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Deep tech VC fund The Engine raises $230M for its second fund from MIT and new backer Harvard – TechCrunch

Deep tech. Arduous tech. Or, as The Engine dubs it, Tough Tech.

Enterprise investing at present is actually an identical to what occurs on Wall Avenue, centered on knowledge rooms, spreadsheets, SaaS churn fashions and cohort evaluation. But, the historical past of enterprise capital corporations is closely interwoven with universities and their analysis. A number of the most well-known VC funds like Kleiner Perkins acquired their begin funding compelling analysis initiatives out of laboratories and financing their commercialization towards scale.

Technical danger is one thing many VCs wish to keep away from, however The Engine has constructed a whole model and thesis round it. Centered round Kendall Sq. and the broader MIT ecosystem, The Engine debuted a couple of years ago with a give attention to “robust tech” issues which can be maybe a contact too early for different VCs. That’s led to investments in corporations like Boston Metallic, which builds environmentally-friendly metal alloys, WoHo, which is rethinking modular constructing development that we profiled last week, and Commonwealth Fusion Techniques, which is growing fusion energy.

Certainly, the firm’s portfolio page must be one of the crucial fascinating within the trade at present.

The excellent news is that the agency’s formidable funding technique appears set to proceed. It introduced this morning that it has raised $230 million towards the agency’s second fund, which on high of the agency’s first fund brings it to a complete of $435 million underneath administration. In a press assertion, the agency stated that it has funded 27 portfolio corporations out of its first fund. Whereas MIT continues to be the anchor LP, Harvard joined for Fund 2, making a cross-Cambridge, MA enterprise platform.

Katie Rae stays CEO and managing accomplice of the fund, and her crew has expanded over the previous few years because the agency has scaled up.

One fascinating level that we haven’t famous beforehand is that MIT is constructing The Engine a 200,000 sq. foot constructing close to its campus that may provide large area for startups and portfolio corporations to start out and develop over time. That constructing is anticipated to open in 2022, hopefully when this complete pandemic scenario permits for in-office collaboration once more.

Boston has develop into one thing of a hub for deeper technical initiatives. Native startup Desktop Metallic, which builds 3D printers that may print steel, is going through a SPAC process that values the company at roughly $2.5 billion. With this newest information from The Engine, it appears clear that Boston’s robust tech ecosystem will proceed to have a pipeline of fascinating and compelling corporations.

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Author

Danny Crichton