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Venture Capital
FINANCIAL | Investment Firms & Funds
ahreninnovationcapital.com

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Investments

10

Portfolio Exits

1

Funds

1

About Ahren Innovation Capital

Ahren Innovation Capital is an investment institution that supports transformational companies at the cutting edge of deep science and deep tech.

Ahren Innovation Capital Headquarter Location

23 Berkeley Square

London, England, NW86EL,

United Kingdom

+44-7711683653

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Latest Ahren Innovation Capital News

Five deeptech startup ideas — from top deeptech VCs

Sep 28, 2021

If there’s any area of technology filled with untapped ideas — it’s deeptech. From new ways of applying AI to the latest developments in robotics, deeptech startups by definition are typically founded out of breakthrough science or innovation. But where do Europe’s deeptech investors see a gap in the market? Sifted spoke with five deeptech-focused VCs to find out what pitches they haven’t heard… yet. Here’s what they said. Xavier Lazarus — partner at Elaia Elaia is a multi-stage VC firm with a digital and deeptech focus. Lazarus’s portfolio includes fraud detection startup Shift Technology, AI drug discovery company Aqemia and quantum computing startup Alice&Bob. Xavier Lazarus, partner at Elaia. Credit: Elaia Natural language processing (NLP) software able to learn a language only with limited audio samples available Babies learn to speak by listening to a limited set of audio content and speaker interaction, without any prior notion of language. Current NLP systems need a paradigm for a language and a large set of written content to (try to) do so. A startup which could bridge, even partially, this technical gap would offer a massive new opportunity to extend NLP-based systems across the globe, where 7k languages are spoken and less than 200 are written. For speakers of unwritten languages, voice and mobile phones are their only user interfaces and devices available to access the digital world. Bringing such a system to market would help provide global and inclusive access to basic services such as education, banking, communication, healthcare, culture, voting and more. Alice Newcombe-Ellis, founding and managing partner at Ahren Innovation Capital Ahren Innovation Capital is a Cambridge-based VC firm investing in deeptech startups from seed- to late-stage. Newcombe-Ellis’s portfolio includes machine learning startup Bitfount, Graphcore, the maker of microprocessors designed to support AI and digital microbiome company ZOE. Alice Newcombe-Ellis, founding and managing partner at Ahren Innovation Capital. Credit: Ahren Innovation Capital Safeguarding machine learning algorithms To fully harness the power of machine learning in areas where it’s needed most, users of machine learning algorithms need to be able to understand, trust and audit how the algorithms work. Interpretability — the ability to understand how machine learning algorithms arrive at their conclusions — has been a subject of research over the past several years and I believe now represents a highly compelling solution space for entrepreneurs to target. Done well, interpretability would be applied to safeguard against bias, meet regulatory standards and improve system design — including providing a confidence metric in the outcome or decision proposed and being contestable. This has myriad applications in large markets from healthcare (eg. predicting and preventing problems during surgery) to self-driving cars (eg. explaining a malfunction) to finance (eg. approving a mortgage or pricing insurance) to human-machine interactions (eg. chatbots). It’s not an easy technical problem to solve — despite good work on various methods including feature attribution, SHAP and LIME [machine learning models] — and societal issues will remain, including different notions of fairness and balancing competing demands of accuracy and privacy. But to my mind, it is a worthy pursuit: not only would this be highly valuable as a startup but also critical for building a fairer world and — longer term in considering artificial general intelligence (AGI) — creating a future where interactions with machines are beneficial, not destructive, to humankind. Inka Mero, founder and managing partner at Voima Ventures Voima is a deeptech investment firm, investing across the Nordics and Baltics. Mero’s portfolio includes Finnish novel proteins startup Solar Foods, augmented reality startup Dispelix and Tactotek, which is developing tech to reduce CO2 emissions in the electronics industry. Inka Mero, founder and managing partner at Voima Ventures. Credit: Voima Ventures Changing food and nutrition to end obesity Obesity growth is accelerating. Today, 39% of adults in the world are overweight, and one in five children and adolescents. While affecting one’s wellbeing, both in physical and mental health, obesity also leads to massive rises in healthcare costs and is closely linked to equality and inclusiveness in our society. Taxing sugary drinks or banning the advertising of unhealthy foods are not enough to solve this huge problem. We need new and innovative ideas to balance out our calorie intake and lifestyle to match what modern life requires. After all, obesity is preventable and linked to our genes. As a science centric deeptech VC investor who wants to save the planet, I am particularly worried about the younger generations. According to the World Health Organisation, in 2016 over 340m children aged five to19 were overweight or obese. This is an unsettlingly big number, but also a huge market potential for any startup. I would love to see true gamechanging, intuitive, sustainable and scientifically proven solutions and bold new brands in the area of nutrition and food applications. Examples include healthy fast food, sugar replacements and reinventing candy. Jan Habermann, cofounder and managing partner at Credo Ventures Credo Ventures is a Czech VC firm focused on early stage investments in central and eastern Europe. Habermann’s portfolio includes Prague-based cybersecurity startup IP Fabric and Resistant.ai and Edinburgh-based developer optimisation tool Continuum Technologies. Jan Habermann, cofounder and managing partner at Credo Ventures. Caption: Credo Ventures Making big data management easier We’d love to see more progress toward what we might call a ‘post-log’ world; one in which we are able to understand what’s happening with infrastructure and monitor the entire stack without relying on intermediary log parsing (splitting data into chunks of information that are easier to manipulate and store). Logs are obviously useful and provide deep contextual information, but properly managing them can quickly become a painful exercise for companies without the budgets or teams to handle large amounts of complex data. Understanding them can also be tricky — show a server log to an average developer debugging an application programming interface (API) and the “aha” moment won’t come as quickly as you might expect, if at all. We’ve seen quite a few multi-billion dollar companies built on moving past simple log management toward more sophisticated monitoring platforms — such as application processing management (APM) behemoths like Datadog — but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Agent-based approaches are one way to be able to ingest and work with a lot of contextual data, but they come with their own set of challenges. We’d love to see an approach that balances this ‘cut out the middleman’ approach, with pragmatism on what can work with existing stacks. Nadine Torbey, investor at AlbionVC AlbionVC is a London-based VC investing in UK startups focused on B2B software and marketplaces. Torbey’s portfolio includes open source machine learning platform Seldom, speech recognition tool Speechmatics and automated reasoning startup Imandra. Nadine Torbey, investor at AlbionVC. Credit: AlbionVC Improving efficiency in computing The world has become increasingly AI-centric. We have seen machine learning transform the way industries operate. However, machine learning itself has only started to deliver its promised return on investment thanks to a new unified data stack that saw technologies like data management and monitoring, data lineage, active learning, explainability and more supporting machine learning and optimising its performance in enterprise. This shift in paradigm is only the beginning of AI adoption at scale. Increased compute power of devices is creating the opportunity for true democratisation of AI — making for faster deployment and testing, less capital intensitivity and more personalisation and privacy — thanks to advances in federated learning — a form of machine learning technique which trains algorithms. I’m excited about technologies that power federated learning, such as compression techniques that allow edge data processing and transfer and minimises computations in the cloud as well some of the vertical specific applications it will give genesis to. I’d love to see founders taking some of these techniques out of university labs and commercialising them. Connor Bilboe is Sifted’s editorial assistant. He tweets from @connorbilboe and is the coauthor of our sustainability-focused newsletter, Sustain. You can sign up here. Want the best of Sifted in your inbox? Our newsletter brings you the latest, greatest stories on startup Europe.

