We’re excited to celebrate the one year anniversary of our debut fund, Moment I, where we set out to find amazing entrepreneurs building what we’ve been calling the Infrastructure of Everything. It’s been a whirlwind year, and we’re incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work with some passionate entrepreneurs who are literally reshaping the world by changing how work and business are done.
Many of you know that we started Moment Ventures to apply our learnings as VCs and entrepreneurs from the IT world and apply them across different industries. In prior decades, we witnessed firsthand the building of IT infrastructure into a $4 trillion market, yet even today in 2016, the only devices that are truly seamlessly connected to that infrastructure are computers and phones. We believed that the coming decades would promise to usher in hundreds of new categories of IT-enabled devices connecting the physical and digital worlds. However, we felt that without real business processes or platforms to connect these devices with the rest of the IT ecosystem we’d essentially have a bunch of gadgets on our hands. This is why we crafted a vision to guide our investment philosophy, and that was the genesis behind the Infrastructure of Everything.
What is The Infrastructure of Everything?
People conjure up different images when thinking of the term “infrastructure”. Some think of bridges, tunnels and heavy equipment, others think of a rack of routers. We define it simply as “business processes or platforms that improve how an industry or society operates.” The phrase “Infrastructure of Everything” essentially means business platforms that transform any industry, especially when connecting digital with physical networks.
We see these transformations in three different areas:
- New Device Ecosystems: Platforms that connect a new category of connected device to the IT ecosystem.
Examples include drones, robots, cars, wearables, VR/AR/MR, and even newly-defined categories such as stratollites and liquid analyzers.
- People-based Platforms: IT marketplace platforms that connect disparate groups of people to conduct business.
With users on both ends of a market continuously connected with mobile devices using algorithms and IT infrastructure in the cloud, new platforms can be built to entirely replace the existing process for a given industry. Some of our initial investments are focused in school operations, nursing homes and food surplus, but we’re looking for solutions of all types where the nature of work is being transformed.
- Innovations in IT:
The $4 trillion IT industry continues to evolve, with advancements being made across all IT sectors, which include security, networking, storage, applications, performance management and the data center.
Suffice it to say, we’ve seen hundreds of startups in the past year and are blown away by the innovations being made across all three of these categories. In future posts, we’ll discuss what it is that we look for in each of these areas.
It All Started with Soha Systems
Before we formally closed on the Moment I fund, we were making investments using our own personal capital as we came across interesting opportunities or teams. In total, we made 6 investments that were rolled into the fund when we closed last October. The first company we invested in as a team was Soha Systems, which we wrote about previously. Soha’s unique security platform ushered in the era of the borderless enterprise with a secure application access solution that didn’t require any hardware or cumbersome client app or software. Earlier this month, just before our fund officially turned one, we had our first meaningful exit as Akamai announced its acquisition of Soha to become a key part of their fast growing Cloud Security Division. Soha was incubated inside of the Moment Ventures office and we spent many hours working alongside the team before the company moved to Sunnyvale after a seed financing, which we led. We are thrilled for founding CEO Haseeb Budhani and the terrific Soha team and are sure they will continue to do great things as part of Akamai.
Moment I: World-Changing Entrepreneurs
We now have made 14 investments for Moment I, and are excited by the breadth of Infrastructure of Everything companies that we have become involved with. We have companies that are reshaping how people work by transforming how companies find and support their workforce. We have entrepreneurs who are literally thinking out of this world with innovations to make drones and stratollites viable new endpoints of the Internet. We also have found some amazing entrepreneurs who are disrupting large IT categories in microservices analytics, software-defined WANs and mobile content acceleration.
One common theme amongst all of our investments is that the entrepreneurs behind these companies have a passion to change the world for the better and a conviction to build successful, lasting enterprises to make an entire industry of customers happy. Just talk with Komal, Tim, Jane, Jonathan, Tad, or Mike to get their unique perspective of the worlds they come from, and you’ll see why we view them as special architects of the Infrastructure of Everything.
We’re Just Getting Started!
What a great year! It’s thrilling to see how many different ways we can disrupt infrastructure, and while most of our companies are still in the very early years of their campaign, we know that those that are successful will also be transforming society in a meaningful way. And if the next decade looks anything like this past year, we can’t wait. If you are an entrepreneur trying to solve an industry-wide or societal problem – you are building a platform for the Infrastructure of Everything, so please contact us or use LinkedIn to find a common connection for a formal introduction.