To our future entrepreneurs...

...Hello World

We – Nan, Adam, and Zavain – spent the last decade honing our investment instincts and philosophies at the cutting edge of life sciences and technology as General Partners at Obvious Ventures and Lux Capital. We saw first hand these two compounding disciplines and stitched together a new ilk of enterprise alongside many of the planet’s greatest scientists, technologists, and founders. We saw a radical transformation at both poles of practice and entered the early innings of a new age where biotech platforms generated petabytes of rich biological data, where the leading large pharma and life science academic institutions bolstered their faculty with famed computer scientists, and where iconic tech giants built wet bench capabilities to attack biology's most vexing problems. At the frontiers of the recent-possible we saw the hidden truth in plain sight: it wasn’t a question of if or when the realms of technology and life sciences would collide. They already had.

“ wasn’t a question of if or when the realms of technology and life sciences would collide. They already had.”

We simultaneously bore witness to a growing gap between visionary builders and outdated venture models – capital increasingly serving as a lagging indicator, not forcing function, of fundamental innovation. Whereas leading practitioners and company builders were increasingly multilingual and fluent across the languages of biology, chemistry, software, hardware, and ML, capital markets remained dichotomous and reflective of a prior era: siloed disciplines centering around tech or biotech, software platforms or molecular assets. In March 2022 we decided to take the entrepreneurial leap and found Dimension, a de novo firm singularly focused at the interface of technology and the life sciences. We did so with full conviction that this interface was in desperate need of a new form of investment firm: one well steeped and sophisticated within the life sciences yet also equally progressive and fluent within technology. A firm to meet and converse in the multitude of languages that you - our future entrepreneur - now hold as native.

We believe the long-term potential of technology and science is independent from market cycles.

For decades industry has held zero sum tension between the two disciplines. Core to our conviction is a view that the appropriate weaving of the two will unlock a multitude of transformative life science organizations, creating and capturing value in the most staid of capital markets while simultaneously demonstrating the increasing economies of scale and productivity now commonplace in adjacent sectors now infused by technology. The practice of biology, once a paradigm of chance readouts from one-off experiments, is itself evolving into a mechanized, data-centric pursuit. Every single piece of equipment and assay in the lab is following Moore’s law-like curves in cost, scale, fidelity, and reproducibility.

This unstoppable march of innovative molecular tools and lab automation systems has turned today's modern lab into an industrialized experiment factory - generating a factor of data a decade ago inaccessible, two decades ago unimaginable. We’ve come a long way from the billion dollar genome - just a fraction of that capital today grants access to actionable proprietary insights across genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and beyond. Rich, expansive, interrelatable, and built-per-spec data has become the third foundational pillar - biology, chemistry, data - of the modern biotech.

This data is replacing the clickstream data of yore as the most compelling application for the software infrastructure and machine learning rails developed contemporaneously by Silicon Valley. The distributed infrastructure built to serve consumers increasingly alarmingly targeted Instagram ads now indexes the petabytes of high-throughput multi-omic data coming from labs, biotech, and pharma. The LLMs built to translate English to French now unearth the underlying linguistic grammars of amino acid “words” to translate protein sequence to molecular function. The computer vision models famously trained to classify cats on the web now diagnose with extreme precision and record scale disease states of individual cells and even unearth the beautifully complex pathways of intracellular molecular movements. We are not alone in this recognition: if math is the language presented in our quest to understand physics, machine learning may very well be the mother tongue of biological systems to articulate the complexity of emerged systems phenomena.

“ ...if math is the language presented in our quest to understand physics, machine learning may very well be the mother tongue of biological systems...”

In pharma and biotech the strategic imperatives behind data and software are now mid-flight from begrudgingly budgeted cost centers to the primary modes of defensibility, value creation, and value capture. Within the decade this seemingly innocuous shift will become existential table stakes at the highest executive levels, for companies big and small - for upstarts and large pharma alike. Tomorrow’s biotech will no longer be formed by a team of two: a biologist and a chemist, but instead a team of three: a biologist, chemist, and computer scientist.

“ Tomorrow’s biotech will no longer be formed by a team of two: a biologist and a chemist, but instead a team of three: a biologist, chemist, and computer scientist.”

