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Monday, August 26, 2019

Moai Capital

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the employment of adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Many posts have discussed programs to provide them with training and experience.

A release from Moai Capital:
Brian Jacobs, co-founder of Emergence Capital, today announced the launch of Moai Capital, a $10 million seed capital fund focused on consumer, IoT, cloud and impact investing. Jacobs continues to serve as a general partner at Emergence, but is now focusing his investment activity on opportunities for Moai Capital.

Jacobs founded Moai Capital as a vehicle to invest his personal capital in startup companies outside of Emergence Capital’s focus.   "After focusing exclusively on SaaS and cloud investments at Emergence, I am enjoying the opportunity to expand into consumer and hardware again. Prior to Emergence, I invested in a variety of technology sectors, including consumer electronics, mobile services, semiconductors, and many others. My network of founders extends beyond the cloud," Jacobs said.  Recent Moai Capital investments include Kristalic, which is developing a “digital memory,” and AnimalBiome, a veterinary health company.
Moai Capital will allocate a portion of its capital to impact investing. Jacobs has a particular focus on autism employment.  "'Autism is a social disability that is reaching significant proportions around the world. Individuals with autism are challenged by a traditional interview-based hiring process. Companies are finding that workers on the autism spectrum are model employees with intense focus, strong dedication and very low turnover," Jacobs said.  Ultranauts, a quality engineering startup employing talent on the autism spectrum and an early Moai investment, just announced their Series A round led by SustainVC.


Moai Capital is named after the huge stone carvings on Easter Island. Jacobs, who studies stone carving and ancient stone structures, argues that most entrepreneurs face immovable obstacles that test their willpower and determination. The moai are a testament to the force of human will and, when completed, become the source of mana, a supernatural power to overcome adversity. All of the technologies that we take for granted today evolved from ancient engineers and others since then who started with nothing but their vision and determination to change the world around them.

Jacobs is incubating Moai Capital at Emergence Capital, with plans to establish a separate office for Moai Capital in San Mateo, California within the next few months.