Climate VC to invest £35m in overlooked climate tech start-ups

Investments to be made in 120 start-ups with the highest potential impact on climate change

A new climate change VC has launched to make a “gigatonne scale impact on climate change”.

Climate VC is looking to invest £35m in 120 early-stage, UK-based start-ups over the next three years, with £10m of that to be spent in year one.

The new climate tech investor, founded by AI entrepreneurs and supported by an advisory board which includes a Greenpeace board director and an executive from Google, is focused on backing overlooked start-ups with the potential to collectively remove or replace 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (CO2e) over a decade. The fund, Potential Climate Fund 1, was raised from individual and institutional UK-based LPs.

The VC fund has already made its first pair of investments.  Renewable energy start-up Global OTEC utilises the temperature difference between warm surface water and cold deep water to produce electricity for tropical island nations, while Tierra Foods produces sustainable ingredients from Central America while restoring lost rainforest.

The investors aim to see at least 10 of these investments become full-scale, each removing 10 megatonnes of CO2e a year for a decade to cumulatively have a gigatonne impact on climate change by the mid-2030s.

Climate VC founder Peet Denny, said: “We’re backing climate change innovators that might have been overlooked by other investors but whose cutting-edge ventures can be deployed effectively in markets with the greatest potential for impacting emissions. Some will reach impact quickly; some will need a more patient timeline.

“Start-ups that most excite us are those for whom generating revenue means dramatically reducing carbon from being emitted in their sector. Collectively, every participant in the Climate VC must share a common goal: to accelerate innovation with measurable, direct global impact to help save the planet and improve life for every person living on it.”

Marta Krupinska, a member of Climate VC’s advisory board, added: “The impetus among VC investors to transform what used to be lip service into genuine investment-backed action against climate change is greater than ever.

“Climate VC looks beyond the immediate problem of how to make a venture work and focuses on what the impact would be if that venture were viable. That’s a hugely exciting position to start from at a point in the climate crisis where we need more leaps of faith from committed experts.

“Reducing global CO2e emissions by one gigatonne won’t reverse climate change on its own. But the impact of doing it with a portfolio of fledgling start-ups will be enormous. What it’s doing should incite and excite others to think similarly and move in the same direction.”

Further reading

Why your business should pivot to the green economic recovery 

Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...