Content is king (or so my kids tell me). We would like to be able to say that we have a grand plan in mind behind launching curated content at KdT, including our new podcast series, The World in a Grain of Sand. But really we just want to share some insights with our broader community. …

Today we’re announcing the closing of our $50M Fund II for KdT Ventures. With the announcement, one important aspect is obvious: with this fresh capital, we will double down on supporting the earliest stages of a new wave of scientist-entrepreneurs fusing data, engineering, and science to solve previously intractable problems.

While we’re excited about closing this fund, we’re more excited to get down to work. With that in mind, we wanted to lay out some salient points about what this fund represents for scientist-entrepreneurs:

  • KdT is not moving upmarket and will continue to be a true seed (or pre-seed) firm…

N.B.- As a reminder, we are a seed-stage firm so our views relate to companies at that seed stage.

Many early stage founders balance seeking commercial validation while remaining product focused. Specifically, startups must juggle the need/desire to validate the platform through partnering/licensing a (lessor) component thereof against the need/desire to demonstrate the potency of the platform through the identification of a novel insight or mechanism of action.

As discussed previously, we have views on how to think about the structuring of the first partnership/license deal, but we didn’t touch on how to think about the quantity of partnerships. As…

Lately, it feels like a disproportionately large number of companies we have seen at KdT deploy or manipulate microfluidic technology of various flavors (continuous flow, droplet based, digital, etc…). For a field that has its origins in inkjet printing back in the 1970s, the team has internally been asking — why does microfluidics seem so ubiquitous now? Is this the golden age for microfluidics in biology?

Interestingly, it might be. As our aperture of biological study has narrowed from bulk tissue to that of the single cells, microfluidics is playing a key role in the incubation, carriage, and analysis of…

Before jumping in headfirst, it’s important to acknowledge relevant qualifiers:

  1. KdT Ventures is a seed stage venture firm and thus this article relates to seed stage companies
  2. This is primarily written for “platform” companies and not single asset companies
  3. Every company is unique and based on that uniqueness certain companies may — and some would — be best served ignoring the contents of this article

Without further ado, let’s jump in.

A typical scene in early stage science investing looks as follows:

Startup X has a novel synthesis, manufacturing, or assay technology that can credibly serve as an adjuvant to…

Advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address global food security. Millions of lives rely on crop genetic improvements keeping pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. Twenty-six countries (21 developing and 5 industrialized countries) planted 191.7 million hectares of biotech (i.e. genetically modified) crops, which added 1.9 million hectares to the record of plantings in 2017 (http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/54/). Biotech crop plantings have increased ~113-fold since 1996, with an accumulated area of 2.5 billion hectares, showing that biotechnology is the fastest adopted crop technology in the world.

It is useful to…

As a firm, the team at KdT has decided to publish long-form Bio’s to help the folks we work with learn more about who we are as people. Our hope is that the openness and vulnerability that comes from sharing our stories will help enable our dialogues with all our partners, most importantly, current and future KdT founders. Here goes nothing…

After moving from India and scanning the US for soft landing spots, my parents settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, making the town that most people associate with Joe Biden and/or The Office, the home of my childhood. My dad’s jovial…

Remember This?

Recently, I have become fixated on completing my sentences. Though this may sound like something the parent of a second-grader may say, it is instead bred from an intense desire to provide meaningful dialogue with those we engage with at KdT. Let’s see if I can explain this.

As an investor/board member/mentor/father depending on the time of day, I wear lots of different hats. Regardless of the hat, the aim doesn’t waver: provide a meaningful experience for the other party. The more conversations we have and our team/family grows, the more experience we have with the various counter parties throughout…

We heard that pictures make articles more interesting…

Consistent with our other posts here, we would like to continue to give insight and transparency around our firm’s processes and thoughts. This post is meant to provide a brief overview of our investment decision process. N.B.- Not every process for every company is the same, though the description below should at least provide some insight into why we do what we do…

The Introduction: A warm email from someone in our network. That is the best way to get our attention. As a group of investment professionals, we are fortunate to receive non-stop LinkedIn messages, cold emails, contact from…

Our Guiding Lights

At KdT, we try to be purposeful in our actions and words. Below, you will find prose describing what we, as a firm, stand for:

Kind. We are humans helping other humans. We believe in the power of social capital.

Purposeful. We are driven and intentional. We choose our language and our portfolio carefully.

All in. We have conviction in our companies and our thesis. We don’t turn back.

Generous. We go out of our way to help. We’re concerned with what we can give as much as what we will get.

Scientific. We are precise. We test hypotheses, collect…

KdT Ventures

KdT is the standard for early-stage science venture investing. We help founders and their companies re-architect the world at a molecular level.

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