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  • Writer's pictureJaime González Gasque

The Value of Change: Deep Tech Investors Banking on the Future

Discover the future of innovation and sustainability in the deep tech space and groundbreaking investment opportunities.

Jeremy Bradley, COO of Zama, examines investors’ interest in deep tech, where innovation and sustainability shape financial decisions. He delves into groundbreaking ventures by drawing on industry reports, case studies, and future trends.

The landscape of technology is in a constant state of rapid evolution, with deep tech firms leading the charge in pioneering innovation and pushing the limits of the conceivable. According to Dealroom, European deep-tech startups raised $17.7B in 2022. These companies, dedicated to profound technological progress and scientific breakthroughs, are capturing the attention of investors keen to support groundbreaking ventures.

Today, deep tech entities have an unprecedented opportunity to secure funding. This surge in interest is driven by a combination of factors, including an escalating commitment to sustainable innovations and a recognition of the enduring value deep tech organizations bring.

The Rise in Deep Tech Financing

A diverse array of sectors is witnessing an influx of investments into deep tech companies, indicating a strong conviction in their revolutionary potential. Characterized by their ambition to tackle intricate challenges through artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, and blockchain, these firms embark on a journey from concept to commercialization that is laden with obstacles. Nevertheless, the promise of significant societal and financial returns renders them particularly appealing to investors.

A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report highlights the significant role emerging technologies play in the current investment landscape. According to BCGOpens a new window , deep tech has solidified its position as a mainstream investment destination, capturing a stable 20% share of venture capital funding, a notable increase from about 10% a decade ago. This growth underscores the substantial markets and returns that startups in this sector can realize, particularly in fields addressing large-scale challenges like climate change, food shortages, and disease.

For far too long, radical change has suffered conflicts with existing interests and financial gains: it is certainly encouraging for our future to see investors’ and innovators’ ambitions match this inspiring way. Talking from experience, the company I work for has recently secured a considerable Series A round, underscoring the escalating interest in technologies that safeguard privacy and sensibility towards this. Thankfully, this is only one of many examples of investors and entrepreneurs showing their belief in innovating technologies.

Playground Global’s recent closing of Fund III, with $410 million dedicated to early-stage deep tech and science companies, further illustrates the vibrant investment activity in the sector. This fund aims to support transformative technologies across various industries, including computing, automation, infrastructure, and decarbonization, demonstrating the wide-ranging impact and investor confidence in deep tech’s potential.

Moreover, Bison Ventures, launched by former investors from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and the Gates family investment office, has introduced a $135 million Seattle-based fund focused on startups using deep technology to tackle humanity’s most pressing challenges. The fund’s investment in companies applying AI and other engineering breakthroughs to sectors such as biology, food, agriculture, and hardware showcases the diverse applications and growing investor interest in deep tech solutions.

These examples vividly illustrate the current hot streak in deep tech fundraising, driven by a collective belief in the sector’s ability to offer groundbreaking solutions to global challenges while generating significant returns for investors.

The Ones to Watch

Deep tech is a fairly broad term, combining a wide range of sciences and technologies to address existing and future challenges. We are still discovering the full potential of AI and learning how to integrate it into existing technologies. There are already new and upcoming trends coming up on the horizon, with the potential to disrupt industry and society as a whole further.

In such a dynamic and fast-changing landscape, a few specific sectors are driving the inspiration of the technical innovators and the motivation of the investors.

1. The forefront of AI and machine learning

AI and machine learning ventures are at the epicenter of the deep tech funding surge. These companies are crafting technologies poised to transform the healthcare and finance sectors.

OpenAI serves as a prime example with its pioneering efforts in natural language processing and generative AI technologies. Investors’ enthusiasm towards AI startups is a bet on their capacity to spearhead the forthcoming era of digital innovation.

2. The frontier of Quantum computing

Quantum computing is also receiving notable attention from investors. Enterprises such as Optalaysis and IonQ are progressing in developing quantum computing systems capable of addressing challenges unattainable for traditional computers.

The anticipation of breakthroughs in areas like drug development, material science, and encryption draws significant investment to unlock these advanced technologies.

3. The push for renewable energy and sustainability

The critical need to combat climate change has thrust companies focused on renewable energy and sustainability into the limelight. These startups are innovating to decrease carbon emissions, enhance energy efficiency, and offer sustainable alternatives to conventional energy sources.

The significant funding rounds acquired by Commonwealth Fusion Systems and Heliogen, dedicated to fusion energy and concentrated solar power, respectively, affirm investors’ confidence in technologies aiming for a more sustainable planet.

Investing in Deep Tech: Addressing Global Challenges

The growing infusion of capital into deep tech startups underscores a broader acknowledgment of their capability to confront some of the most pressing global issues. Although faced with longer development cycles and more significant risks, the transformative potential of these companies positions them as attractive investment opportunities.

As technological progress accelerates and challenges such as climate change and privacy issues demand urgent attention, deep tech firms are expected to continue leading innovation and investment.

Thankfully, we now see a more collaborative and mutual approach: innovators with the technical knowledge and the skills to deliver are increasingly more finance and business savvy. On the other hand, investors have the technological background to understand the technologies and solutions they support.

The current trend in fundraising reflects not merely the potential within deep tech but also a clear message to entrepreneurs and innovators that the market is primed for revolutionary solutions.

Through a combination of visionary ideas and effective execution, deep tech companies are well-placed not just to secure essential funding but also to chart the course toward a future where technology is integral to addressing the globe’s most intricate challenges.

by Spiceworks

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