Wen Hsieh and Haomiao Huang, each Kleiner Perkins buyers, left the agency in 2023 to start out their very own enterprise capital fund referred to as Matter Venture Partners. The agency had backing from Kleiner and Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC.

Hsieh was a longtime KPer, having been there for 17 years; Huang had been there 4 years. With a ardour for what they name “laborious tech,” Hsieh invested in corporations like microLED show know-how firm LuxVue, acquired by Apple; Amprius, which makes high-energy density lithium-ion batteries; drone maker DJI; and 3D printing firm Desktop Metallic, which went public through SPAC in 2020. Huang and Hsieh co-led investments in corporations just like the robotics firm Dexterity and the CT scanning firm Lumafield.

On Thursday, they introduced the closing of a $300 million inaugural fund. Hsieh advised For Millionaires it’s thought of one of many largest “first funds” raised in 2023. The median venture fund raised that yr was round $37 million, in keeping with a PitchBook-NVCA Enterprise Monitor report.

Matter Enterprise Companions was initially going for a $200 million fund, and Hsieh acknowledged that “it was a tricky time for everyone” — startups and enterprise capitalists alike — to boost cash in 2023.

“We had gone into it anticipating such problem and had very modest expectations,” Hsieh mentioned. “However to our shock, it went rather well for us. We closed $300 million final yr, in its entirety, and had been considerably oversubscribed.”

Realizing when to say “when”

Determining the perfect quantity to shut the fund is a bit like being “Goldilocks,” Hsieh mentioned. Matter Enterprise Companions invests on the massive seed rounds, Collection A and Collection B.

Wen Hsieh, co-founder of Matter Enterprise Companions. Picture Credit: Matter Enterprise Companions

If a fund is undercapitalized, it might not be capable of be aggressive in offers or received’t be capable of help portfolio corporations throughout a number of rounds, he defined. Overcapitalized and it might have an excessive amount of cash to deploy inside a two- or three-year lifetime fund cycle. That would additionally result in writing too many checks or sizes of checks which might be too large for the suitable fundraising.

He believes that Matter Enterprise Companions’ give attention to laborious tech was the rationale for the oversubscription. “The world has realized that the majority if not most of the foundational applied sciences and traits of our society as we speak are constructed on laborious tech,” he mentioned. “That actually places wind behind ourselves. We got here out profitable and unscathed in a really constructive approach, and we’re very fortunate to have raised cash at a tricky time.”

Along with Kleiner LP and TSMC, people, entrepreneurs and household workplaces additionally again the fund. Hsieh, Huang and working associate Mel Tang are additionally LPs within the fund.

Leveraging working companions

Matter Enterprise Companions supplies a novel side of getting working companions, which Hsieh mentioned is usually one thing solely bigger corporations have. One is Mel Tang, former CFO of video doorbell firm Ring, which was later acquired by Amazon.

Tang has expertise in operations, provide chain administration and manufacturing unit economics, and Hsieh believes having experience like this early-on within the lifetime of a tough tech startup is an efficient value-add.

By way of how Matter Enterprise Companions works with founders, the companions say they satisfaction themselves on being firm builders, however not on the expense of getting in the best way of founders, Hsieh mentioned. They wish to be coaches, companions and leap in, all the place acceptable.

All about laborious tech

Haomiao Huang, Matter Venture Partners

Haomiao Huang, co-founder of Matter Enterprise Companions. Picture Credit: Matter Enterprise Companions

They put “laborious tech” into six buckets: semiconductors in every single place, robotization as a result of blue-collar labor scarcity, generative AI, manufacturing on-shoring and friend-shoring, vitality constructing blocks and life science automation.

“The frequent theme round these six areas is that we wish to put money into the following ‘picks and shovels’ for all six of those traits,” Hsieh mentioned. “There are lots of gold rushes ongoing, however we want to present the ‘picks and shovels’ in each case. We wish to fund them and entrepreneurs that contribute to those new improvements.”

Thus far, Matter Enterprise Companions has invested in six corporations not made public but. It additionally doubled down on a number of that got here from the pair’s Kleiner Perkins days, together with Ambiq Micro, an organization Hsieh described as “a key participant in edge AI,” which is an idea of extra simply operating AI workloads.

“It’s all about low energy,” he mentioned. “The massive speak is about how a lot vitality does it eat for inference, or how a lot vitality for coaching? Ambiq is a world chief in making ultra-low-powered chips. They’ve dominated wearables, and now they’re parlaying that into edge AI functions. The product is having a huge effect, and we’re driving a brand new wave of energy-efficient AI consciousness.”

Finally, Matter Enterprise Companions will put money into between 15 and 20 corporations with the brand new fund, Hsieh mentioned.