How We Invest

We seek to partner with future-literate entrepreneurs who understand our unique time and place in history, and whose overriding ambition in life is to author a better future for humanity.

We primarily invest in companies during the earlier stages of their existence. However, we are most interested in businesses that have a working (or near) product and a clear path to commercialization.

Unlike many institutional funds that are tied to restrictive models and ownership percentages sanctioned by their limited partnerships, we have the freedom and flexibility to invest in the ways that most benefit the founder at the time of investment. This might be a small check or a large one, as a sole investor or part of a syndicate, in a seed round or later, with a board seat or without.

Our independence also gives us the freedom to invest in things that interest us without requiring months of diligence or the approval of a large number of people.

Below are OS-level areas of interest and investment. This list will expand and evolve over time.

Aerospace & Physics

We’ve been calling space “the final frontier” for over 50 years. But, if we are to become a multi-planetary species, we need to create financial incentives for space development. Asteroid mining may be one way to accomplish this, as the value of materials held inside low-orbiting rocks (platinum-group metals, water, etc.) may prove sufficient to create a tipping point for off-planet interest.

By starting a gold rush in space, Planetary Resources, whom we’ve invested in, is leading the charge into an era of off-planet development.


Health & Life Sciences

We aim to enable the reinvention of medicine and therapeutics by encouraging breakthroughs not seen since the introduction of germ theory. To do this, we are supporting companies including Human Longevity, Inc., which is combining the power of big data (including the whole genome, microbiome, and metabiome, etc.) and machine learning to cure diseases of aging and redefine medicine, medical discovery, individualized diagnosis and preventative treatments.

Synthetic biology is recreating the toolset for our biological existence to solve the most pressing challenges in health, energy, food and countless other areas. With this relatively new discovery, scientists have proven that we and our universe are code bases that can be created, observed, and manipulated. Synthetic Genomics is our first investment in this area.


Infrastructure

Roads, bridges, tunnels, cars, boats, and airplanes take us where we need to go. They also determine where we build our homes and how (or whether) we access essential resources like food, power and medicine.

And yet, many places in the world do not have even the most basic infrastructure, nor the resources to build one. Our investment in this area, Matternet, is working to solve this problem by creating a massive network of autonomous, unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to deliver essential items to rural communities in Africa. Future applications may also include servicing overpopulated cities with heavily taxed infrastructures.


Machine Intelligence

Machines enable us to exceed our native abilities in problem-solving, communication, health and strength, among other things. While it’s entertaining to observe computers beating humans at their own games, like chess and Jeopardy, the applications for more purposeful, advanced machine intelligence—such as self-driving cars—are becoming more pervasive. These tools will be critical in helping us solve many of humanity’s most pressing challenges.

We want to enable machines that are more than just calculating, but thoughtful. So, we invested in Vicarious, which is trying to replicate the human visual cortex and create a thinking machine.

AUTHENTICITY

We aim to build long-term relationships with entrepreneurs that are based on honesty, transparency and genuine support. We listen first, keep an open mind and say what we believe.

EMPATHY

We have been in your position and appreciate the enormous difficulty of bringing something new into existence. We know it takes a tremendous leap of faith to raise outside capital. We strive to be the kinds of partners we would value working with.

A COMMITMENT TO CREATING SOMETHING EXCEPTIONAL

Yes, financial success is important, but more than anything else, we want to help build enduring companies with soul.

AVAILABILITY AND USEFULNESS

We are eager to support you in building your vision of the future—not to get in the way. We find fulfillment in service and meaning from team-based achievement. We are available to help with strategic and operational context whenever it is needed. We will also provide access to a cross-disciplinary network of entrepreneurs and innovators who have similar goals, challenges and experiences.