Carbon Equity secures €1.8 million to accelerate climate tech innovation
The round was led by 4impact with the participation of German-based Wi Venture and AENU
AMSTERDAM, July 14, 2022 — Carbon Equity, the world’s first private market climate investing platform, announced its oversubscribed seed round of €1.8 million. The round was led by 4impact with the participation of German-based Wi Venture and AENU, plus a group of experienced angels including the founders of Bloomon and sustainable aviation pioneer, SkyNRG.
“I have two core beliefs,” says Jacqueline van den Ende, Co-founder and CEO at Carbon Equity. “The first is that if we don’t solve climate change, nothing else matters. The second is that money decides the shape of our future. So we started Carbon Equity with the question, ‘how do we move the needle on climate change?’ We saw trillions moving into ESG stocks through incumbents and fintechs alike. But if you buy say a stock of Tesla, nothing much changes in the real economy. Our observation is that if you really want to have an impact (i.e. move the planet from state A to B), you can have a lot more impact investing in private markets where capital directly powers innovation and growth of new technologies.”
Carbon Equity enables retail investors to power the world’s most impactful climate technology companies with their capital. The platform allows regular investors to invest alongside world-renowned impact investing experts in top climate venture capital (VC) and private equity funds.
“By investing in a VC fund, you benefit from the expertise of top climate investing experts who invest in companies with a strong focus on innovation — plus, you gain greater diversification since you invest in a basket of companies instead of just one company,” says van den Ende. The risk profile of this type of investing is, therefore, a lot lower than that of angel investments or crowd equity.”
By democratizing VC impact investing, which was previously only accessible to professional investors or ultra-wealthy individuals, Carbon Equity seeks to unlock and connect investor capital towards climate innovations at scale. In doing so, its vision is to grow a highly motivated community of investors ready to fight climate change with their capital.
“The key barrier is the sizable capital contribution,” says van den Ende. “Previously, you would need at least €5-10mn to participate in top venture capital or private equity funds. We currently bring that down to €100K, and will launch a retail program in the coming months that unlocks access from €10K.”
The climate investing market is booming with a total of $87.5bn invested over H2 2020 and H1 2021. According to PwC’s State of Climate Tech report, climate tech now accounts for 14 cents of every venture capital dollar. “In the coming decade, you will see huge demand for CO2-free alternatives from consumers, companies and governments,” according to van den Ende. “This is driving a historically large wave of innovation across all sectors. By investing in Carbon Equity funds, you can put your capital to work with real impact, but also exceptional financial returns.”
Over the past 9 months, Carbon Equity invested in venture capital and growth equity funds including Astanor, Energy Impact Partners and 2150 VC. These funds power incredible companies such as Form Energy (that produces grid-scale batteries), Zap Energy (who recently successfully tested their prototype fusion reactor), or Umiami (who produce plant-based whole cuts using an innovative fermentation technology).
The Carbon Equity app allows you to track every move of these portfolio companies.
The funding follows a strong period of growth for Carbon Equity, which saw the company increase its AUM by 10x and customer base by 11x since its prior round of funding in 2021. The new capital will allow Carbon Equity to launch its retail investing program, further expand its investor base and scale up its technology platform.
According to Pauline Wink of 4impact, Carbon Equity sits at the intersection of tech and climate change. “Carbon Equity is unlocking a huge pool of retail capital which is directed towards climate change innovation via its fintech platform. They have shown strong product-market fit and have received positive feedback from clients and funds. We’re incredibly excited to continue to support the exceptionally strong team, who are passionate thought leaders in the field of climate tech investing.