The Era of Abundance: A Venture Capital Perspective

February 25, 2024

“Something is scarce until you create a technology that enables abundance”.

The way we think about food, water and healthcare needs to focus on abundance, and the critical question we have to be asking is, “How can technology move these fundamentals of society from scarcity to abundance?”.

This is a question we ask ourselves every time a new opportunity comes across our desks because we believe that every one of our investments will unlock a technology that will be part of our abundant future.

Technology as an enabler of abundance isn’t a new concept; technology enables us to produce more with less, and it allows us to streamline processes to create efficiencies and optimise resources to achieve reliability.

At the core of this week’s Emergence 2024 conference, hosted by Wholesale Investor and which we proudly support, is the thought-provoking idea that technology is shaping the trajectory and creating an ERA of Abundance.

But this isn’t just an idea. The deep technologies that we’re investing in are not small, incremental ideas; they’re science and engineering-based solutions that have the potential to reshape industries, unlock unrealised value, and fundamentally enable us to change the way we live, work, and interact. These technologies are truly transforming the concept of abundance into reality.

The role of venture capital in shifting the dial from scarcity to abundance is critical. Without the right capital and resources, these are just ideas waiting to make an impact. The challenge is moving these technologies out of the lab and commercialising them at a truly disruptive scale.

We’re definitely seeing a shift in the awareness amongst investors and entrepreneurs around the urgency of developing solutions that are capable of addressing our complex challenges. This is evident with deep tech claiming an increasingly significant share of global investment. Yet, traditional VC approaches often limit the ability to recognise and capitalise on merging opportunities due to their established investment strategies and risk assessment frameworks. To leverage the opportunity deep tech presents, it’s essential to have the right skills and level of expertise to navigate the convergence of secular growth themes and exponential technologies.

Over the past century, technology has been the key driver in transforming our future. It’s responsible for the huge progress we’ve made in solving some fairly large challenges - we’ve increased human lifespans, reduced childhood mortality, found new sources of food, created ways to produce more energy and mitigate the impact of climate change. But as our global population grows exponentially, the challenges of turning scarcity into abundance become more complex.

A couple of examples:

  • Cetogenix is a New Zealand-based climate tech company that is unlocking the unrealised potential of organic waste as a renewable carbon source at the scale required to support the transition away from fossil carbon. But more than that, Cetogenix’s technology addresses the significant environmental and economic challenges associated with managing organic waste. Designed to optimise value-added recovery from organic waste, Cetogenix's technology will deliver improved economic performance, environmental benefits and broader climate change and sustainability outcomes.
  • Another one of our portfolio companies, Vortex Power Systems is transforming low-grade waste heat, which is really hard for the industrial sector to dispose of, into clean energy. This is one of those technologies many people might classify as a 'crazy idea', but if turned into reality, it will have a significant impact on our future. Not only is Vortex Power Systems aiming to solve significant environmental and economic challenges, but they’re capturing value by generating more energy, reducing carbon emissions and improving production efficiencies.

As a deep tech venture capital company, our role, aside from providing specialist capital, is to facilitate an ecosystem that is conducive to collaboration and empowering innovative entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers to transform their breakthrough technology into tangible solutions that will deliver a future of abundance.