BFV works with entrepreneurs to shorten the time and reduce the cost to commercialization of resource technology innovations.
Clean and Efficient Energy Systems
This is a wide encompassing field that includes means of energy production, storage, and efficiency. A major thesis of ours is that integrated storage is the last piece of the puzzle towards total grid decarbonization and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, given the heterogeneity of the application space.
Food Security & Sustainable Agriculture
The agriculture industry remains highly inefficient in its resource utilization, including irrigation and fertilization practices. Digitization of the industry has been low, presenting a number of potential investment opportunities. Another key theme is the search for viable alternative sources of protein, given the enormous water and carbon footprint of traditional livestock practices.
Water Treatment & Conservation
Water has traditionally been a challenging area that venture capital investors avoid, but it’s crucial to understand the dynamics of the industry and what niches to participate in. Most customers want end-to-end solutions, rather than components, so successful companies in this space must have a degree of vertical integration to be able to capture meaningful market share. Zero liquid discharge is regarded as the holy grail of the industry — customers want to minimize the volume of their waste stream as much as possible, given the high costs of offsite treatment.
Air Quality & Industrial Gases
Rapid industrialization in some of the largest countries in the world has created a massive air quality problem that promises to stifle further growth. Technologies are needed to more intelligently quantify the scope of the problem and help mitigate it. There are numerous industrially-relevant gas separation processes that require huge amounts of energy (e.g. cryoseparation). New materials and membrane processes have the potential to dramatically lower energy costs and meaningfully impact global CO2 emissions.
Health Care Diagnostics & Therapeutics
While drug development and therapeutics is not a specific area of investment focus, given the time and capital math, we do think there are a number of ancillary tools that can be developed to accelerate discoveries and jump start clinical trials. Fast declining sequencing costs, coupled with similar drops in DNA synthesis promise the ability to more rapidly screen pharmaceutical candidates. The keys to success are the right software design tools. There are a number of companies developing impactful medical devices that are worthy of investment consideration, provided they fall under fast-track approval processes (e.g. FDA 510(k)).
We occasionally invest in companies that don’t necessarily fit a resource category, but do embody our company building philosophies, have novel business models, and can impact a new, fast-growing market segment.