Prime Movers Lab raises $245m for third fund targeting deep tech

The firms investors reportedly include the University of Wyoming, hedge fund managers Bill Ackman and Dmitry Balyasny and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale

Prime Movers Lab, a Wyoming-based venture capital firm focused on scientific start-ups, has raised $245 million for its third early-stage fund.

The firm did not disclose the names of investors, but LPs in its first two funds include the University of Wyoming, the Lerner Family Office and individuals such as Bill Ackman, founder and CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management; Dmitry Balyasny, founder of hedge fund Balyasny Asset Management; and Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir (Nasdaq: PLTR) and managing partner of 8VC, according to a February 2021 report by Institutional Investor.

Prime Movers, based in the ski resort town of Jackson, started raising Fund III in January 2022 with a target of $250 million, according to regulatory filings. As of January of this year, it had closed on $237.5 million from 146 investors, for an average of $1.63 million, according to a Reg D filing.

Founded in 2018, the firm now has more than $1.2 billion in assets under management. It closed on $100 million for its debut fund, $245 million for Fund II, tens of millions for several special purpose vehicles, and last year it raised $500 million for its first growth fund, according to Venture Capital Journal research.

“Too many venture capital investors have been chasing web3 and generative AI start-ups over the last 18 months, leading to ridiculous valuations,” founder and general partner Dakin Sloss said in a statement. “With Prime Movers Lab Fund III, we are focused on partnering with early-stage founders who are building must-have solutions for the world’s biggest problems. An increasingly aging population combined with high demand for sustainable energy is changing the way we live, so we need to invest in solutions to these mission-critical challenges.”

Fund III’s investments include Quantum Space, which is developing infrastructure required to travel through deep space, Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals, which is working on mental health therapeutics.