The 81 Collection

A Founders Fund for Hard Industries

a. Hello!

The change in hard industries is just getting started, and there is a 15:1 funding gap for hard businesses versus soft ones

We are a collection of entrepreneurs who brought our offline industries online

Sewing Machine

B.  Why?



Problem

We built companies in hard industries, and it was lonely when we started. Most seed venture capitalists said our industries were too low margin, capital intensive, and difficult to scale. We were outsiders.

Now, we can look back at the $7 billion of value created and the 4,000 employees whose financial trajectory we altered. The same qualities that made our businesses unattractive at seed stage are now our greatest strengths.

Our entrenched hardware is a barrier to entry, our revenue is inextricably tied to our customer’s daily needs, and our loyal employees who once made $20 per hour now make $100K per year.

We chose the harder path, built the right kind of businesses, and improved America.

Solution

We seek to back entrepreneurs transforming boring trades, hard work, unpleasant spaces, and structural inequity. Businesses in these industries still attract less seed funding at lower valuations because most believe these industries are too low margin, capital intensive, difficult to scale, or full of red tape, respectively.

However, this narrative will soon flip. Automation, A/I, and smart hardware will expand margins and accelerate growth. High growth and high margin start-ups will disrupt low-growth and low-margin industries.

As we look around, 19% of GDP attracts more than 50% of venture capital activity. 81% of the U.S. GDP is starved of innovation. Tackle a real, often very difficult, problem and know that we exist to lighten your load.

C. Theses

1. Boring Services

"Too Low Margin"

The world doesn’t need another social media app.

We still need to figure out recycling, improve nursing homes, and give small businesses a chance.

2. Hard Work

"Too Capital Intensive"

Blue collar industries have been left out of the digital revolution.

Computing power can now materially impact our physical world.  Hardware is actually smart, finally.

3. Unpleasant Spaces

"Too Resistant to Change"

58% of Americans work in physical spaces. These spaces need to embrace technology, especially after COVID.

Capable devices are getting smaller and smaller.  That means we can fabricate physical spaces to be more impactful in fulfilling our social nature.

4. Inequitable Structures

"Too Much Red Tape"

Many great Americans are still blocked from opportunities.

COVID-19 shook legacy infrastructure and we will back companies democratizing access and eliminating information asymmetry.

e. The Collective

Our operator-investor community

Coming Soon

We have a unique fund structure that catalyzes this community.

F. Contact us

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