Calibrate Ventures garners $97m for second fund

Calibrate Fund II will invest in in early-stage AI and automation startups.

Calibrate Ventures has raised $97 million for its second fund. Calibrate Fund II will invest in in early-stage AI and automation startups.

PRESS RELEASE

PASADENA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Calibrate Ventures today announced $97 million in new funds to partner with exceptional founders building the next generation of leading AI and automation companies. Calibrate Fund II will build on the firm’s strong track record of investing in early-stage AI and automation startups rapidly transforming industries such as education, healthcare, logistics, law, financial services, manufacturing, and transportation.

“Raising a second fund is a testament to the visionary founders Calibrate has supported since we founded the firm in 2017. Every day, these entrepreneurs find new ways to deploy AI to improve the way we work, live, and communicate,” said Jason Schoettler, managing partner at Calibrate Ventures. “We’re honored that Calibrate’s limited partners also see the outsized potential in an automated future.”

Amid strong continued demand from limited partners, Calibrate Fund II is over 20% larger than the firm’s fully-invested first fund, which backed many notable AI and automation leaders such as Built Robotics, Embodied, FarmWise, Soft Robotics, Talage, and TruckLabs. Calibrate’s portfolio companies have attained significant scale and reached important milestones. Since 2018, the firm’s portfolio companies across the US have created over 530 jobs and raised a collective $425 million in financing. Calibrate has grown its own investment team in the last two years, welcoming three new venture partners, Aimée Leifer, Paolo Pirjanian, and Daniel Murray; hiring Carrie Zawistowski as vice president of portfolio finance; and bringing on strategic operators to provide value-added portfolio services.

Calibrate Ventures, founded by Managing Partners Kevin Dunlap and Jason Schoettler, invests in visionary founders leveraging advanced automation to unlock human and economic potential. Whether AI software or a robot, Calibrate defines automation as applying technology to a task, process, or workflow to make it safer, cheaper, faster, more reliable, or more sustainable. The firm invests early in Seed or Series A companies, then partners with founders all along their growth journeys by providing hands-on guidance for go-to-market, marketing and communications, business development, and sales strategy.

“We had our choice of venture capitalists when it came to raising our Series A, but we chose to work with Calibrate on the strength of Kevin and Jason’s deep expertise and networks in the AI sector,” said Nicole Clark, CEO and co-founder of Calibrate portfolio company Trellis. “The Calibrate team is always there to help us with business development, technology questions, team-building, and strategic planning, and they have introduced us to several high-quality candidates, customers, and partners.”

“Having a VC who understands robotics, AI, and manufacturing in our corner has been a real accelerant to our growth,” said Airyan Kabir, Co-Founder and CEO of GrayMatter Robotics, whose seed round Calibrate led earlier this year.

Before co-founding Calibrate, Dunlap and Schoettler spent two decades identifying and investing in disruptive technology companies, including Chegg, Dollar Shave Club, Ring, SolarCity, and ServiceMax, at family office investment firm Shea Ventures.

“Jason and I have been investing in AI and automation companies for over a decade, working closely with founders and taking active board roles to help them build their companies every step of the way,” said Kevin Dunlap, managing partner at Calibrate Ventures. “After seeing so many startups break out to work with corporate clients and bring their AI solutions to large global markets, we’re even more bullish today on these sectors, as automation has finally reached the mainstream in almost every industry.”

About Calibrate Ventures
Calibrate Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in the next industrial revolution, backing AI startups that accelerate automation across work, collaboration, and production. Founded in 2017, Calibrate partners with founders to help them build their companies from the ground-up, providing hands-on strategic mentoring and community-building. Calibrate has invested in startups such as Built Robotics, FarmWise, HealthTensor, Parallel Domain, and Trellis. For more information, visit www.calibratevc.com.