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Venture Capital

The Secret City Aiming To Be The Next Silicon Valley

August 28, 2023
x min read

There’s a new plan to build the next Silicon Valley and it’s being backed by some of the legends of venture capital.

Roughly eighty miles away from San Francisco, a formerly sleepy part of California known as Solano County is being completely reimagined.

What’s happening:

  • A holding company spearheaded by former Goldman Sachs trader Jan Sramek has been purchasing land in Solano County, California to build a new home base for startups and innovation
  • With more $800M in investment, the holding company has been buying up thousands acres of land in Solano County
  • The investor group is comprised of some of the largest legends in venture capital including Mike Moritz, Marc Andreesen, Ben Horowitz, Reid Hoffman, Patrick and John Collison, Nat Friedman, Daniel Gross and others

The big idea:

  • There is great excitement around the concept of reimagining Silicon Valley, as many have become frustrated with San Francisco due to an influx in crime, city politics and the cost of living
  • Further, Silicon Valley has become a crowded landscape to build large companies in. Some tech unicorns- most notably Google- have had clashes with local government over expanding their company headquarters

What’s next:

  • After years of secrecy, Flannery Associates- the holding company that has been buying up Solano County- has finally made contact with local politicians to discuss their plans, which includes high density housing and clean energy
  • Currently, there is no publicly available information on the timeline it will take to rezone the area, begin construction or advance the project beyond a concept

Going further:

  • This is not the first time Silicon Valley has had an idea for a new city. Y Combinator previously announced their “New Cities” project which aimed to reimagine how to build cities from the ground up. However, little has come from that to date
  • Peter Thiel also previously donated $500K to accelerate the development of a “floating city”, which aimed to exist outside of existing countries and be governed by its own laws. At this time, it is yet to be built.
  • Further, Peter Thiel also led a $15M Series A round into crypto startup Praxis, who is working on building a city that is both crypto friendly and focused on environmental technology. Paradigm, Balaji Srinivasan and the Winklessvos twins are other notable investors backing Praxis

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