In a paramount day for climate technology ventures, Prime Coalition and the newly-formed Pale Blue Dot both announced new, eight-figure, funds for clean tech development.
Already a big day for #climatetech announcements:@PRIMEcoalition: $50m early-stage fund for breakthrough climate tech@palebluedotvc: €53m early-stage fund for EU climate tech@GreentownLabs: Expands to Houston to make it the energy *transition* capital
Congrats to all!
— Shayle Kann (@shaylekann) June 16, 2020
Roughly $110 million will be pumped into clean tech ventures by the two funds, with Pale Blue Dot’s investment clocking it at just under $60 million USD.
In a LinkedIn post, Matthew Nordan, a managing director for Prime’s new fund, the Prime Impact Fund, gave some insight into why the fund came to be, and what it means in the bigger picture of mitigating climate change.
“There aren’t many existential threats in the world but the change we’ve wrought on the climate is one of them,” Nordan wrote. “It can’t be neutralized without technology innovation, which in turn can’t depend on the whims of conventional finance or the ups and downs of the stock market… This is not about tech curiosities or decades-long science projects – it’s about gigaton-scale climate impact within the 2 degrees C window.”
While this new fund puts climate change mitigation right at the forefront of investment, that’s not to say this is Prime Coalition’s entry into the world of clean technology, in fact, that’s far from true.
“Prime Coalition’s unique spin on the world is that they invest very early-stage in technologies that have the potential to make a real impact on climate change, that typically are what you might call ‘hard tech’ or ‘deep tech,'” Shayle Kann told pv magazine. “It typically requires some science, development and it has historically looked like they’re trying to fill a gap in the market, which is taking these really early-stage technologies from lab to commercial-scale.”
Pale Blue Dot, the newcomer is a “climate only” venture capital firm out of Malmö, Sweden. According to a Tech Crunch profile on the firm, Pale Blue Dot is sector agnostic and will consider software and technology investments with a strong positive climate impact, starting, but not limited to, focus areas in food/agriculture, industry, fashion/apparel, energy, and transportation.
According to the profile, the fund will be used to invest in up to 40 companies, with investment tickets ranging from €200,000 to €2 million (roughly $225,000 to $2.25 million USD).
Outside of general funding comes the news that Greentown Labs is expanding to Houston. Greentown Labs is an incubator for clean energy startups. However, unlike other incubators, Greentown provides members with physical lab space, including wet labs, and spaces to test out any technology under development.
The Houston location will be Greentown’s second, with the original located in Boston, Massachusetts. Greentown has incubated quite a few notable companies in the clean energy space, including Form Energy, Elios and Blackburn Energy.
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