HCVC is an early-stage fund dedicated to hardtech startups. We focus mostly on early-stage investments, from Pre-Seed to Series A.
HCVC also manages a global selective community called Hardware Club. It has offices in Paris and San Francisco with a global, interdisciplinary team.
Solving a hard technological problem using an interdisciplinary mix of technology and engineering. Hardtech startups face technological risk in their early days and need patient and supportive capital to help them go through R&D cycles. HCVC exists to bring this type of capital to the most ambitious hardtech founders.
We invest in early-stage companies that automate and digitize the physical world. We partner with companies building software- or hardware-based products (or a combination of both) as long as they are able to create long-term competitive advantages through technical defensibility. Members of Hardware Club and Hardware Club alumni are our first source of new investments, but we also invest in companies outside of Hardware Club. We invest as early as formation of the company and as late as Series A. Our check size ranges from $100k to $2.5m.
We can and do lead rounds (mostly at pre-seed or seed) or co-invest with other investors. Whether we lead or follow depends on several factors which include round size, geography and our team’s expertise on a specific market.
We tend to invest most in Europe and North America, but we are always excited to meet talented founders everywhere in the world.
For both investment and membership in Hardware Club, we only consider startups that are hardtech, or come from Hardware Club alumni. Out of respect for the collaborative nature of Hardware Club, we do not accept companies that we believe are competitive with members of Hardware Club.
We believe that the best hardtech companies can come from anywhere, which is why we are agnostic as to stage, geography, and B2B/B2C products. However, we expect you to have at least a functional prototype so that we know you’ve put in the work.
Success in hardtech requires the right kind of founder. We put just as much time into understanding how you and your team work together, how you face tough challenges, and whether you will benefit from and contribute to our community.
You should first apply to Hardware Club. The best way for us to get to know you is to evaluate you as a member of our community. You will have a better chance of being noticed when you’re raising money if you are already a member of Hardware Club.
Our process of evaluating companies for investment begins with the same conversation we would have with you as a prospective member of Hardware Club. We may have multiple conversations with you and introduce you to different people at HCVC. If these conversations go well, we will schedule a partner meeting, where all our partners get to know you better.
In the partner meeting, we will ask you to put together a short deck to present for 15-20 minutes followed by 25-30 minutes of questions. We like to keep these meetings focused on short, data-driven discussion.
We debrief during our regular team meetings. Because we are thorough, sometimes it can take us a few weeks to make a decision. Please be patient.
Hardtech startups face a unique path compared to other startups. They require a more robust network full of experts. We believe that Hardware Needs a Club, which is why we created Hardware Club.
Hardware Club is the largest and most selective community of hardtech startups worldwide. We select the best startups in these fields in the world and give them the network that will help them with the unique challenges they face.
We receive thousands of applications each year and accept about 7%.
Members of Hardware Club gain access to the most selective network of hardtech entrepreneurs and partnerships in the world. Members can reach other entrepreneurs in our community Slack, access hundreds of benefits and Hardware Club partners to assist with their challenges in our platform, and attend private events with VCs and corporate partners. We have more than 500 companies and over 1600 members.
Our investment thesis is more narrowly focused than our selection of members of Hardware Club, so less than 3% of Hardware Club members receive investment from HCVC.
Membership in Hardware Club is free. We do not take equity or charge fees.
We do however require members to be active in the community to keep their membership, and to follow our rules on privacy and disclosure.
Apply online. Treat your application like you are pitching to a VC, because you will be reviewed by the HCVC Investment Team. We will not review your application unless it includes a pitch deck.
Here are some ways you can impress us:
- We believe in the power of community, and we only want to accept people who also believe in it. Tell us how you fit into this vision.
- We value concision and clarity. Make your deck clear and well-designed.
- We love to see the cool things you design. Have an impressive demo ready if possible.
Our team reviews applications as they come in, but the process takes several weeks as we want to be thorough. If we’re interested in talking to you, we will reach out to set up a call or an in-person meeting. Please be patient.
Out of respect for the collaborative nature of Hardware Club, we do not accept companies that we believe are competitive with members of Hardware Club.
We respect the privacy of our members, and do not share their data without permission.
We have over 200 club partners who are committed to helping our members succeed, in categories like:
- Manufacturing Companies
- Retailers (Physical and Online)
- Distributors or Sales Agencies
- Strategic Corporate/Enterprise (Fortune 500)
- Prototyping Service Providers
- Supply Chain Services
- Logistics Service Providers
- PR Agencies
- Digital Marketing Agencies
- Industrial Design Agencies
- Engineering Design Agencies
- Legal and Patent Firms
We are selective about who we make a partner of Hardware Club. Please fill out this form and we can start a conversation.