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Semiconductor startups used to rule the roost in Silicon Valley. The very name, Silicon Valley, comes from the birth of the semiconductor industry in the San Francisco bay area 60+ years ago. Large percentage of venture financing used to go to semiconductor startups, even as recently as 15 years ago. As a chip designer doing startups in the late ’90s and early 2000s in the San Francisco bay area, I felt as if there was a semi startup on every street corner.

Not so much in the last 10 years. Maturing industry, high capital requirements, and dwindling exits have caused…

Our investments in Edge AI and Quantum Computing

Photo by david latorre romero on Unsplash

Explosive growth in the digital world has been driven by rapid advances in computing — from Microprocessors to Digital Signal Processors to GPU’s and FPGAs to low power cores. Moore’s law has rightly predicted our ability to keep pushing the frontiers of computing using advances in semiconductors.

Computing has expanded its footprint beyond the traditional definition of a computer. From smart phones to wearables & fitness watches and from tiny sensors to centralized cloud computing servers, computing has taken different forms. Computing has enabled an entire gamut of software and applications across all these devices.

We have come far; but…

CC0 Public Domain from pxhere

Let’s be honest — the last month has been rough for everyone and entrepreneurs are a worried lot. It is hard to predict the ultimate economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis. However, it does look like a prolonged global downturn is upon us that many believe will likely last a year, if not more. Social isolation and mass lock-downs worldwide have had an immediate, crippling impact on multiple industries. If you are an early stage startup, you are wondering how to ride through this storm.

This is the third major down cycle that I have seen in the last 25…

As 2019 winds down, we at MFV Partners are thankful to all our partners — Entrepreneurs, Limited Partners, Co-Investors and Ecosystem participants. This has been a great year for us. Our 4 portfolio companies from 2018 have grown leaps and bounds and will continue to great heights in 2020 and beyond. We invested in 3 more companies in 2019 bringing our portfolio count to 7. More details on our new investments very soon!

As a fund, we focus on companies primarily differentiated through fundamental technology (aka deep-tech) in Series A stage. …

Electric Vehicles are still more expensive than ICE Vehicles — and that has been one of the hurdles to wider adoption beyond subsidy driven purchases or energy conscious purchases.

Great article in McKinsey about the cost differential today (2019) between base EV and a base ICE — it is about $12000 and it is a lot.

Cost Differential between Base EV and ICE in 2019

Cost Reduction, Shared Mobility fleet use cases, Battery Lease (how about Battery Swap?) and other innovative business models can drive down the price differential.

While every other barrier in purchasing an Electric Vehicle has gotten better in the last 3 years, the one thing that hasn’t improved is “Charging Time” — at least not in consumers’ minds. Time for a rethink on “Battery Swap” ? or have we gone too far in the direction of fast charging / high voltage charging …?

Charging Time — a consistent barrier in consumers’ minds in purchasing an EV

Also interesting to note that emotional factors like “Status / Prestige” and “Safety” falling low in reasons for owning a car. Most significant reasons being convenience and independence. As more shared mobility services and autonomous vehicles get deployed, convenience and independence / Availability will get addressed.

Vision is one of the most important senses we have as human beings — it is said almost two-thirds of our brain’s processing power is dedicated to vision and vision-related functions. It’s what kept our ancestors alive in the Stone Age and it’s what keeps us safe while driving or crossing a busy road. The eyes capture more information than any other sensory organ, which means that much of the brain’s working capabilities are spent in processing and making sense of what the eyes see, allowing us to react, make decisions and use our motor skills.

It is no wonder…

New Value Creation Opportunity …

Deal activity and investment dollars growing consistently over the last 3 years

Sustained pace of investment and deals in AgTech

Most of AgTech investment activity in Early Stage Startups — signs of emerging and nascent ecosystem

Why Today’s Most Disruptive Startups are Taking a Vertical Perspective

The most disruptive technologies today are horizontal platforms — computing, the Internet, CRM systems, databases, social media, mobile technology, the cloud revolution, payment gateways… Even in their incubatory stages, they became platforms that could be applied to just about any industry vertical — Retail, Manufacturing, Automotive, Financial Services, etc. Of course, Silicon Valley likes horizontal platforms — many of the giants fit the description — Google, Apple, Oracle, Facebook, Intel, and so forth. …

How different countries are investing in Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing Efforts

China Leading the pack with more than $3B of investment


Karthee Madasamy

Founder & Managing Partner @ MFV Partners, ex Managing Director @ Qualcomm Ventures, SF Bay Area, A’s / 49'ers / RedWings / Indian Cricket Fan

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