Firm News: Over $550M for Deep-Tech Startups

A fund for the future.

Today I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Walden Catalyst Ventures, at over $550 million. We are an early-stage venture capital fund dedicated to deep-tech investments focused on data & AI across the U.S., Europe and Israel.

We’re a team of dedicated investors and operators who, over the past 30 years, have established a track record of creating outsize value in the semiconductor, cloud and electronics industries. In our previous roles we were early investors in many amazingly successful startups in the tech industry, including Zoom, Inphi, Berkeley Lights, Habana and Nuvia.

Lip-Bu Tan and I founded Walden Catalyst after decades of partnership. Lip-Bu is the founder and chairman of Walden International and serves as CEO of Cadence Design Systems. I previously held the position of corporate president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, where I spearheaded Samsung’s global innovation, M&A and venture investing initiatives.

Why Walden Catalyst?

Over the years, Lip-Bu and I have collaborated on building several successful companies, served on one another’s boards of directors and scaled startups from a few to tens of thousands of employees. Recently, we felt it was time to formalize our longstanding partnership and fuse our operational and investing expertise in one firm. Thus, Walden Catalyst.
We’re a venture fund with decades of experience behind us. But we’re as ambitious and adventurous as a startup. Lip-Bu and I are pleased to introduce our five additional partners: Shankar Chandran, Roni Hefetz, Francis Ho, Andrew Kau, and Nicolas Autret. They have worked together with us on numerous investments and exits in the deep-tech space. And they each stand out for their track record and resourcefulness in supporting portfolio companies in our core focus areas of big data, AI, semiconductors, cloud, fintech, and the intersection of biology and technology.

What makes us unique?

What makes us unique is our laser-focus on deep-tech investments. Over the last two decades, there has been a steady flight of capital away from deep tech—those science- and tech-related breakthroughs on which world-changing businesses are built. While many traditional VC firms have chosen to focus on consumer and enterprise software ideas, every member of the Walden Catalyst team has stayed true to the deep-tech category.
We have an unwavering belief in the ability of data and AI to transform the way we live, work and play. To that end, we are targeting startups that take a revolutionary approach to massive industry opportunities by using data as the “fuel” and AI as the “engine.” We are excited and honored to work with the next generation of deep-tech entrepreneurs across the U.S., Europe and Israel, who are seizing on the data explosion and will ultimately change the world.
We are also firm believers in helping the world be a better place. That’s why Walden Catalyst has close ties to the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), an organization that I co-founded. XTC is the world’s largest startup competition and ecosystem for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Walden Catalyst shares XTC’s mission of finding the next great disruptive startups that can reach massive scale while having a meaningful impact on our planet.

Who do we invest in?

We love entrepreneurs who are disrupting the status quo with new ways of thinking and groundbreaking technology. We partner with bold innovators to turn their visions into reality and power the future of technology. We have made six deep-tech investments to date, including:
·    AI21 Labs, an AI lab and product company whose mission is to reimagine the way we read and write by making the machine a thought partner to humans.
·     MindsDB, an open-source predictive layer that helps anyone use the power of machine learning to ask predictive questions of their data and receive accurate answers from it. 
·     Speedata, a developer of the world's first dedicated accelerated processor for big data analytics across industries.

Welcome to Walden Catalyst. Our mission is to change the future. And we’re starting now.

Young & The Walden Catalyst Team