Big announcement today! Pillar VC just closed $192 million of capital for Pillar III ($169M) and Pillar Select ($23M), our firm’s latest venture funds.
The added capital enables Pillar to amplify its mission to build important, lasting companies — the future “pillars” of our economy.
The bulk of our team’s investments will stay focused at seed stage where we can provide the most active support. A group of superstar entrepreneurs who have already scaled up unicorns in Boston— including the founders of Wayfair, DraftKings, Gingko Bioworks, TripAdvisor and others — are co-founders of Pillar VC. They are eager to help the next generation of founders follow in their footsteps.
For those new to Pillar VC, people are at the center of how we work. Every year, our team organizes 50+ events, convening people from across the startup community — founders who are building companies, CEOs of well-established businesses who are mentoring the next generation of leaders, domain-specific experts, and more. Thousands of people have attended a Pillar VC event in the past few years, in-person or online, and we have loved meeting you all.
When our team meets a founder with the potential to build a pillar company, we partner early — even before incorporation — and bring our checkbook. Pillar VC will make pre-seed investments of $50–500K and seed round investments of $2–6 million and we typically lead the round and serve on the Board. And because we want to be a true partner, we are one of the few VC firms who will buy Common Stock — which fully aligns us with founders.
After that, the real work begins. Pillar VC has a dedicated platform team to help founders succeed especially at the seed stage — recruiting talent to the early team, connecting experts for guidance as needed, polishing the pitch and website, and introducing new investors. Everyone else in our portfolio is also a potential ally, as Pillar CEOs are often swapping ideas, inspiration, and energy to assist each other.
The initial results are encouraging. Of the fifty companies we have backed through our first two funds — Pillar I at $57 million and Pillar II at $100 million — so far six are new Boston pillars: Algorand, Desktop Metal, PillPack, Circle, PathAI, and one unannounced. All of us at Pillar VC hope to expand the list over time.
Pillar III will continue to invest in all kinds of technology and business model innovation such as enterprise SaaS, AI/ML, crypto, fintech, hardware, manufacturing and logistics, proptech, and consumer markets.
Our team will also expand our focus on biology, dedicating up to 30% of the fund to the coming convergence of life science and technology. We first entered life science in Pillar I with several investments that combined bio with engineering, leading to exciting companies like Asimov (genetic circuit programming) and PathAI (AI for pathology). With Pillar II, Pillar decided to double down on biology by starting Petri, a pre-seed program focused on “bio+tech”. Through Petri, we met and backed a new generation of early founders who are using computation and engineering to develop breakthroughs in synbio, agtech, genetic circuits, cell and gene therapy, medical data analysis, novel diagnostics, lab tools, and drug discovery platforms. Now with Pillar III, we will start to invest significantly at seed as well as pre-seed life science.
We are delighted to continue doing what we love most each day, which is finding ambitious founders and throwing our full support behind them. If you have a big idea you simply can’t stop thinking about, or if you have a company you want to take to the next level, or if you simply want to be part of something exciting and new, please reach out. We’d love to connect.