Dec 31, 2020
News – Recent

Ahren Innovation Capital Investments

10 Investments

Ahren Innovation Capital has made 10 investments. Their latest investment was in Zoe as part of their Series B on May 5, 2021.

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Ahren Innovation Capital Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

5/4/2021

Series B

Zoe

$20M

Yes

1

4/26/2021

Series B

Edifice Health

$12M

Yes

3

10/5/2020

Seed VC - II

Nu Quantum

$2.73M

No

5

9/11/2020

Series B

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$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

3/12/2020

Series F

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$99M

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10

Date

5/4/2021

4/26/2021

10/5/2020

9/11/2020

3/12/2020

Round

Series B

Series B

Seed VC - II

Series B

Series F

Company

Zoe

Edifice Health

Nu Quantum

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Amount

$20M

$12M

$2.73M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

Yes

No

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Co-Investors

Sources

1

3

5

10

10

Ahren Innovation Capital Portfolio Exits

1 Portfolio Exit

Ahren Innovation Capital has 1 portfolio exit. Their latest portfolio exit was Rockley Photonics on March 19, 2021.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

3/19/2021

Reverse Merger

$991

4

Date

3/19/2021

Exit

Reverse Merger

Companies

Valuation

$991

Acquirer

Sources

4

Ahren Innovation Capital Fund History

1 Fund History

Ahren Innovation Capital has 1 fund, including Ahren.

Closing Date

Fund

Fund Type

Status

Amount

Sources

7/2/2019

Ahren

Multi-Stage Venture Capital

$252.2M

3

Closing Date

7/2/2019

Fund

Ahren

Fund Type

Multi-Stage Venture Capital

Status

Amount

$252.2M

Sources

3

Ahren Innovation Capital Team

1 Team Member

Ahren Innovation Capital has 1 team member, including former Chief Financial Officer, Barnaby Rix.

Name

Work History

Title

Status

Barnaby Rix

Arm, Deloitte, and Andersen Corporation

Chief Financial Officer

Former

Name

Barnaby Rix

Work History

Arm, Deloitte, and Andersen Corporation

Title

Chief Financial Officer

Status

Former

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