Our Investment in Antares
When I sat down for coffee with Jordan Bramble seven months ago, I thought we were just catching up as friends. I had just written an article on Public Success and Jordan had reached out since he had also recently become a father. I was looking forward to hearing about how fatherhood impacted how he thought about work.
It turns out it had impacted both of us even more than the question of “How can I be great at work while also being great at home?” We both were thinking more deeply about the future our children were going to live in. Would it be one that was brighter and more prosperous and abundant than today or one that was significantly worse off?
Nuclear energy is one of the most beneficial technologies humanity has ever created, yet one we’ve refused to harness to its true potential. To understand why this is the case, you can read Julia DeWahl’s article on the topic or listen to the podcast series she’s co-hosting with Packy McCormick. Julia was one of the first ten employees at Opendoor and director of Starlink Business Operations at SpaceX before she began thinking about nuclear energy and its potential for profound impact on humanity.
The TL;DR synopsis of these articles is that:
We can reject de-growth, we can reject economic regression, and we can reject energy poverty.
We can choose growth, progress, and energy abundance for all while maintaining a thriving planet.
We’re still keeping many of the details about the company under wraps for now, but when Jordan told me his vision for a nuclear energy company that would help power our country and the free world for decades into the future, I knew we had to make an investment even though he didn’t have anything built yet, not a team or even a deck.
“Antares was founded on the belief that our nation’s military will benefit greatly from rapidly deployable nuclear energy. Microreactors are a high power density clean energy source that can untether our military from the burden of fossil fuel supply chains and power next-generation defense technologies.” — Antares Company Announcement
Long-term, this technology can expand to commercial use cases and power energy from the “Earth to the Asteroid Belt” as we become a multi-planetary, spacefaring civilization.
Beyond the company vision, Jordan is a mission-driven visionary who fits the characteristics I’ve outlined as personal founder favorites in previous articles like The Gigascale Founder and Founders of Paradox:
- First-principles thinker
- Builder at heart
- Idea-generative and curious
- Chip on their shoulder, previous swings haven’t been home runs yet
- Solving big problems on a multi-decade timescale
- Building full-stack solutions, not wedge products
- Right-tail of the bell curve
- Hyper-ambitious, but hyper-realistic
- Pioneers, not experts
Jordan is a checkmark on every one of these traits. I don’t think you need to be a 9/9 to be great, but it’s likely you will be if you are. And everything we’ve seen since we made the investment has backed this up: he’s brought on the aforementioned Julia DeWahl (!!!) as Co-Founder and President and hired a stellar team, while making great progress on an early technical design.
In some ways, I think the job of an early-stage investor is simple: will this be one of the most important companies of the year? Don’t invest unless the answer is yes. This job is a power-law business.
There are no certainties in life or for the future, but I believe Antares has the elements that could make it one of the most important companies of the 21st century, not just this year.
Humba Ventures is a new fund in the Susa family focused on deep tech and critical national sectors like defense and manufacturing. We are proud to be the first believers and have led the previously unannounced pre-seed for Antares, a company that sits at the intersection of the core themes of Humba. The team has gone on to raise seed funding from our friends at Caffeinated Capital, Uncommon Capital, Banter Capital, and others.
It’s an honor to work with Jordan and Julia on this important mission. We’re grateful to be along for the ride.
If you want to read more about Antares, look out for Jordan and Julia’s posts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Open jobs are posted here — feel free to email me if you’d like to have your application prioritized.
If you’re building a company that will resonate for decades and would like to partner with someone who believes the dream with you, email at pratyush [at] susaventures [dot] com or leo [at] susaventures [dot] com
Large sections of this post were originally posted at my Substack where I write about technology, investing, and decision-making.
Abundant Energy, from the Earth to the Asteroid Belt was originally published in Susa Ventures on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.