Bison Ventures Debuts $135M Fund to Invest in Frontier Technology Companies Addressing the World’s Biggest Challenges
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SEATTLE, November 7, 2023-- Today Bison Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage frontier technology companies, announced the close of its debut $135M fund. The firm is dedicated to investing in and supporting teams using innovative science and deep technology to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. From solutions that address climate change to treating disease to meeting the world’s insatiable demand for compute, Bison backs bold, technical solutions that have potential for massive scale.
Bison was founded in 2022 by Tom Biegala and Ben Hemani, who previously worked at Cascade Asset Management Co., the investment office that manages the assets of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gates family members. The Bison team, which is made up entirely of investors with engineering backgrounds, believes the most attractive investment opportunities exist at the intersection of multiple technical disciplines and are often ignored by the mainstream venture capital community. After years of helping entrepreneurs scale companies in areas including synthetic biology, computational drug discovery, semiconductors, climate tech, and robotics, they launched Bison to address the persistent funding gap for science-based, deep tech companies with commercial promise.
The fund already has six investments across multiple fields, including climate and sustainability, precision agriculture, behavioral health, generative AI, and computational drug discovery. Notably, over 80% of the CEOs backed by Bison to date are part of groups traditionally under-represented in venture-backed companies, including half who are women.
“Most venture dollars today continue to chase pure software companies. However, it was frontier technologies such as NVIDIA’s GPUs and Ginkgo Bioworks’ microbe engineering platform that enabled today’s revolutions in AI and synthetic biology respectively,” said Founding Partner Ben Hemani. “With diversified engineering backgrounds, we are not afraid to deal in the physical and biological world. We know that the best solutions derive from technology integration from different industries and applications, and we are comfortable backing bold companies early on in their lifecycle when technical risk still exists.”
“Learning curves mean that today’s products are constantly getting better — just look at Moore’s Law,” added Founding Partner Tom Biegala. “But there are thorny challenges ahead, and to address them, we’re not interested in incrementalism. We believe that backing 10x, step-change innovations at an early stage is the only way to build successful frontier tech companies, which is exactly what we founded Bison to do. We are more excited than ever to find the right companies to partner with and to build the next generation of industry in a world that needs it.”
“It was important to us to have advisors like Bison that had impressive interdisciplinary experience in navigating technically challenging fields and developing a commercially and regulatory sound business,” said Hanadie Yousef, CEO and cofounder of Juvena Therapeutics.
ABOUT BISON VENTURES
Bison Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in frontier technology companies that use innovative science and deep technology to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. From solutions that address climate change to treating disease to meeting the world’s insatiable demand for compute, Bison backs bold, technical solutions that have potential for massive scale. Bison’s investors — Founding Partners Ben Hemani and Tom Biegala and Principals Ari Wright and Caleb Appleton — all come from engineering backgrounds. The team believes the most attractive investment opportunities exist at the intersection of multiple technical disciplines and are often ignored by the mainstream venture capital community. For more information, visit bison.vc.
CMAND for Bison Ventures