Is quantum mechanics the next VC frontier?December 11, 2012: 2:06 PM ET
New venture firm seeks to find material science startups.
FORTUNE -- Venture capitalists are charged with being on the cutting edge of new technologies, and finding the entrepreneurs who can best commercialize them. But Serguei Kouzmine thinks that too few VCs have paid attention to the material sciences that enable the next generation of software and hardware companies, and has formed a new firm to fill the gap.
"With all of this hype over the Internet and social media, the general public overlooks that software can only go so far as the hardware allows," Kouzmine explains. "And if you look at the hardware, all of the gains so far have been about how to make it smaller and smaller and smaller. But you can't go smaller forever, because you start to hit natural limits like the quantum nature of our universe or energy density concentration. So I think a revolution is coming, and with that will be a new class of winners."
Kouzmine's new shop is called Quantum Wave Fund, and will focus on companies developing technologies suitable for quantum technologies (i.e., tech at the sub-atomic level). It is seeking to raise $100 million for its debut fund, with $30 million already in hand (mostly from Kouzmine and his partners). The firm is headquartered in Boston, with an additional office in Moscow.
Quantum Wave has not yet done its first deals, but Kouzmine reports a hearty pipeline. "We're getting pretty close to one," he says.
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