In 2015, Eclipse was founded with a mission to power the Industrial Evolution by partnering with entrepreneurs building digitally native companies to make old-line industries more efficient, resilient, and profitable. This includes bedrock sectors of our economy, such as manufacturing, logistics and supply chain, transportation, construction and healthcare, as well as more modern verticals like advance compute, cyber-defense, and energy and electrification. The need to digitize the real economy and legacy industries is no longer an option. We are now at an inflection point in the Industrial Evolution of our essential industries — this is the exact moment to rebuild and reinvest in them, which is why the Eclipse Team is excited to announce our first Early Growth Fund of $510M. This fund complements our $500M Early-Stage Fund closed earlier this year.
Supply chain bottlenecks are crippling the world’s economy, our infrastructure is crumbling around us, and the brittleness of our manufacturing system has never been more apparent. The necessity to transform these industries and the rest of the real economy is the biggest opportunity in modern history. In fact, the U.S. economy operates at only 18% of its digital potential. Digital technology still hasn’t penetrated much of the everyday work performed by the labor force, which means there is an enormous gap that must be bridged to dramatically improve the world’s biggest industries.
While many people had their heads in the cloud (and other forms of digital technologies), the Eclipse Team remained planted in the physical world and recognized this chasm six years ago. It has been our north star to modernize these analog sectors ever since. As the pandemic ravaged our world over the past 18 months — and the imminent threat of our decaying old-line industries startled the world — it became very clear Eclipse is in a unique position to help startups in the “real economy” do more than just build businesses, they could change the way entire industries operate.
And while we started as an early-stage investor, since launching Eclipse, we have witnessed a familiar pattern for companies approaching the Series B milestone — the later-stage investors don’t know how to evaluate them. Traditional growth capital investors have an exceptional playbook for underwriting software and SaaS companies, but the metrics in old-line industries are simply different. However, judging by their enthusiasm at the next stage, these investors like the space.
Eclipse knows physical industries, and our investment philosophy is rooted in high conviction and high involvement. We are focused on these “highs” because of our operating backgrounds and our commitment to thematic investing. As operators, our team has built and scaled successful companies in the real economy, such as Tesla, Apple, Microsoft, Samsara, Misfit, Flex, Intel, SunPower, and more. We have the playbook, the domain expertise and connections to help promising early-stage startups transition to become high-performance, generational companies. So, regardless of whether you’re a founder ready to ideate or accelerate in an old-line industry, we can help.
The reality is that Early Growth investing is not a new strategy for Eclipse. We have been identifying potential opportunities within our own portfolio and leveraging this approach over the last three and half years in the form of individual SPVs — or special purpose vehicles — where we partnered with our Limited Partners to accelerate and compound capital into our best performing companies. Having developed a process for this type of investing, we felt it was time to institutionalize the activity. We believed we built the right muscle to put this compounding capital approach into a dedicated fund.
When we first started Eclipse, we knew there was a compelling opportunity in early-stage, old line industries. However, the pandemic was a major catalyst for a massive transformation across the board that is pushing these full-stack businesses to evolve. The Eclipse team is dedicated to helping these industries embrace disruption before they become obsolete. We are the firm to power these industries and believe it’s the best time in history to (re)invest in them.
We’ve worked hard with our founders to lead the Industrial Evolution and now we’re forging its future.
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