When we first started using the term ‘deep tech’ in 2014, nobody understood it. Now, it seems, everybody has their own interpretation! And its all good – all interpretations further the cause! We at Propel(x) define deep tech startups as companies based on breakthrough science or engineering. Our definition of deep tech encompasses far more than just AI for Uber (or the other way round maybe!). Our definition includes life sciences, energy and green technologies, industrial technologies, food and agtech, aerospace and transportation and of course, information technology and communications.
Investing in deep tech startups is by no means straightforward, nor is a return guaranteed! In fact, deep tech investments tend to be high risk and high return – much like all other venture capital. Like all early stage investments, there is the potential to lose all invested capital.
However, there are two factors that really differentiate deep tech – first, our thinking is that value of deep tech companies rarely falls to zero. The reason is that deep tech companies are based on significant IP – and the value of IP is usually greater than zero.
Second, and importantly, deep tech investments enable investors to have an impact beyond just monetary returns. Deep tech companies often develop foundational technologies that have the potential to bend the arc of human development over the next 10, 50, 100 years.
To share some examples here – Propel(x) has hosted companies that are furthering autonomous driving, therapies for cancer, imaging technologies, long duration grid scale battery technologies, electric bikes, synthetic biology to produce digital signatures for smell, gas sensing technology and many others. These are all companies commercializing breakthrough technologies, companies helping as take the next leap forward.
For me, as a deep tech investor – it is this quality that is most important. And when we speak with investors that use Propel(x), this resonates with them as well. The ability to have an impact on mankind, to change the course of human development.
If you are looking to invest in technologies that matter, consider signing up on our platform for free.