New fund invests in early-stage cleantech startups despite high risks

New fund invests in early-stage cleantech startups despite high risks

Apr 10, 2018
Some of the major themes of the fund are urbanization and mobility. (Image credit: bus station by Scott Webb via Unsplash)
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

San Francisco – Two investors in the U.S. have launched a new fund that invests in early-stage cleantech startups, a novelty for the Silicon Valley which has become much more hesitant after some challenging years for the cleantech sector.

Congruent Ventures, founded by Josh Posamentier and Abe Yokell, announced a new $92 million fund that will invest in entrepreneurs who are committed to rebuilding the early stage sustainability ecosystem. The fund is interested in “early stage companies with world-class teams who are committed to solving critical environmental sustainability challenges,” the founders said.

They eye investments in hardware, software, enterprise, consumer, deep technology, fin-tech, and business model innovation. The companies will need to have a positive environmental impact while creating venture-grade returns.

Some of the major themes are urbanization and mobility, clean energy transition, food and agriculture, and industrial and supply chains. Currently, Congruent Ventures has already committed investment to nine companies ranging from additive manufacturing to LIDAR to improving the impact of fashion on the environment, but there is room for more.

“We raised significantly more capital than we originally contemplated largely due to the support of our founding Limited Partners,” Josh Posamentier and Abe Yokell said. These are the University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer and Prelude Ventures. Both have the vision to reinvigorate early stage investment in the sector while acknowledging the challenges of the past according to the fund’s founders.

According to GreenBiz, Yokell and Posamentier previously spent many years investing in cleantech startups but these days “venture firms focused on early-stage cleantech startup are rare,” the website states and explains this with the considerable losses that some Silicon Valley firms suffered over the past decade in sectors such as next-generation solar panels, independent electric car companies and green building materials.

Image credit: bus station by Scott Webb via Unsplash