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DCVC 2024 Q1 update: Agility stands alone; Fervo thrilling and drilling; Twelve’s historic SAF offtake agreement soars; DCVC in Davos

DCVC-backed Twelve had an uplifting quarter (see below). Twelve

Greetings, friends of DCVC!

We’re glad to report a strong start to the year across our portfolio (details below).

A few highlights: Agility Robotics has pulled away to emerge as the world’s leading humanoid robotics company — now helmed by celebrated tech veteran Peggy Johnson … Brimstone just won a $189 million federal award to build a first commercial plant for its carbon-negative Ordinary Portland Cement (they are alone in having the only certi­fi­ca­tion for OPC in this sector) … geothermal leader Fervo Energy raised $244 million following highly favorable drilling results … methane detection leader Insight M (formerly Kairos Aerospace) raised $52 million in a Series D led by BlackRock … Twelve inked a historic offtake agreement for sustainable aviation fuel with giant airline group IAG (British Airways, Aer Lingus, etc.) … Relation raised $35 million in new funds (led by DCVC and co-led by NVIDIA) … wastewater filtration pioneer ZwitterCo unveiled its Innovation Center outside of Boston … and Databricks announced DBRX, a general-purpose LLM that sets a new standard for efficient open source models, built by the team from MosaicML (of which DCVC was a proud early backer). MosaicML was acquired by Databricks in a $1.3 billion deal last June.

We’re also happy to have had recent oppor­tu­ni­ties to spread the word about our thesis and work:

At the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Zack helped attendees see how deep tech is improving the world. On stage with MIT aerospace engineer and former NASA deputy admin­is­trator Dava Newman, he showed portco satellite imagery that offers both long- and immediate-term vital intel­li­gence (from Planet, climate change’s effect on China’s largest freshwater lake, and from Capella Space, a stuck tanker blocking the Suez Canal). Zack also partic­i­pated in a roundtable discussion of the outcomes of the COP28 climate nego­ti­a­tions, and spoke on the Hype Cycles & Start-ups panel, where he shared DCVC’s view that any embrace of cutting-edge tech must be joined by rigorous analysis of the data surrounding a company and its industry. And DCVC’s over­sub­scribed annual bourbon tasting served again as a rallying point for the global deep tech community.

In private conver­sa­tions with founders and investors, and on the record with reporters, Matt has been reminding people of DCVC’s long experience investing in AI — and of what we look for in AI-centered companies. In early March, Fortune posted a timely piece on investing in AI founders that began: Venture capitalist Matt Ocko says that when he talks to the founders of artificial intel­li­gence startups, he wants to hear how they intend to make money, but do so in an equitable way while also solving a massive societal problem.” Matt has also continued to engage leaders in the defense and intel­li­gence communities on how to ensure that the United States and democracies around the world regain the tech­no­log­ical supremacy vital to their security.

Across the portfolio and in DCVC’s offices, it was a quarter of recognition. Seventeen of our companies were recognized by Time for their cleantech prowess, and 10 made Fast Company’s list of the world’s most innovative companies (see these and other awards, below). Major congrats to Partner Rachel Slaybaugh, who was selected by Worth as one of 2024’s Ground­breaking Women. We are proud!

We wish you an excellent Q2 — and welcome your continued engagement.

Very best regards,

Matt and Zack 

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Portfolio Highlights


Fervo Energy raised $244 million following its favorable drilling results showing declining costs in the sector.

Freenome raised $254 million to support the development of single- and multi-cancer early detection blood tests.

Insight M (formerly Kairos Aerospace) raised $52 million in Series D funding to continue the company’s growth as oil and gas industry customers scramble to adapt to new methane regulations and fees.

Relation announced a $35 million financing, led by DCVC and with partic­i­pa­tion from NVIDIA’s NVentures, to complete its first major R&D push, aimed at finding new biological targets for drugs that could help cure osteoporosis.


