- as drivers for innovation and business. Forget enterprise software companies (SaaS, PaaS, and on and on) as well as consumer brands sorting out their branding (millennial minimalism or Gen Z maximalism?); deep tech focuses on harnessing the power of data through AI to create world-changing businesses.

One investor devoted to this space is the newly created Walden Catalyst Ventures. Founded by Lip-Bu Tan and Young Sohn, these industry experts just raised a $550MM fund to deploy into early-stage deep-tech startups. Their primary focus will be big data, AI, semiconductor, cloud, and digital biology. They pointed to the sheer volume of data that goes unprocessed–only 2% ever gets analyzed–as each year the volume of data doubles. They see data as an under-tapped resource in building the world’s next set of great companies. Between them, they’ve invested in over 560 startups and seen 115 go on to IPO.

From managing partner, Young Sohn:

“We are also firm believers in helping the world be a better place. That’s why Walden Catalyst has close ties to the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), an organization that I co-founded. XTC is the world’s largest startup competition and ecosystem for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Walden Catalyst shares XTC’s mission of finding the next great disruptive startups that can reach massive scale while having a meaningful impact on our planet.”

So far the fund has made 6 investments across the U.S., Europe, and Israel. These investments include MindsDB, a data visualization tool using machine learning integration through SQL. The firm also participated in the Series A funding of Speedata in September after two years of building the company in stealth mode. The company is developing a processing chip for specific types of data analytics.

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[NY Times]
Since last week, PrivCo has added:

400 Companies | 83 Funding Activities | 15 M&A Deals

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Funding & Deal Highlights:

Symbl raises $17MM from GreatPoint Ventures

NLP Software • Round A • Seattle, WA

Landing Ai raises $57MM from McRock Capital 

Design • Round A • Palo Alto, CA raises $100MM from Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Analytics • Round E • Mountain View, CA

Drata raises $100MM from ICONIQ Growth

Cyber Security • Round B • San Diego, CA

Fyllo raises $40MM from Eminence Capital 

Cannabis Regulatory Software • Round C • Chicago, IL

JUMO World raises $120MM from Fidelity Management

Biotechnology • Equity • Cape Town, South Africa

Bit Bio raises $103MM from Arch Ventures

Biotechnology • Round B • Cambridge, UK

Matter Labs raises $50MM from a16z Crypto

Crypto • Round B • George Town, Cayman Labs

CMA CGM S.A. acquires Fenix Marine Services for $2.3BN

Shipping • Acquisition • San Pedro, CA

EI du Pont de Nemours and Company acquires Rogers Corporation for $5.2BN

 Chemicals & Plastics • Acquisition • Rogers, CT

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