New Climate VC launches impact-first investment strategy to fund Net Zero founders

Climate protection investor Climate VC today launched its mission to make a gigatonne-scale impact on climate change over the next decade, influencing a sea change in how the venture capital sector approaches climate investing.

Investing in start-ups across the UK, Climate VC is a specialist climate technology investor focused on finding and backing climate change start-ups that may have been overlooked by other VCs. Climate VC wants to break the traditional VC approach to climate innovation by giving as much importance to a company’s climate impact as to commercial returns.

Climate VC is led by Peet Denny*, Simrun Basuta* and Andrea Emanuelli*, a team of AI and advanced technology specialists, operators and founders with over two decades of experience building and succeeding start-ups. Climate VC was backed by series founder and business angel Doug Scott.

Peet Denny, founding partner of Climate VC, comments: “Our investment strategy is multi-faceted but laser-focused in its ambitions. We support climate change innovators who may have been overlooked by other investors, but whose cutting-edge ventures can be deployed effectively in markets with the greatest potential to impact emissions. Some will make impact quickly, others will need a more patient schedule, and while we put impact first, we’re still investors seeking returns. Startups that excite us the most are those for whom generating revenue means drastically reducing carbon emissions in their sector. All Climate VC participants must work together towards a common goal: to accelerate innovation with measurable, direct global impact, to help save the planet and improve the lives of everyone who lives on it.”

Climate VC will raise funds from individual and institutional UK-based LPs and support 100-120 UK-based early-stage climate start-ups over a three-year period. Investors aim for at least 10 of these investments to become full-fledged successes, each removing 10 megatons of CO2e per year for a decade and cumulatively generating a gigatonne impact on climate change mitigation by the mid-2030s.

Ed Gillespie, member of Climate VC’s Impact Advisory Board and board member of Greenpeace, comments: “The climate crisis is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, but also the greatest opportunity to reshape our civilization. The world currently emits around 50 gigatonnes of CO2e annually*. By investing in some of the most inventive and creative ways the human brain can think of to reduce that number by 2% through VC investments – either removing emissions from the atmosphere or preventing them from being emitted in the first place Climate VC cause a gigatonne-scale impact.”

Climate VC’s initial investments include Global OTEC – founded by Dan Grech – an affordable, clean baseload power source for tropical island nations that uses the temperature difference between warm surface water and cold deep water to generate electricity. It’s also investing in Tierra Foods — founded by Marcela Flores and Angela Newton — which is expanding agroforestry in Latin America, producing sustainable and scalable ingredients while restoring lost rainforest.

The Climate VC team is supported by an active Impact Advisory Board, which reviews potential investments before they are presented to the investor’s Investment Committee and uses its collective expertise to advise on each start-up’s likely long-term environmental impact . The board includes a Greenpeace board member, a senior Google executive, and environmental and climate protection advisers to the Department of Defense.

Marta Krupinska, member of Climate VC’s Impact Advisory Board and leader of Google for Startups, adds: “The momentum among VC investors to turn lip service into real investment-backed action on climate change is stronger than ever. What sets Climate VC apart from other seed investors is their focus on creating real, measurable carbon impacts alongside commercial benefits for investors. Climate VC looks beyond the immediate problem of how a business operates and focuses on what the impact would be if that business were profitable. This is an extremely exciting starting position at a point in the climate crisis where we need more trust from dedicated experts. Reducing global CO2e emissions by one gigaton alone will not reverse climate change. But the impact with a portfolio of young startups will be huge. What it does should inspire and inspire others to think alike and move in the same direction.”

The team aims to complete 7 to 10 investments per quarter. The Fund has a pipeline of planned investments and intends to announce its next investments in April.

Climate VC operates a rolling fundraising model and expects to double the funds raised each quarter, eventually raising over £35m by 2025. All companies are EIS eligible and investors are also offered strategic co-investment opportunities. New Climate VC launches impact-first investment strategy to fund Net Zero founders

Fry Electronics Team

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