Agility continued its impressive traction this quarter! The arrival of Peggy Johnson as CEO garnered great media coverage in Bloomberg and TechCrunch, among others. Digit had a great showing at both Modex and NVIDIA’s GTC. See other excellent coverage in Axios and TechCrunch.

Brimstone was selected by the Department of Energy Office of Clean Energy Demon­stra­tions (OCED) to receive a $189 million federal award as part of the Industrial Demon­stra­tions Program — a historic $6.3 billion initiative to support the advancement of trans­for­ma­tional tech­nolo­gies necessary to decarbonize the U.S. industrial sector.

Databricks announced DBRX, a general-purpose LLM that sets a new standard for efficient open source models, built by the team from MosaicML (of which DCVC was a proud early backer). It was also featured in a great Wall Street Journal piece on the very positive impact of AI on its sales and revenue.

Fervo Energy was highlighted in a great MIT Tech Review piece on break­through enhanced geothermal tech­nolo­gies and announced extremely favorable drilling results showing a 70% year-over-year reduction in drilling times, paving the way for rapid geothermal deployment.

Fortem secured solid coverage of its counter-drone defense systems across defense publi­ca­tions, including Defense One and Overt Defense.

Fourth Power was featured on Volts in a great podcast episode, where CTO Asegun Henry and CEO Arvin Ganesan discussed Fourth Power’s promising thermal energy storage solution.

Halter secured a great feature in Bloomberg, high­lighting the potential for its technology to both improve farming’s efficiency and reduce its environmental impact.

Oklo received approval from the U.S. DOE for the safety design strategy for its Aurora Fuel Fabrication Facility and completed the second phase of its testing campaign with Argonne to improve the demon­strated safety and economic potential of bringing Oklo’s fast fission technology to market.

Orca Bio shared positive clinical results on its inves­ti­ga­tional high-precision cell therapies, Orca‑T and Orca‑Q, demon­strating the potential to expand treatment to additional patients with blood cancer.

Planet had a great interview with Payload Space on AI’s impact on space data and was featured in an important New York Times piece on possible prepa­ra­tions for underground nuclear testing in China’s Lop Nur desert.

Recursion launched LOWE (LLM-Orches­tra­tion Workflow Engine), a cutting-edge foundation model to parse its internal 60 Petabyte database to perform complex drug discovery tasks.

Twelve had a big quarter! It launched the world’s first commercial scale power-to-liquid SAF plant, released a great report on the various types of SAF and the advantage of power-to-liquid, and announced a landmark offtake agreement with Inter­na­tional Airline Group (IAG) — operator of British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus for 785,000 metric tons of SAF, with delivery scheduled to commence in 2026.

Agility Robotics, Amogy, C16 Biosciences, Databricks, Elo Life, Fervo Energy, Flutterwave, Pivot Bio, Proprio, and Zwitterco were named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list!

Amogy, Fervo Energy, Brimstone, Insight M (formerly Kairos Aerospace), Plotlogic, and Twelve were featured on the Global Cleantech 100 list.

Agility Robotics, Databricks, Lumafield, Pano AI, and Primer were named to a16z’s American Dynamism 50.

We were very pleased to see 17 DCVC companies on TIME’s Top GreenTech list, high­lighting the top companies reducing envi­ron­mental impact. Congrats to Brimstone, Zap Energy, Twelve, Fervo Energy, Amogy, Radiant, CH4 Global, Plenty, Aclarity, Citrine Informatics, Jupiter Intel­li­gence, Gro Intel­li­gence, Verdant Robotics, MycoWorks, and Insight M (formerly Kairos Aerospace), plus two others that we’ve not yet announced publicly (more soon)! 🎉

DCVC in the Media

Our power-to-liquid e‑jet fuel offers industry-leading emissions reduction potential with the added benefits of an abundant feedstock supply and signif­i­cantly smaller land and water footprints compared to alternative SAF pathways.”

Twelve cofounder and CEO Nicholas Flanders in Forbes upon Twelve’s historic SAF offtake agreement with IAG

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