Climentum launches €150 million climate fund to support sustainability startups

Most individuals agree that the world must get up and discover options to the local weather disaster. What’s much less universally agreed is the easiest way to do it.

Some folks argue that the answer to carbon-intensive air journey is much less flying and fewer enterprise journeys. That is not the view of Yoann Berno, normal associate of Climentum, a brand new European enterprise capital agency that hopes to “considerably scale back” carbon dioxide emissions and speed up Europe’s inexperienced transition.

“Everybody needs to restrict air journey, however we will not do it like that,” he says. “It’s the manner we conduct enterprise in the present day, now we have a need to journey and expertise life. It’s unpressurised.”

That is why Climentum – which in the present day publicizes the primary closing of a fund concentrating on €150 million (however with out revealing the precise quantity raised) – is ready to spend money on next-generation applied sciences similar to hydrogen plane, which Perno believes might hit business viability in 5 years ( If a number of the startups they’re speaking to are to be believed).

It might be, in contrast to practically Each different tech investorDon’t spend money on software program.

We keep away from software program medicine

“Software program is a sort of drug… As an business, enterprise capital has gained a lot by investing in software program — the straightforward stuff — that we sort of get hooked on it,” says Perno. Which means Climentum is not going to spend money on some widespread local weather know-how options similar to carbon accounting software program. “We’re searching for one thing that has a extremely huge direct influence, so it’s a must to go to the atomic degree. You need to transfer issues. You need to shake issues up.”

Climentum will spend money on deeptech {hardware} (“bodily stuff”), with a bias in the direction of B2B. One of many startups that the corporate plans to spend money on (however is just not but accomplished) might obtain the sustainable recycling of fiberglass wind turbine blades — one thing that, Till nowwas not attainable on a big scale.

Perno says the fund will look to spend money on new applied sciences like this moderately than attempting to hurry up local weather know-how already in use.

“that they [next-generation hardware startups] They’re more likely to turn out to be unicorns in a short time.”

“Our position is to not finance wind or photo voltaic power. However our position is to start out accelerating the deployment of inexperienced hydrogen, modular nuclear reactors, and even fusion reactors, and likewise GeothermalAnd so forth,” he says.

Perno believes that this thesis represents a return to the unique rules of enterprise capital, which had been “created to spend money on issues which can be actually dangerous and essential” and may “actually change the lifetime of society.”

He additionally says that that is extra probably to supply traders with higher returns than investing in additional established know-how: “They [next-generation hardware startups] They’re extra more likely to turn out to be unicorns tremendous quick and provides your a reimbursement greater than your subsequent software program or cellular app.”


Climentum will focus its consideration on the six sectors which can be “the world’s highest emissions”:

  • subsequent era renewable power sources;
  • meals and agriculture;
  • Trade and Manufacturing
  • Buildings and structure.
  • transportation and mobility;
  • waste and supplies.

And LPs within the field do not have to simply take the phrase Climentum. The fund devised one thing it calls “double carry,” that means that companions will solely obtain a share of the portfolio’s income if it may be demonstrated that the businesses they spend money on have collectively contributed to a sure carbon-reduction goal degree over a specified time frame. particular timeframe.

Perno says he cannot detect the precise goal, however he says there are greater than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is equal to greater than 215,000 gasoline vehicles pushed for a 12 months.

Climentum is just not the primary European VC to set itself such a purpose – Berlin-based Revent has Comparable construction is in place.

The fund additionally has the best score beneath the European Union New Sustainable Finance RulesAnd the Article 9 classification. Which means Climentum must observe strict guidelines on the way it measures the sustainability KPIs of the startups it helps earlier than, throughout and after investing.

This has turn out to be, based on Brno, a broadly understood calling card for LPs, which he believes will turn out to be the underside line for local weather funds: “They [LPs] Perceive that Article 9 is the best degree of accountability relating to CO2 targets. It’s going to turn out to be increasingly more the norm.”

good timing?

Perno provides that it wasn’t straightforward to wrap up the primary tech fund closures in the course of the onset of the downturn, however he believes the timing could not be higher for local weather know-how.

He says microentrepreneurs who do not normally spend money on know-how – similar to conventional banks and large conglomerates – are beginning to help local weather innovation.

“2030 is absolutely the primary half break, if you happen to do not make drastic modifications to your provide chains […] you are in bother”

Berno thinks that is partly as a consequence of the truth that EU Carbon Neutrality Plan It’s approaching its first achievement in 2030: lowering CO2 emissions by 55%. And whereas it is not legally binding, many giant firms have staked their fame on staying in keeping with the roadmap.

“Globally, a lot of the mega conglomerates have set actually formidable objectives,” he says. “2030 is absolutely half the time, if you have not made drastic modifications in your provide chains, the way in which you eat and the way in which you import, you are in bother.”

Climentum believes this may encourage many giant organizations to search for acquisitions in local weather know-how, as a method to get them to work on their very own objectives.

On condition that the IPO could also be Not the easiest way For startups and growth within the coming years, it would not appear to be a nasty plan for Climentum to get a strong return for its traders.

Tim Smith is Sifted’s reporter in Iberia. Tweet from Tweet embed