Air Street Capital's $121M Fund II backed by Spotify founder and Google DeepMind scientist

The London-based 'AI-first' $121M Fund II has been backed by high-profile angels including Spotify founder Daniel EK and Google DeepMind Chief Scientist Jeff Dean.
Air Street Capital's $121M Fund II backed by Spotify founder and Google DeepMind scientist

London-based VC Air Street Capital has announced its $121 million Fund II to back AI-first early-stage start-ups. In a statement from Nathan Benaich, founder and General Partner at Air Street Capital, he thanked angels from OpenAI, Google (Jeff Dean), DeepMind, Isomorphic Labs, Spotify (Daniel Ek), Recursion, Exscientia, InstaDeep/BioNTech, Hugging Face, Flexport and Wayve for their support.

Air Streat says that it has grown from a place of knowing ‘AI founders deserve an AI-native investor into a first fund of 19 AI-first technology and life science companies across North America and Europe’. These companies include Allcyte (acquired by Exscientia - its Nasdaq IPO was the largest European biotech IPO of all time), Valence Discovery (acquired Recursion Pharmaceuticals creating Valence Labs) Intenseye and V7.

‘Our ambition stretches beyond our immediate investments. We believe that everyone wins when the technology ecosystem is stronger and we intend to deepen that commitment,” said Benaich.  “As an investor and researcher, I’ve been a long-time proponent of openness and knowledge-sharing, and I’ve been inspired by how different members of the community build on each other’s work. Whether it’s through our international meet-ups, co-producing the State of AI Report, and supporting the RAAIS conference and the RAAIS Foundation, we’ve tried to capture this open-source ethos and make our own contributions,” he stated. 

The company will ‘remain committed to speaking out when powerful institutions or outdated policies hold the ecosystem back’.

“Whether this is campaigning for a better deal for university spinouts with, urging European governments to pursue a more ambitious R&D agenda, or pushing back against doomerism and regulatory capture - you can expect to hear even more from us in the coming years,” he added. 

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