Matter Venture Partners raises $300M first fund to invest in ‘hard tech’

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Wen Hsieh and Haomiao Huang, some Kleiner Perkins investors, near nan patient successful 2023 to commencement their ain task superior money called Matter Venture Partners. The patient had backing from Kleiner and Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC.

Hsieh was a longtime KPer, having been location for 17 years; Huang had been location 4 years. With a passion for what they telephone “hard tech,” Hsieh invested successful companies for illustration microscreen exertion institution LuxVue, acquired by Apple, and Amprius, which makes precocious power density lithium-ion batteries. Huang led investments into drone shaper DJI and 3D printing institution Desktop Metal, which went nationalist via SPAC successful 2020.

On Thursday, they announced nan closing of a $300 cardinal inaugural fund. Hsieh told TechCrunch it’s considered 1 of nan largest “first funds” raised successful 2023. The median task fund raised that twelvemonth was astir $37 million, according to a PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report.

Matter Venture Partners was initially going for a $200 cardinal fund, and Hsieh acknowledged that “it was a reliable clip for everybody” — startups and task capitalists alike — to raise money successful 2023.

“We had gone into it anticipating specified trouble and had very humble expectations,” Hsieh said. “But to our surprise, it went really good for us. We closed $300 cardinal past year, successful its entirety, and were importantly oversubscribed.”

Knowing erstwhile to opportunity “when”

Figuring retired nan champion magnitude to adjacent nan money is simply a spot for illustration being “Goldilocks,” Hsieh said. Matter Venture Partners invests astatine nan ample seed rounds, Series A and Series B.

Wen Hsieh, Matter Venture Partners

Wen Hsieh, co-founder of Matter Venture Partners (Image credit: Matter Venture Partners)

If a money is undercapitalized, it whitethorn not beryllium capable to beryllium competitory successful deals aliases won’t beryllium capable to support portfolio companies crossed respective rounds, he explained. Overcapitalized and it whitethorn person excessively overmuch money to deploy wrong a two- aliases three-year life money cycle. That could besides lead to penning excessively galore checks aliases sizes of checks that are excessively large for nan due fundraising.

He believes that Matter Venture Partner’s attraction connected difficult tech was nan logic for nan oversubscription. “The world has realized that astir if not galore of nan foundational technologies and trends of our nine coming are built connected difficult tech,” he said. “That really puts upwind down ourselves. We came retired successful and unscathed successful a very affirmative way, and we’re very fortunate to person raised money astatine a reliable time.”

In summation to Kleiner LP and TSMC, individuals, entrepreneurs and family offices besides backmost nan fund. Hsieh and Huang, on pinch John Budd, who is connected nan investing squad pinch them, are besides LPs successful nan fund.

Leveraging operating partners

Matter Venture Partners provides a unsocial facet of having operating partners, which Hsieh said is typically thing only larger firms have. One is Mel Tang, erstwhile CFO of video doorbell institution Ring, which was later acquired by Amazon.

Tang has acquisition successful operations, proviso concatenation guidance and manufacturing portion economics, and Hsieh believes having expertise for illustration this early-on successful nan life of a difficult tech startup is simply a bully value-add.

In position of really Matter Venture Partners useful pinch founders, nan partners opportunity they pridefulness themselves connected being institution builders, but not astatine nan disbursal of getting successful nan measurement of founders, Hsieh said. They for illustration to beryllium coaches, partners and jump in, each wherever appropriate.

All astir difficult tech

Haomiao Huang, Matter Venture Partners

Haomiao Huang, co-founder of Matter Venture Partners (Image credit: Matter Venture Partners)

They put “hard tech” into six buckets: semiconductors, automation and robotization, generative AI, manufacturing onshoring and offshoring, power building blocks and life science.

“The communal taxable astir these six areas is that we for illustration to put successful nan adjacent ‘picks and shovels’ for each six of these trends,” Hsieh said. “There are galore golden rushes ongoing, but we would for illustration to supply nan ‘picks and shovels’ successful each case. We for illustration to money them and entrepreneurs that lend to these caller innovations.”

So far, Matter Venture Partners invested successful six companies not made nationalist yet. It besides doubled down connected a fewer that came from nan pair’s Kleiner Perkins days, including Ambiq Micro, a institution Hsieh described arsenic “a cardinal subordinate successful separator AI,” which is simply a conception of much easy moving AI workloads.

“It’s each astir debased power,” he said. “The large talk is astir really overmuch power does it devour for inference, aliases really overmuch power for training? Ambiq is simply a world leader successful making ultra-low powered chips. They’ve dominated wearables, and now they’re parlaying that into separator AI applications. The merchandise is having a immense impact, and we’re riding a caller activity of energy-efficient AI awareness.”

Ultimately, Matter Venture Partners will put successful betwixt 15 and 20 companies pinch nan caller fund, Hsieh said.