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MIT-led VC firm raises $398m for third fund backing “tough tech”

MIT’s early-stage venture capital firm The Engine Ventures has raised $398m for its third fund, the largest to date, bringing the firm’s total AUM to more than $1bn. 

Fund III will invest in climate, human health and advanced systems technology. 

It exceeded its 2020 predecessor, which raised $250m, of which 10% was invested by neighbouring Harvard as a limited partner. At the time, it was the largest university-led venture capital fund in the US, according to Forbes. 

The firm was spun out of MIT in 2016 as The Engine and focuses on commercialisation in “tough tech”, which it describes as “a new asset class that translates breakthrough science and engineering from lab to market” in a press statement. 

The Engine Ventures has so far backed 56 companies. These include carbon capture technology developer Mantel; Mori, which develops water-based coatings to extend the shelf life of fresh food; Atlantic Quantum, which builds scalable quantum computers; and The Routing Company, which develops algorithms targeting public transport efficiency.

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