Valhalla Ventures launches $66M fund to back deeptech innovators

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Valhalla Ventures
Valhalla Ventures launches $66M Fund I to back innovators in deeptech. Photo: Valhalla Ventures

Valhalla Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, has announced its debut $66 million flagship fund to invest in innovators challenging the status quo across deeptech and gaming.

The firm said it is committed to supporting entrepreneurs who are unafraid to question consensus views and push the boundaries of science and engineering.

Valhalla Ventures prides itself on being a daring early-stage investor, focusing on technologies and ideas years before they enter the mainstream. Valhalla’s inaugural fund will primarily focus on investments in seed-stage companies across deeptech (areas of interest include materials science, biology, energy generation/storage, and space technology) and gaming (targeting novel and underfunded gaming mediums with an emphasis on social experiences).

“Capital is scarce right now, especially for first time funds like us, so we’re honored to be backed by some of the world’s best founders, family offices, executives, and corporations,” said Devan Malhotra, general partner, who leads Valhalla’s gaming practice.

“We want to bring venture back to its original promise, when Georges Doriot and the early investors in Silicon Valley worked hand-in-hand with the world’s boldest and zaniest entrepreneurs to solve the world’s hardest problems. The VC industry has lost its way. Too many funds spray and pray into ‘tier 1’ led deals while spending more time tweeting and fundraising than working with portfolio companies. We want to tack left, building a concentrated portfolio across non-traditional areas – gaming and deeptech – and working boots on the ground with the engineers, creatives, and scientists that are building a brighter future.”

Valhalla’s Fund I has been actively deploying since early 2022 taking 15 core positions to date, and will continue to make new investments until early 2025. On the deeptech side, Terran Biosciences and Avery Digital are each in their own way redefining what it means to be a biotechnology company, while Irradiant Technologies is revolutionizing the field of nanofabrication.

“At Valhalla Ventures, we back relentless entrepreneurs tackling obvious problems with non-obvious solutions that challenge the bounds of science and engineering,” said Rohan Pujara, general partner, who leads Valhalla’s deeptech investments.

“If you look at the biggest problems we face today, they are not solved by incrementally better software, but rather by breakthroughs in physical technology. We’re looking for businesses built around critical technology with captive markets, hinging on best-in-class engineering, execution, and scale-up.”

The Valhalla team is closely tracking the booming ecosystem of deeptech companies forming around SpaceX.

“SpaceX has created a new generation of engineers that approach problems in a very unique way, with emphasis on questioning assumptions, simplifying processes, rapid execution, and automation. SpaceX is constantly working on things that have never been done before, and this has made it a breeding ground for technical entrepreneurs that want to solve impossible problems,” said Pujara, who recently led Valhalla’s investments in two companies founded by ex-SpaceX engineers, K2 Space, which is building high-powered satellite platforms for the next generation of space development, and Starpath Robotics, which aims to refuel vehicles like SpaceX’s Starship on the lunar surface.

Valhalla Ventures was founded in 2020. Prior to raising Fund I, Valhalla invested $27 million via SPVs in eight companies across deeptech, gaming, and blockchain.

Jim Cornall is editor of Deeptech Digest and publisher at Ayr Coastal Media. He is an award-winning writer, editor, photographer, broadcaster, designer and author. Contact Jim here.