The Factory was founded on the principle that great companies can be built in a systematic, repeatable way, and by doing so we reduce their risk, and speed up their progress. We brought together technical visionaries, deeply technical founders and experienced operators to execute on this vision in Fund I. We have made several seed stage investments so far, often with significant pro-rata rights or the opportunity to follow on.
“There is a data-centric research agenda inside AI. It’s intellectually deep, and it has beenlurking at the core of AI progress for a while”“The Road to Software 2.0 or Data‑Centric AI” by Chris Ré (https://hazyresearch.stanford.edu/data-centric-ai)
As a reminder, Data-Centric AI is the technical thesis that forms the foundation of our investment strategy. This vision was originated by our co-founder Chris Ré, and students at his lab at Stanford; his research continues to be at the heart of everything we do. For those of you who would like to go deeper on the subject, we highly recommend taking some time to review the recordings from the recent event hosted by snorkel.ai (The Future of Data-Centric AI). It’s a great resource for understanding the technical foundations of the vision, as well as some of the early applications of it. The industry shift to Data-Centric AI continues to accelerate, and it’s exciting that The Factory is a key driver of this evolution.
Financial & Portfolio Overview
During Q3, we invested approximately 11% of Factory HQ Fund I in four exciting startups, each of them in line with our investment thesis. We continue to see incredible inbound deal flow thanks to the extended network of The Factory Co-Founders and LP’s, aided by the excitement of the startup founders to work with The Factory team. We see no sign of this deal flow slowing down (quite the opposite!) and there has been no need for us to do any outbound deal sourcing work so far.
Artera is enabling cancer therapy personalization with artificial intelligence. Founded by Andre Esteva, formerly Head of Medical AI at salesforce.com, and a Visiting Scholar and PhD Candidate at the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL), and Felix Feng, who’s a Professor at UCSF, Director of Benioff Initiative for Prostate Cancer Research, and formerly Director of Translational Genomics at University of Michigan.
Atomic AI is on a mission to enable the rational design of new molecules and medicines, enabled by the cutting-edge fusion of artificial intelligence and structural biology. Atomic was founded by Raphael Townshend who was a PhD Fellow at Stanford and was previously a Research Scientist Intern at Deepmind. Raphael’s work on using geometric deep learning to predict the 3D structure of RNA was recently on the cover of Science Magazine.
Opaque commercializes the open source MC2 platform which leverages a novel combination of two key technologies - secure hardware enclaves and cryptographic fortification. This combination ensures that the overall computation is secure, fast and scalable. MC2 has already seen adoption by several institutions such as Ant Financial, IBM, Scotiabank and Ericsson. Opaque was founded by Raluca Ada Popa, who is an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley and part of the leadership team at the RISE Lab, and Rishabh Poddar who has a PhD in CS from UC Berkeley.
RiVos is in stealth mode, and focuses on enterprise infrastructure
Recruiting is a key challenge for any startup and the market for world-class talent is incredibly competitive. Helping our portfolio build their engineering & product teams is one of the most valuable contributions we can make to their success. To that end, we have added a Head of Talent to the team (bio below)
Chandra Buduri has 20 years of experience in managing full-cycle recruitment teams across all major geographies. He has expertise in diversity initiatives, recruitment process improvement, market mapping and salary benchmarking. During his tenure at Cisco, he built and grew world-class teams from ~1000 to 1700+ people. He holds an MBA in HR & Marketing from Sri Venkateswara University in India and an Advanced Certificate in Strategic HRM from ILR Cornell University
The value that The Factory delivers to the startups we work with is highly differentiated. We are enabling and supporting the creation and growth of companies that have the opportunity to make a major impact in their respective categories, and to society as a whole. It is difficult to convey in these few short pages the energy and excitement that surrounds us every day. There are brilliant people involved in what we do, from Lip-Bu, Chris, Amarjit, Ishan, Jessye, Deveaux and the rest of the team, to the amazing founders we work hand-in-hand with. It is a privilege to be part of this and we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity made possible by you all - the LP’s and Advisors who are equally part of the Factory. Thank you all!
Please contact Andy Jacques at email@example.com with questions.