During more than 20 years as a founder-focused tech investor, I’ve had the honor of working with some of the world’s most innovative and inspiring companies – helping them grow from early stage to IPO and beyond. In our business, every VC firm is constantly searching for the next big thing – that promising idea, business model or entire new category that is going to change the world and deliver massive ROI.
This belief in the promise of new technology and wanting to help drive the next era of transformative innovation is why I founded Katalyst Ventures. I’m so excited to work with our team as we have closed $47 million in funding for Katalyst Fund 1, our first venture capital investment fund.
I’d like to share with you more details about why I started this fund and what we hope to accomplish in the near future:
Investing in AI-driven Startups
After having co-founded Visionnaire Ventures with Taizo Son, I felt that I wanted to focus on early stage founders in the AI space, because I truly believe that artificial intelligence is the next wave of innovation that is going to drive business growth for potentially the next several decades.
AI technology and machine learning are already changing people’s lives, boosting productivity, and transforming the way we work, shop and communicate. I believe that my team has a unique opportunity and a special perspective to find game-changing early stage AI startups that have the right technology and the right leadership to become truly exceptional category leaders in their fields.
Reshaping Legacy Industries
AI is a major new trend in technology, but the potential for AI to bring significant efficiencies and productivity gains is not limited to Silicon Valley. We believe that some of the most promising applications for AI can be found in legacy industries like finance, automotive, and even health care.
Katalyst Ventures is already invested in several portfolio companies that are dedicated to bringing disruptive change to these legacy industries. For example, DocMatter is a health care startup focused on building a global community of medical professionals who can more quickly share best practices to improve patient care. TruValue Labs is using AI technology to help investment advisors use alternative sources of data to evaluate company performance and make better investment decisions. TalentWorks uses the power of AI to help job seekers find great jobs faster – reducing inefficiencies and delays in the job market. And Zipline is a company that uses commercial delivery drones to bring life-saving medicines to some of the most remote places on Earth.
Global Connections, Global Growth
I have a global operations background, with a network of contacts and business experience ranging from Silicon Valley to P.R.C. and beyond. Although our firm will mostly focus on U.S. and Silicon Valley startups, we have the expertise and the reach to connect our portfolio companies with the wider world via our international deal network. We intend to invest in companies that have multinational growth potential, wherever possible – we are already doing this with companies like TruValue, DocMatter, Talentworks, Pensar and Zipline.
Smart, Focused Investment Strategies
The Katalyst Ventures team has a deep bench of experienced entrepreneurs and business builders, with specific expertise in AI and scalable platform design and development. When looking for companies to invest in, our approach is simple and focused: we want to see a clear core mission, a viable product evolution path, and a relevant business model. We stay focused on fundamentals – which companies are solving unmet needs in growing markets, which companies have the ability to accelerate to liquidity. Ultimately, we are not just investing in technology, we are investing in teams – we want to work with talented leadership teams who are strong at execution with AI.
Our firm is dedicated to finding and supporting the next generation of transformational innovation in AI technology. AI startups are just beginning to discover the possibilities of how to use machine learning and smart algorithms to drive massive boosts in productivity and achieve significant cost savings for organizations of all kinds.
I see Katalyst Ventures as being the next culmination of everything I’ve worked toward in my career as a CEO and investor. I couldn’t be happier with the team we’ve assembled; I’m enthusiastic about the prospects of our portfolio companies and I’m intrigued to see what new discoveries await us in the years ahead. With our team’s unique blend of expertise in AI technology and business building, backed by our international deal network, we believe that the future is full of opportunities.