Introducing Fund IV, a $500 Million Fund to Advance World-Changing Ideas

From left to right: Bridget Storm, Laura Dorsey, Josh Rapperport, Dror Berman, Sam Smith-Eppsteiner, Ali Jordan, Harpinder “Harpi” Singh, Aravind “Avi” Bharadwaj, Angela Cross, Natasha Gunther, Scott Brady, Nick Olsen, Davis Treybig. Not pictured, but here in spirit: Amir Shevat, Daniel Goldstein, Eric Schmidt, Rick Scanlon, and Ziv Yoash. Photo by Eric Millette.

Today, we’re launching Fund IV, a $500 million fund that will invest in world-changing, mission-driven ideas.

There couldn’t be a more urgent time to deploy capital to drive positive transformations.

When we launched Innovation Endeavors just over a decade ago, we set out to tackle the big challenges humanity would face over the following decades. The past year has shown us that those challenges are at our doorstep.

The sudden push to deal with the pandemic forced us to find ways to diagnose and treat disease outbreaks within weeks rather than years. Cities and governments had to mobilize resources and make critical decisions within hours rather than months. Countries worldwide had to deal with “once-in-a-lifetime” fires that forced many to outrun the flames. The climate crisis sparked a renewed interest to predict, respond to, and mitigate extreme weather events.

But there’s good news. We have never been better positioned to make this change.

When we founded Innovation Endeavors, we hypothesized that technological advances across data, computation, and engineering would converge and translate into significant, fast changes for the world. We called that phenomenon the Super Evolution.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen audacious founders apply this thesis to rethink industries, building generational companies at a global scale and an unprecedented pace. Reflecting on more than 150 investments and over 20 unicorns we helped create, the following observations guide our thesis for the next decade:

#1: We will see many more massive, technology-first companies built rapidly in previously untouchable domains.

Uber reimagined the way we mobilize people and freight, building one of the fastest-growing companies in history in an industry very few dared to touch. Planet reinvented the satellite industry, creating an architecture 100x cheaper, lighter and faster to build. It grew rapidly to operate one of the largest fleets of satellites with over 200 satellites in orbit. More importantly, the 350 million sq km of imagery that Planet generates daily allows anyone to build new applications in agriculture, forestry, energy, and finance.

Planet and Uber are only two examples of companies that few could have imagined just a decade ago. Furthermore, Planet and Uber are the foundations for hundreds of startups that will emerge over the next decade and invent a better future.

We already see this in play across our portfolio with startups such as Afresh (Supply Chain), AlphaSense (Market Intelligence), Astra (Space), Canvas (Construction), Gatik (Transportation), Rebellion (Government), Replica (Urban Mobility), Third Wave Automation (Industrial), Ukko (Food), Vicarious Surgical (Healthcare), and many more.

#2: Sensing, computation, and engineering are still in their infancy. We’ll experience exponential growth in each.

The past decade has been stunning from a technical growth perspective.

Companies such as Eikon Therapeutics, Planet, and Skylo built groundbreaking capabilities to sense the biological and physical domains. Atom Computing and Kong advanced the foundation to process large amounts of data and infer insights quickly and efficiently. And companies such as Fabric, Formlabs, and GRO Biosciences have been pushing the boundaries of what we can do in robotics and synthetic biology, giving rise to unparalleled capabilities to build things in the physical and biological realms.

Furthermore, those companies are applying closed-loop learning and innovating faster and faster. A lot of this tech stack, particularly around machine learning and engineering biology, is increasingly open-sourced and is the basis of collaboration of the best researchers worldwide.

Yet, we are just getting started. We should expect to see breakthrough technologies emerging in our ability to sense, compute and engineer the world. Those will further strengthen the virtuous cycle that powers our ability to solve big problems.

#3: This new generation of companies is different. We must be too.

Companies built now are fundamentally different. They start with a mission at the core, looking to solve big problems that we all face. They are multidisciplinary, bringing together the world’s best physicists, computer scientists, roboticists, mathematicians, biologists, engineers, and others required to solve those challenges. Furthermore, they are ambitious, building quickly-evolving full-stack solutions that aim to replace incumbents and reinvent industries.

As a firm, we evolved to build a partnership that can support such companies in the best way possible. We assembled a deeply technical team augmented with an incredible community across all relevant technical and functional disciplines; most importantly, we created a collaborative culture that encourages all of us to work closely together to support our founders.

It’s been an exciting decade, but we are only getting started. We have to work harder to leave a better world for our kids and the generations to come. I could not be more excited for the future ahead.

To infinity and beyond!

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Astra living up to its mission to improve life on earth from space. Photo by John Kraus, courtesy of Astra.

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Investing in visionary founders, transformational technology and emergent ecosystems for a new world.

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