Fund Fact Sheet:
Size and horizon: $50M, closed at $25M
Geography: Invests globally, but believes that the US is deal rich
Maturity/stage: Pre-revenue and Post-revenues (Pre-Seed, Seed & Series A)
Ticket size: $100K – $2M
Potential lead: Yes
Follow on: Portfolio companies only
Previous Investments: AirWorks (Construction/AI), Crosscope (Healthcare), Imago Rehab (Healthcare/Robotics), Imperium Drive (Mobility), Realtime Robotics, Inc. (Manufacturing/Logistics), Rugged Robotics (Construction/Robotics)
How would you describe your VC and your investment thesis/guiding principles in one sentence?
Cybernetix Ventures is one-of-a-kind VC firm that focuses on pre-seed, seed, and Series A investments in startups developing solutions across robotics, automation and AI systems manufacturing, logistics, construction, and healthcare verticals. We also invest in robotics-enabling technologies in AI/machine learning, cloud robotics, cybersecurity, autonomy, and sensors and edge computing.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the main partners/experts in the team?
Fady Saad – I am one of the General Partners of Cybernetix Ventures. I am also the Co-founder of MassRobotics; the first and largest robotics & AI startup escalator in the world. I led the multi-million dollar fundraising for the organization and architected MassRobotics’ corporate partnership program and business model. I supported & advised multiple startups and introduced them to 150+ VCs in the US & globally.
Early in my career, I was a Regional Manager of Nokia Siemens Networks in North Africa and Europe where I led and managed multimillion-euro acquisitions and bids. I was also part of the team that led the merger between Siemens Com and Nokia Networks in North Africa for 700+ employees.
I hold a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the American University in Cairo and a MS in Engineering, Systems Design, and Management from MIT.
Mark Martin is the other General Partner of Cybernetix Ventures. He is an experienced investor, board member, advisor, and tech executive.
Mark is a former VP of Analog Devices Industrial Automation, Sensors, and IoT division where he ran a $1B+ business, led multiple acquisitions, led strategic investments, and scaled new business ventures. Mark has 25+ years of executive tech leadership spanning industrial, healthcare, automotive, and consumer industries. Mark executed the sale of two business units for more than $450M and led $100M of acquisitions across 4 transactions.
Mark has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an MS in Engineering Management from Tufts University’s Gordon Institute. He is also a recipient of the Tufts Outstanding Career Achievement award.
Additionally, Cybernetix Ventures is supported by an advisory board with a wealth of knowledge, experience and network. The board is comprised of Steve Ricci, former partner of Flagship Ventures; Helen Greiner, co-founder of pioneering robotics company iRobot and CEO of Tertill; Peter Wurman co-founder and former CTO of mobile robot maker Kiva Systems which was acquired and rebranded to Amazon Robotics; Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics and former CEO of Quiet Logistics; Elaine Chen a well-known roboticist, currently director of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts University; Amar Sawhney, a prolific serial entrepreneur in the medical devices industry, currently CEO of Pramand and chairman and CEO of Instylla and Dennis Clarke chairman and CEO of Boston-based commercial real estate development company, Cummings Properties
Why do you think now is the right moment to launch this fund?
Early-stage/pre-revenue founders in the robotics space trying to raise money have a really hard time doing so because investors are afraid to invest in an unproven company but Cybernetix’s goal is to ease that problem for founders. Labor shortage has gone up but covid has exacerbated this issue. The cost of the technology has gone down and the technology has drastically improved. We have seen a lot of robotics unicorns proving that the market is big for the robotics space. The market is ready for a fund like Cybernetix.
Do you lead investments and do you have any typical deal terms?
Our advantage: we are a fund co-founded and led by a scientist, an entrepreneur and a banker. rpv’s partners and advisors are world-known physicists and neuroscientists. Our immediate scientific network includes more than 250+ experts that provide deep due diligence and can identify the strong science.
The scientific side of things is strongly supplemented by the business expertise. Our team includes seasoned c-level executives, entrepreneurs, consultants and professors of the top business schools on the planet.
Besides the money we provide scientific expertise to the entrepreneurs and business expertise to the scientists. We help both worlds cross the inherent gap between them and collaborate on building new products.
What is your unfair advantage? What do you bring besides money?
Cybernetix has been embedded in the ecosystem for 10 years and thus, has an exceptional network of executives, suppliers, customers, manufacturers, acquirers, and growth investors. The team also has an extensive technology and vertical markets expertise with hands on operations and business value creation
What do you look for in entrepreneurs?
We invest in passionate, relentless, market-driven founders. We also invest in big markets and look for founders solving big problems.
Can you give a few examples of startups you previously invested in and why?
AirWorks, which is developing machine learning software to convert remote sensor data into “pixel-accurate base maps” for architectural engineering and construction (AEC) firms
Crosscope, a startup building digital workflows and AI-based cancer diagnostic tools for hospitals and labs to augment pathology
Imago Rehab, which has designed inflatable, wearable robotics and digital health technology to help in the rehabilitation of stroke survivors
Imperium Drive, which is launching fetchcar.io, a service in which a customer hails a vehicle that is remotely driven to their location that they then drive and return to remote control at their destination
Realtime Robotics Inc., which has developed a specialized processor to generate collision-free motion plans in milliseconds for industrial robots and autonomous vehicles
Rugged Robotics, which replaces slow, error-prone, manual layout with an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) that marks architectural/engineering drawings directly onto unfinished floors
What is the best way for founders to approach you and what will convince you to have a first meeting?
Best way is to reach out via the website and fill out the contact form. Companies need to be in the right investment stage for us to invest: Pre-Seed, Seed and Series A. They also need to be developing systems for either manufacturing, logistics, construction, and healthcare verticals. We also look to invest in companies doing robotics-enabling technologies in AI/machine learning, cloud robotics, cybersecurity, autonomy, and sensors and edge computing.
What is the most important advice you would give deep tech founders?
Don’t get too obsessed with the technology and product and overlook what the customers and market are looking for. Also, not having deep market expertise on the team early on.
Who are your LPs and how did you convince them to invest their money in deep tech?
Our LP pool is comprised of US & European family offices, Massachusetts-based foundation, founders & CEOs of successful companies, early stage angel investors, professional investors, high net worth individuals.
What do you think will be the next big thing in deep tech?
Smart systems that would integrate IoT, robotics, AI, AR/VR in manufacturing, logistics, construction, healthcare, mobility.
What current trend are you seeing in the deep tech investment landscape?
More interest to invest away from pure software, especially in areas like manufacturing, logistics, construction, healthcare and climate change.
Head to cybernetix website for more info.