The Next Leap in Solving The World’s Greatest Challenges: Our $250m Fund 2

Mike Zimmerman
Main Sequence Ventures
3 min readApr 26, 2021


Emesent’s drones autonomously navigate and collect insights from earth’s most challenging environments.

In 2017, our team at Main Sequence came together to partner with CSIRO, Australia’s world-renowned science agency, to solve the world’s biggest problems by turning science and research into breakthrough companies.

We were filled with the excitement, ambition and conviction of founders. However, also like the founders we back, our thesis was unproven, relying on a belief that the raw ingredients of Australia’s leading research ecosystem could valuably solve the world’s growing need to do something dramatic to change the shape of humanity’s curve.

We were incredibly fortunate to have the support of CSIRO and the Federal Government, to begin our journey in 2017 with a $100m first close of the CSIRO Innovation Fund 1. After many, many pitches, we found true partners and believers in Hostplus, Temasek, Lockheed Martin, Horizons Ventures, among others, taking us to a final close of Fund 1 of $240m in 2018.

Today we are announcing Main Sequence’s CSIRO Innovation Fund 2 of $250m to continue our mission.

We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of all of our major Fund 1 investors, who are joined by Mutual Trust and Morgan Stanley’s wealth management arm. A major milestone for Main Sequence is that Fund 2 is 100% supported by external investors.

It is said that “your portfolio is your strategy”, and the strong performance of our amazing Founders in our Fund 1 portfolio of 26 companies is a crucial reason for our success. Just like our investors, these Founders have taken a leap of faith to partner with us for their ambitious journeys to tackle the major challenges facing the world in health, food, space and heavy industries and they are well on their way!

As far as our plans for Fund 2, our strategy from Fund 1 continues:

  • Backing deeptech founders with global ambitions;
  • Investing at the earliest stages of a company’s life, often as the first institutional check or a co-founder;
  • Supporting companies either originated in or collaborating with Australia’s research ecosystem; and

Building solutions that address our Challenges:

  • Feed 10 billion people — planet-proofing the global food system
  • Reach humanity scale healthcare — democratising health access for everyone
  • Supercharge industrial potential — augmenting our biggest industries
  • Enable the next intelligence leap — giving society the tools to adapt to the future
  • Bridge the gap to space — unlocking the benefits of space for humanity’s gain
  • Decarbonise the planet — reversing our climate impact

What you’ll see more of from us in Fund 2:

  • A focus on our unusual but powerful Venture Science model. This company creation model starts by identifying an epic global challenge and opportunity, assembling the science capability to tackle it, introducing a pathway to market through a leading industry player, and injecting venture investment to launch a brand new company; and
  • An increased emphasis on the challenge of Decarbonisation, reflecting the massive momentum from governments, companies and institutional investors on finding scalable solutions;

Finally, there are lots of ways to work with us or support our mission:

  • Join one of our amazing companies — please check out our Jobs Board on our website
  • Join our team. If you’re interested in being part of Main Sequence, contact us;
  • Join our community to help us solve these Challenges; follow us or sign up for our monthly newsletter;

In 2017 we had a conviction that the most valuable companies for the decades to come will be grounded in science and be going after epic solutions for a planet in trouble.

I think we were right.



Mike Zimmerman
Main Sequence Ventures

Partner @Main Sequence Ventures, deeptech investor @avarni, @castlepoint, @emesent, @kasada, @loambio, @lumachain, @presien, @regrow, @rios; founder@BuildingIQ