We couldn't have imagined the growth the past 12 months would bring.
From new company creation to new venture funding to newly burgeoning sectors, 2021 was truly a banner year. Thousands of founders joined us to help catalyze the Founder-Led Bio Movement, we expanded our interest in crypto and Web3 with 11 new investments, and we continued to invest in inspiring founders spinning out of the university ecosystem.
We feel grateful to be surrounded by such a supportive community, and we wish you and your families a happy and healthy new year!
FinTech & Consumer
Pre-seed / seed investments
First capital in
New investments in 2021
Unicorns to date
In July, we closed $192 million of capital for Pillar III ($169M) and Pillar Select ($23M), our firm’s latest venture funds.
2021 has been a significant year for the crypto markets. Maturing infrastructure paired with broader market acceptance has helped drive values across the space to all time highs. At Pillar, we recognize we’re in a period of exuberance, but believe the ground under the hype represents a significant technological and cultural shift. The caliber of founders flowing into the space and the pace of building strengthen our conviction that the future is decentralized.
Investing in the Algorand Ecosystem
The government of El Salvador is developing its blockchain infrastructure on top of Algorand’s technology in partnership with Koibanx, a leading Latin American asset tokenization and blockchain financial infrastructure company.Read more
Web 3.0 is Here
Circle issues and provides services around a stablecoin cryptocurrency pegged to the U.S. dollar called USD Coin.Read more
Tinyman is a decentralized trading protocol which utilizes the fast and secure framework of the Algorand blockchain, creating an open and safe marketplace for traders, liquidity providers, and developers.Read MoreKaan Eryilmaz (Image Soon), CEO of Tinyman
Odysee is a video sharing alternative to Youtube powered by the LBRY blockchainRead MoreJeremy Kauffman, CEO of LBRY
Reach language allows developers to easily code blockchain applications without needing to learn a new development language.Read MoreChristopher Swenor, Founder & CEO of Reach
A decentralized capital market powered by a cross-margin cross-collateralization clearing engine protocol.Read MoreStealth, of C3
The Future of Biotech is Founder-led
There has been an incredible surge in technologies and discoveries in the life sciences, and a record amount of capital is now available to biotech startups. Yet, company creation has lagged. Ideas, technology, and investment capital are no longer the scarcest resources; the limiting reagent is founders.
Together, we have the power to provoke this change.
Led by Andy Beck and Aditya Khosla, PathAI creates AI-powered technology for pathology research in laboratories and biopharmaceutical companies. Earlier this year, PathAI signed a strategic partnership with Roche, to develop an integrated digital diagnostic solution for improved patient care.Read more
Founded by Dr. Liane Clamen, a Harvard-trained ophthalmologist, Adaptilens is developing an intraocular lens mimicking the natural human lens.Read MoreLiane Clamen, Founder & CEO of Adaptilens
Asimov is developing a mammalian synthetic biology platform — from cells to software — to enable biotechnologies with outsized impact, with an initial focus on gene therapies, cell therapies, and protein therapeutics.Read MoreAlec Nielsen, Founder & CEO of Asimov
Founder-led Biotech Summit
Earlier this year, Pillar’s Tony Kulesa published, The Future of Biotech is Founder-Led — a commentary on the changing early-stage biotech landscape. The post was a reflection on the work we’ve been doing at Petri for several years — backing PhD students and scientists at formation — and it struck a chord with the wider biotech ecosystem, catalyzing a conversation about founder-led companies in biotech.
Non-dilutive grant funding
The spirit of community, possibility, and impact really shined through... a perfect balance between science and entrepreneurism.
Founder-led Biotech Summit Attendee
Thank you Pillar VC team for putting together such a meaningful session. I learned and felt connected with fellow biotech leaders
Founder-led Biotech Summit Attendee
Enterprise & Manufacturing
A new world of 3d printing
Led by Ric Fulop, Desktop Metal is a metal 3D printing company reinventing the way engineering and manufacturing teams produce metal parts. Desktop Metal acquired ExOne earlier this year to cement its leadership position in the additive manufacturing and 3D printing industry.Read more
Zapata Computing was founded by Harvard quantum scientists to develop quantum computing software and algorithms.Read MoreChristopher Savoie, Founder & CEO of Zapata
Fluent Metal will make metal 3D printing economical, efficient, and safe. Led by Peter Schmitt, Fluent Metal is reinventing the way we print metal parts.Read MorePeter Schmitt (Image Soon), Founder of Fluent Metal
Quadratic is revolutionizing the entire concept of 3D printing to open up new commercial and industrial applications.Read MoreThroop Wilder, CEO of Quadratic 3D
JobGet is the job platform for hospitality workers to find a job without a resume.Read MoreTony Liu, Co-Founder & CEO of JobGet
Sofar Sounds hosts concerts in intimate and unique spaces. Founded in 2009 by Rafe Offer in London and now led by Boston-based CEO Jim Lucchese, it has since expanded to over 400 cities worldwide.Read MoreJim Lucchese, CEO of Sofar Sounds
We were happy to find a way to gather safely with vaccinated friends to talk about life and leadership at The Exchange.
We were seeking human connection this year and felt fortunate for the chance to finally find safe ways to connect face to face.
While it’s clear that we’re all still spending plenty of time on Zoom, we were so happy to spend time with so many of you IRL.
In-person and virtual events hosted in 2021
People reached all over the world.
Summits supporting first-time founders.
We’re pleased to welcome our newest Founding CEOs: Chad Laurans (SimpliSafe), Lisa Dyson (Air Protein), Jennifer Holmgren (LanzaTech), Matt Kalish (DraftKings), Paul Lieberman (DraftKings), Bill Brady (Kula Bio), Andras Forgacs (Modern Meadow), Paul Bleicher (Optum), and Doug Cameron (Apeel) to the team.
Chad LauransFounder & Chairman at SimpliSafe
Lisa DysonFounder & CEO at Air Protein
Jennifer HolmgrenCEO at LanzaTech
Matt KalishCo-Founder at DraftKings
Paul LibermanCo-Founder & President at DraftKings
Bill BradyCEO at Kula Bio, Monolith Materials, Mascoma Corporation
Andras ForgacsCo-Founder & Board Director at Modern Meadow, Fork & Goode, Organovo
Paul BleicherExecutive Partner at Optum, Humedica, Phase Forward
Doug CameronApeel, Geltor, Nature's Fynd
Ginkgo Goes Public
Iora Health Merger
Congratulations to Founding Pillar, Rushika Fernandopulle, and Iora Health on its $2.1 billion merger with One Medical
Game Jam Protocol
Lingua Franca Therapeutics
New Equilibrium Bio
Wishing you a happy & healthy 2022!
Sign up for our newsletter to
stay up to date on next year’s happenings.