COVID-19: the Role of DeepTech Investing

A new report on the state of DeepTech investing and the capital gaps faced by scientific entrepreneurs — the innovators who build technologies that may help us avoid the next global crisis.

As the world races to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and minimize its damage to lives and economies, many are stepping up. Medical professionals are battling on the front lines, grocery and delivery staff are braving the elements, and manufacturers are shifting their assembly lines. But perhaps one of the most critical elements of the response are the scientific entrepreneurs.

Scientific entrepreneurs are building new and faster diagnostics. They’re inventing cheaper and better ventilators. They’re designing software and analytics tools to understand, unravel, and track the virus. They’re hunting for vaccines. And they’re laying the technological groundwork to help humanity respond to and avoid future crises. These are the people building technologies that may help us avoid the next global crisis.

So why don’t we invest more in them?

Today, DifferentFunds released the DeepTech Investing Report 2020 — a comprehensive examination of how and why scientific entrepreneurs are so undercapitalized. Based on interviews with 150+ experts and analysis of hundreds of DeepTech investors and thousands of portfolio companies, the report unpacks the capital gaps faced by scientific entrepreneurs and why Wall Street and other investors tend to ignore them.

As a society, we are investing less money in advanced technologies than we are in ridesharing. Before it IPO’d, Uber alone had raised more capital than was invested into all U.S. DeepTech startups in 2018, combined. Compare this to quantum computers. Among many things, quantum computers could help us rapidly identify vaccines, optimize medical logistics, or detect epidemics before they start. Yet in 2018, U.S. quantum startups raised only $122M.

The DeepTech Investing Report 2020 explores all this and more, while offering strategies to overcome barriers and increase DeepTech investment. “We knew going into this work that there are notable threats to American advanced technology innovation, beginning with the lack of capital” says Leslie Jump, CEO of DifferentFunds. “China’s imminent challenge to America’s primacy is on the minds of many, but COVID-19 demonstrates that we have other organic threats as well. Now, more than ever, we need to back scientific entrepreneurs.”

The next global crisis may look very different. It could be clean water, extreme weather, food security, or something we’ve never imagined. Will we be ready? How will society invest after COVID-19? Learn more at: