About Firelake

While other firms look to invest in the tried-and-true, we seek out the disruptive. The ideas everyone else writes off as outrageous or impossible. The ones most venture capitalists would consider weird. We take the so-called wild and crazy ideas and develop them into intelligent, scalable solutions.

We are early-stage investors with a long-term investment horizon. We aim to solve our world’s most pressing problems through transformational, rather than incremental, change. That’s why we invested in areas where we believe new technologies or even an early-stage idea can significantly change the economics of current markets: areas like energy, water, material sciences, and global supply chains. However, we are no longer making new investments.

A collaborative investment model

Our investment model differs from that of a traditional venture capital firm. We choose to cooperate and co-invest with large existing firms, rather than compete with them for available opportunities.

Partnering with larger firms allows us to maintain our small and nimble investment culture, while simultaneously providing our portfolio access to additional sources of capital and expertise needed to help our companies succeed, during every stage of their growth.

We also choose to take a smaller stake in a larger porttfolio of investments. This, combined with diversification across industries, gives us a broader investment mix and lowers our overall portfolio volatility.

We take board seats or observer seats in our largest positions in order to provide hands-on support to the companies. We have an established network of support services and actively recruit management executives and independent board members. We’ve found that our participatory style of investing is largely valued by entrepreneurs and other venture capitalists.

Many of the companies in which we invest come from our personal networks that we’ve built through years of working in our industries of interest. We also regularly engage with professionals in science and economics to understand future markets and trends, which leads us to investment sources outside the traditional venture channels.

Why we see the future as being so bright

A recent United Nations report projects that world population will reach 10 billion people by 2100. The relentless desire for improved living standards could add 1.8 billion people to the global middle class in the next decade. These factors will boost demand for many commodities, especially superior goods, and will require a massive expansion of infrastructure.

This increased demand will necessitate an increased supply of energy. Increased demand for fish and meats will require more protein feeds, grains, and fertilizers. Fabrication of buildings, transportation networks, electronics and consumer goods will consume more metals, fuels, and component products of all types.

Existing technology, which relies on 20th century assumptions of cheap, abundant fossil fuels and a smaller middle class, simply cannot handle the demands of the future.

Fortunately, a new cycle is underway that relies on more sustainable sources of energy. The costs of these new technologies are rapidly declining as they reach scale and processes become more efficient. In many market segments, these costs will fall below those of incumbent technologies in the next few years, fueling hyper-growth. Success will favor those familiar with the risks of deploying new technology.

What we look for

We look for companies that are poised to capture and develop the opportunities mentioned above and experience hyper-growth without supply constraints or significant external intervention. We help these companies become cost leaders in their markets.

At Firelake, we don’t follow the herd. Instead, we invest in emerging, forward-thinking companies, help them grow, and then introduce them to our extensive network. So often times, the herd follows us – as our investments in solar, carbon, and global food supply have shown.

Explore our current portfolio to get a feel for the types of companies we’ve worked with.

Our Portfolio