While there is a growing global momentum to tackle climate change, with $130T in assets committed to net-zero by 2050, increasing government green subsidies, and some COP26 tailwinds, mature and existing technologies can only help achieve ~65% of these goals. We need investments into new technologies to help close the gap across sectors from the energy sector, the transportation sector, buildings, food systems, and industrial processes.
As discussed in a post on why we’re excited about climatetech moonshots as VC investments following a panel for Founders Forum Climate Tech 2021, at firstminute we believe venture capital is well positioned to play a major role in helping us to get to net zero. And we’re not alone: Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, believes the next 1000 unicorns will be involved in climatetech. In the first half of 2021 alone, $60B was invested in climatetech.
We are very excited about this rapidly growing space and deeply believe that investments in ClimateTech at the early stage can help the fight against climate change. So far, we’ve invested in six companies: Fork & Goode (lab grown meat, cofounded by Niya Gupta & Gabor Forgacs), VitroLabs (lab grown leather, co-founded by Ingvar Helgason & Dr. Dusko Ilic), Airly (air quality data monitoring, cofounded by Wiktor Warchlowsky and Aleksander Konior), True Circle (building automated recycling facilities, cofounded by Rishi Stocker & Eamon Jubbawy), Alcemy (software for predictive quality control in cement and concrete production, cofounded by Leopold Spenner and Robert Meyer), and Diferente (subscription box service for organically sourced produce from wasted foods, cofounded by Eduardo Petrelli and Saulo Marti).
And this is only the beginning. Every couple of months, we want to do deep dives into a few key sub-sectors in the climate space. This month, we looked at fintech, construction and buildings, and food systems.
Climate fintech is a cross-cutting sector covering the intersection of climate, finance and digital technology. It includes a range of financial product innovations, applications and platforms that serve as mediums between all stakeholders to catalyse decarbonisation. Incumbents in banking, insurance and finance tend to be slow to innovate, since their legacy technology infrastructure and business models don’t lend themselves to iteration and innovation.
Innovation in the climate transition requires financial sector innovation in areas from facilitating the shift of investment dollars toward renewable energy, tools for tracking emissions and changing business & customer behaviour, financing of new infrastructure, to management and mitigation of climate risks.
A wide range of business models across multiple verticals are emerging, including payments, banking, lending, investing, trading, risk analysis, insurtech, and regtech. Key players in this space include Wunder (raised $217M), Aspiration (raised $250M), EcoVadis (raised $236M), Jupiter Intelligence (raised $88M), Enfuce (raised €62M), Tomorrow (raised $29M), Powerhive (raised $44M, and accelerators and investors in the likes of New Energy Nexus, Sustaintech Xcelerator, Barclays Rise, CommerzVentures, Core Innovation capital, Union Square Ventures.