Even as industry-focused fund managers announce new multi-million dollar funds and more generalist investors and strategics jump into the fray, a team of the industry’s corporate vc’s hailing from Hilti and Cemex Ventures have announced a new sector-specific fund. This new fund, Zacua Ventures, is different because it is started with a global purview. The partners, Vivin Hegde, Mauricio Weiss, and Juan Nieto will each be focused on the startup ecosystem in a different region of the world. Venture Funds like Camber Creek, Zigg Capital and Fifth Wall have raised more than $2 billion in just the past year, and although nearly all of the management companies behind the publicly announced funds we identified are US-based, those funds are increasingly investing outside of the United States as well as at home. Zacua Ventures may be the first fund in our industry specifically chartered with a global mandate.
Although the fund is new, the partners have been working in the industry’s startup ecosystem for years. Based in the Bay Area, Hegde spent eight years at Hilti where he worked on technology initiatives including the Hilti-Trimble joint venture. He served as a board observer at Fieldwire, acquired by Hilti last year for $300 million and has also been an investor in numerous startups, including Trade Hounds, Ascend Manufacturing, and CONXAI. Meantime, Mauricio Weiss and Juan Nieto hail from Cemex Ventures, another of the industry’s most active corporate venture investors where they have also been deeply engaged in the industry’s innovation ecosystem, with Weiss based in Madrid and active in the startup community there and Nieto working in Shanghai City, China. Given their history and experience working with the industry’s startup ecosystem in different parts of the world, the three present a fascinating opportunity to identify and work with startups in the industry on a global scale.
As the sector has matured, and funds proliferate, we have seen funds focused on specific issues and topics such as climate and housing. We have seen regionally-focused funds, and now we see a global opportunity fund, of sorts. We also have seen funds with more focus on proptech or construction tech. Zacua, for example, has a particular focus on Productivity , Sustainability, Urbanization. As the sector continues to grow, we can expect to see even more segmentation and specialization of funds in the years to come.