A generational confluence of advances in software, hardware, machine learning and lab science have created prime conditions for a leap forward in life science capability and productivity. The digitization of life sciences will transform the entire end-to-end journey of medicines: from the Eureka moment of biological discovery, to lab tools, instruments and software, to clinical development, to regulatory interface, and ultimately to manufacturing and commercialization. We founded Dimension to partner with the very best entrepreneurs working across this continuum while aspiring to become a beacon and lighthouse for the greater and emerging ecosystem.

“ We founded Dimension to partner with the very best entrepreneurs working across this continuum while aspiring to become a beacon and lighthouse for the greater and emerging ecosystem.”

If we're right, we are on the precipice of a radical shift in industry akin to the internet in 1995 or the cloud in 2007. Partnering with, building, and stewarding this next-generation of companies with you will have potential to mobilize massive impact for humanity, upend industry, and create enormous wealth. Doing so will require running head on against the status quo and rewriting prior art in investment underwriting, company operations, team construction, and go-to-market models. It will necessitate reimagining how these disciplines weave into complex organizational fabrics - quiltworks heretofore never seen.

We exist to close the gap between the future and the present.

Today we announce the launch and close of Dimension I: a $350,000,000 venture vehicle to meet you – the leading entrepreneur – at the earliest crucible moments of your company formation and life cycle. The fund will write lead checks into early stage rounds across a balanced collective of techfluent bio-native founders building atop the intrinsically overlapping manifolds of life sciences and technology.

In raising Dimension I our conviction has only grown, our eyes widened by the opportunity set ahead of us. Across every level of the capital stack we’ve seen just how cottage the ecosystem of key players in biotech — the tip of the iceberg for future medicines and healthcare — has become as three decades of the industry’s underlying performance has far paled in comparison to the compounding value creation and capture from cascading waves of technological innovation from our contemporaries in Silicon Valley. The gap between what today’s most ambitious entrepreneurs merit and what the industry offers cannot be more glaring, more black and white, more palpable.

Conventional dogma pushes primary assets into the clinic in a race-to-IPO at the cost of simultaneously nurturing emerging platforms - forgoing a next generation of biotechs compounding like tech companies: with greater efficiency, accuracy, and velocity over time. Network effects and data moats in tech are well established and accepted. Within the “body politic” of life sciences the mere mention of them is often scoffed at and ridiculed. Despite what we see as ground truth from the last decade of scientific breakthroughs, conversations in academic halls, and journal publications; and despite what we know of how to build compounding platforms from tech, in this industry our view is held at the extreme margins by few and far between. At the end of a 15 year bull run culminating in historic records of capital overabundance, this is one of the last few domains and strategies where you, and we, are both entrepreneur and investor contrarians.

Alongside you, our future entrepreneur, we have a chance to set the primitives, goal posts, and KPIs for how this next generation of company will be built and measured. Analogous to the cloud in 2007 when investors confused "cloud" with "just another pipe for the delivery of the same software to the same customers", today’s buyside participants all too often liken "technology" as "bolt-on toys for nerds in academia and early discovery”, all the while missing - as with the cloud - that entrepreneurs appropriately wielding these technologies at scale will rewrite the underwriting axioms for the entirety of industry. For you - the leading practitioners - the techno-scientific proof is already here, the constituent building blocks exist today, and it now becomes our collective task to write and execute the playbooks.

We stand with full awareness that the launch of Dimension sits amidst the first venture bear trough in 15 years. The rising tides of myopic short-termism in capital markets serve to give us greater urgency to deliver on our mission to build a long-term and visionary partner for the most ambitious founders endeavoring to build the future of life science. While the same flush capital that once ballooned prices and lowered barriers to entry has in most regards vanished, we believe that the pace of fundamental technology and science invention is agnostic, even acyclical, to capital markets. We don’t take the ability to support you for granted. Dimension’s limited partners represent the planet’s leading endowments, foundations, pensions, advisors, families, and entrepreneurs. As most have pulled back from the asset class - afraid to catch the proverbial “falling knife”, Dimension is fortunate to have found this cadre of thematically aligned allocators on day zero. They are long term in philosophy, optimistic in instinct, and aligned to find and support you.

To our future entrepreneur, we may not yet know each other – thank you for your trust in us. As our established peers rightly so triage and bridge existing portfolio companies, hydrating the hangover of a decade’s worth of cheap capital and loose diligence, our focus will be — in totality — on partnering and supporting you, the highest potential founder at the earliest stage. Together planting seeds in the fertile forest soil under the ashes of a recent and resetting fire.

Zavain Dar
Nan Li
Adam Goulburn, PhD