Expanding on the REMUS Thesis

‘Singularity’ by Ashley Zelinskie

At REMUS, I’m excited to collaboratively formulate our investment theses and partner closely with founders to help them build their companies. We are evolving as a firm to become more audacious and agile, which will drive our abilities to work with visionary companies.

I invest in early-stage enterprise software at REMUS, particularly those companies selling into large vertical US markets or commercializing research from top research labs. I approach investments by defaulting to a high degree of skepticism and attempt to gain conviction around the primary risks. This skepticism is rooted in our overarching intention to partner with companies that will have a massive impact on the world. Very few startups ever accomplish that.

I’m trained as an engineer, having studied computer science at MIT and built software at startups, which inclines me to examine investments partly through an engineering lens. I tend to focus on four key things when evaluating a startup: the founders, the story of the company, the path to getting really big, and the defensibility.

A certain intersection of characteristics will make me incredibly excited about a founder. It’s the combination of being deeply technical and able to solve hard engineering problems, the ability to tell a powerful story that’s often rooted in contrarian instincts, and the desire to create a massive business. This triad of traits is exceptionally rare.

I’m most interested in companies building software that will be the core infrastructure that large enterprise customers will rely on. Technology that’ll serve as the rails for the end-to-end services that these enterprise customers provide for the next decade or two.

I’m a generalist, but there are a few key verticals which I’m thematically focused on: healthcare, construction, agriculture, and financial services. These are all large, traditional industries where technological innovation is often painfully slow to penetrate. And although I concentrate on enterprise investing, I opportunistically invest in consumer software as well.

My investment interests are heterogeneous and suspect to change, but here’s a snapshot of what I’m currently spending most of my attention on.

Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the largest and most complex markets in the US with an intricate incentive structure including government and commercial payers, providers, and patients. Better software and novel technology can provide significant leverage to save lives by improving patient outcomes and decreasing costs.

I’m keen on the following areas:

Construction

Creating large, technically advanced buildings has always been a sign of the engineering prowess of a society and something that inspires people, but the industry as a whole is fraught with inefficiency. Some of the ideas I’m looking at are:

Agriculture

One of society’s most vital industries has historically experienced a slow pace of technological adoption. Today, fewer and fewer young Americans are becoming farmers and older knowledge workers are aging out. The labor problem is evident, expensive, and largely mechanical, positioning robotic solutions to play a powerful role in this market. Large scale consolidation has also been the trend giving rise to the opportunity for software to optimize on a large scale. I’m thinking about:

Financial Services

Companies that are building the API platforms that’ll serve as the financial infrastructure for banking, insurance, and payments — either for large traditional financial institutions or to integrate into other horizontal software products are becoming increasingly necessary. I’m keen on:

If you’re a founder, investor, or customer and this resonates with you, please feel free to reach out. As an investor trying to figure out how technology will be shaping the future, the best thing I can do is listen, as carefully as I can.

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