Investible Climate Tech Fund focuses on early-stage energy startups, we caught up with partners, Ben Lindsay and Sarah Moore to pick their brains on what they look for, what excites them and what advice they have for startups.
If you'd like to meet Ben, Sarah and the whole team at Investible, join us for the Climate Tech Festival and Awards on Dec 7 in Sydney.
What jumps out to you when looking through a climate tech startup deck?
BEN LINDSAY (BL): We like to take a 3-pronged approach across product, people and primary market. It's not often necessary to have a problem re-explained to us; however, when a pitch deck connects the product's outputs to the user's needs (inputs), it makes a compelling case.
Pair that up with a great founding team (people) and an understanding of their primary market or "beachhead"; it's worth meeting the team. Lastly, it's always helpful when founders find ways to clearly convey what makes them unique from competitors early in the deck to hook us in.
SARAH MOORE (SM): Its always good to see a clearly defined why, not only from the perspective of how the tech can have a positive impact from on the climate and be disruptive in its market, but from the founder’s perspective. What is it that has driven them to pursue the challenge of turning their idea into something impactful?
Part of our role is to communicate conviction for the potential of the technology to our own investment committee and this starts with seeing a clearly communicated idea from a place of commitment and passion in the founder. Often this also translates into the people they have managed to attract to support their intiative up to the point where they meet us.
What sector of climate tech really excites you?
SM: I originally moved into the agrifood tech space with the hope of seeing truly disruptive technologies that could help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions this sector is responsible for globally. Innovative solutions in the AgTech sector continue to excite me however moving more into climate tech I also love seeing technologies which use molecular/cellular science to create new approaches to age-old processes more broadly.
BL: My initial interest in climate tech stemmed from the intersection of biomedicine and lab-grown foods or ingredients. After spending a few years in an FMCG startup, it's exciting to see the emergence of new consumer trends being solved by deeply fascinating technologies.
We have essential 7yrs left of the decade of action to reach the UN SDG target of 2030 - it's also the year we may exceed 1.5degrees. How are you imagining life on planet earth in 2030 with funds such as Investible and the Greenhouse fostering innovation in sustainability and climate tech?
SM: I am optimistic from the technology and ideas we see that we have what is needed in society to have a real impact on climate change. Funds such as ours are just one piece of the puzzle but we hope will go a long way to supporting strong initiatives in the climate space and have a measurable impact long term.
BL: We don't invest in ideas that only do good; they must perform better than incumbents or at least have a roadmap to outperform. We hope that these emerging technologies will go on to have a positive impact on our planet and provide society an overall better quality of life, while simultaneously contributing to the UN SDG targets.
How early is too early to chat with a potential startup and how do people reach you?
BL & SM: Never too early! We host regular Office Hours (register here), which enables the founders to put questions to us surrounding their product, GTM, the investment process and more. We can build our confidence in the founding team if they provide us with multiple touch points, even when the first point of contact between us is a solution-less problem they have identified.
Profiles of the Investible Team
Tom Kline, Co-Head of Climate Tech
Tom is focused on finding, investing, and supporting companies that will have an impact on climate change. He has over 15 years’ experience across multiple geographies and sectors including asset management, advisory and renewable energy. Prior to joining Investible, Tom established and led New Energy Solar, a renewable energy fund that built a portfolio of large-scale solar farms in Australia and the United States. In this role, Tom was responsible for investments and capital raising as well as building the team and operations firstly in Australia and then in New York. He remains a senior advisor and on the investment committee of New Energy Solar which now manages over US$1b in renewable assets. Prior to that, Tom was COO of Walsh and Company, a multi-billion-dollar fund manager based in Sydney. His interest in Climate Tech started during his time as a member of the Power and Utilities investment banking team of UBS where he worked with Australia's largest energy generators and looked at emerging renewable technologies.
Patrick Sieb, Co-Head of Climate Tech
Patrick is responsible for jointly leading the Climate Tech investment team focused on finding, investing and supporting the best entrepreneurs who want to change the world. He has over 22 years of investment banking experience across various sectors including infrastructure and technology. Patrick has been an active early-stage startup investor for the last 7 years and has been focused full time on Climate Tech investments since he left Macquarie. Patrick has previously been the co-founder of an IoT startup, has served on numerous boards, is an engaged mentor and participant in the Climate Tech and early-stage communities.
Ben Lindsay, Climate Tech Investment Analyst
Ben is involved with all aspects of the Investible Climate Tech Fund, including sourcing and analysing investment opportunities and interacting with founders from initial conversations to completion. Ben has led the sales team of a health drink startup, invented his own medical device, which professional athletes around the globe wear, and was the program manager of INCUBATE, one of Australia's leading startup accelerators. As a founder and having worked with hundreds of founders in varying capacities, Ben brings a strong level of empathy his role at Investible. Profile of Ben
Sarah Moore, Climate Tech Investment Analyst
Sarah is involved in the full spectrum of investment activities within the Investible Climate Tech Fund including sourcing, screening, and analysing investment opportunities, as well as liaising with founders during the due diligence process. Sarah’s background is rooted in science, having undertaken a master’s in biomedical science before pivoting to complete a postgraduate qualification in research commercialisation. Prior to joining Investible, she got her start in venture capital working for Sprout Agritech, a New Zealand-based agtech and foodtech specialist investment fund. She is excited by the transformative power of deep-tech innovations and carries a genuine passion for supporting the growth and development of founders. Profile of Sarah