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DCVC 2023 Q2 update: fresh $1B+ in funding; fresh deep-tech insights; fresh website

Greetings, friends of DCVC!

It was a productive second quarter for our portfolio: though the macro­eco­nomic environment remains unsettled, we are seeing unmis­tak­able progress in companies across funds. Last month, we were delighted to report that DCVC-backed Databricks will acquire DCVC-backed MosaicML for $1.3B in what may come to be seen as a bellwether transaction in generative AI — while just last week, DCVC-backed Recursion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals announced a collab­o­ra­tion with and $50M investment from Nvidia to speed and improve drug discovery. See also our interview with DCVC Operating Partner Steve Crossan on where generative AI is headed.

Last week saw three great additional devel­op­ments across the portfolio: advanced nuclear reactor company Oklo announced its plans to go public—while carbon trans­for­ma­tion company Twelve broke ground on its first commercial-scale production plant in Washington State, and carbon-negative cement maker Brimstone received key certi­fi­ca­tion from ASTM: a first for climate-friendly portland cement. And this week, Fervo announced that well test results at its commercial pilot site confirm record production of 247 carbon-free enhanced geothermal energy.

Most broadly, we are ready to make the most of this moment: see our announce­ment below of DCVC having just raised over $1B in fresh capital, despite macro unease. You can understand how we will deploy that capital by reading our 96-page Deep Tech Oppor­tu­ni­ties Report, in which we offer our partnership’s insights into what tech­nolo­gies we find most promising (along with notes on what’s trickiest). Released today, the Report is intended to be a regular publication, where we can share our investment emphases with our Limited Partners, founders, and the broader world.

This update arrives in the form of a redesigned newsletter, in which you’ll find links to content on our new website. Thanks very much to all the portfolio companies that contributed the videography and photography that brings it to life. We will use this improved platform to more directly present your essential work to a world that needs your innovations to become more resilient, abundant, and equitable. 

To our LPs, thank you for your unwavering commitment. To our company founders and their teams, we remain inspired by your resilience and deter­mi­na­tion, and eager to be as helpful as we can. Here’s to an amazing H2!

Very best regards,

Matt and Zack

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Portfolio Highlights


Kanvas Biosciences announced the close of its $12 million financing, led by DCVC, to advance its proprietary platform technology, which aims to revo­lu­tionize drug development for microbiome-associated diseases. See more above.

Nium raised $3 million in Seed funding to develop technology that greatly lowers the temperature, pressure, and emissions required for ammonia production, working to make ammonia cheaper, cleaner, and cooler.

Fervo Energy announced a $10 million investment from Devon Energy — strong affirmation for the potential for geothermal as a primary 247 renewable energy source of the future as the oil and gas leader expands into renewable energy. And this just in: Fervo has announced that well test results at its commercial pilot site confirm record production of 247 carbon-free enhanced geothermal energy.


Zap Energy was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for its Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program, which aims to help bring fusion toward technical and commercial viability. Addi­tion­ally, the team drew a roadmap for measuring fusion gain on the way to building a commercial fusion system.

Rocket Lab continued to provide excellent partnership to NASA: 1) completing their TROPICS mission, which delivered a constel­la­tion of CubeSats to collect frequent tropical storm data to help increase our under­standing of deadly storms and improve tropical cyclone forecasts, and 2) signing for another mission—Starling—which will test tech­nolo­gies to enable future swarm” missions, where multiple spacecraft autonomously coordinate their activities to achieve certain goals. Adding to an already productive quarter, Rocket Lab celebrated the successful test launch of its hypersonic suborbital program (“HASTE”) to support the Defense Department.

Amogy is exploring technology collab­o­ra­tion in ammonia-based fuel with Skansi and SEAM, all in pursuit of a decar­bonized shipping industry.

Capella announced a partnership with LiveEO Space, which aims to transform the monitoring of assets and infra­struc­ture to enable timely insights for disaster response — life-saving work!

Congrat­u­la­tions to Pivot Bio, Tala, and DataBricks for making this year’s CNBC Disruptor 50 list, which recognizes growing startups that are chasing some of the public markets’ biggest oppor­tu­ni­ties and tackling some of society’s largest challenges across every sector of the economy.

We were proud to see MosaicML, DataBricks, and UnlearnAI on this year’s Forbes AI 50, high­lighting the most promising AI startups in the world!

Last, but certainly not least, Plenty and Aclima were featured on TIME’s annual 100 Most Influential Companies list. Congrat­u­la­tions to all! 🍾

DCVC in the Media

Every orga­ni­za­tion should be able to benefit from the AI revolution with more control over how their data is used. Databricks and MosaicML have an incredible opportunity to democratize AI.”

Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and CEO, Databricks, in TechCrunch

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