👋 Announcing our $121M Fund II to back AI-first companies

Published by Nathan Benaich, Founder and General Partner, on 6 September 2023.

Entering our second epoch

We are delighted to announce Air Street Capital’s second fund of $121,212,121. As a firm, we now have significant resources and the long-term capital partners to match the ambitions of our founders.

AI is a force multiplier for technology, helping us to unlock a new era of economic progress and scientific discovery. Excitement has exploded around AI since last summer, with companies of all sizes, media, politicians, and investors coming into the fold en masse. There is still so much more to discover and build with the field being in its early real-world deployment phase.

Air Street has grown from a conviction that AI founders deserve an AI-native investor into a first fund of 19 AI-first technology and life science companies across North America and Europe. We’ve seen significant progress:

  • Allcyte (functional drug screening) was acquired by Exscientia, which subsequently went public on the Nasdaq as the largest European biotech IPO of all time and becoming the third largest biopharma company in the UK after AstraZeneca and GSK,
  • Valence Discovery (generative chemistry) was acquired by Nasdaq-listed Recursion Pharmaceuticals to create Valence Labs, an “OpenAI/DeepMind” for drug discovery,
  • Intenseye (health and safety) and V7 (AI data platform) are accelerating into the growth stage as they service large global enterprises.
  • While our second fund marks a big step forward, it’s still day 1 for us at Air Street.

    Our ambition stretches beyond our immediate investments. We believe that everyone wins when the technology ecosystem is stronger and we intend to deepen that commitment.

    As an investor and researcher, I’ve been a long-time proponent of openness and knowledge-sharing, and I’ve been inspired by how different members of the community build on each other’s work. Whether it’s through our international meet-ups, co-producing the State of AI Report, and supporting the RAAIS conference and the RAAIS Foundation, we’ve tried to capture this open-source ethos and make our own contributions.

    Similarly, we will remain committed to speaking out when powerful institutions or outdated policies hold the ecosystem back. Whether this is campaigning for a better deal for university spinouts with spinout.fyi, urging European governments to pursue a more ambitious R&D agenda, or pushing back against doomerism and regulatory capture - you can expect to hear even more from us in the coming years.

    We could not have made this progress without the hard work of our entrepreneurs and the trust of the institutions who chose to partner with us. We are also grateful to angels from OpenAI, Google, DeepMind, Isomorphic Labs, Spotify, Recursion, Exscientia, InstaDeep/BioNTech, Hugging Face, Flexport, Wayve and many others for joining us on our mission to be the very best partner to AI-first company builders from their earliest days.

    If you want to be part of our second epoch - whether your company is up and running or your idea is still germinating - we would love to hear from you.

    You can read more about the news on Bloomberg and watch the interview on Bloomberg TV.