Leading early-stage investment group Investible backs audacious founders who know that time is too short for incremental change. That's why they've launched the Investible Climate Tech Fund, a $100 million target fund dedicated to supporting climate technology companies working on the most pressing challenge of our time.
The Investible Climate Tech Fund is supporting our inaugural showcase and awards by sponsoring the Climate Tech Newcomer Award 2021. We caught up with Patrick Sieb, Investible's Investment Director for Climate Tech on their focus and approach.
Why is investing in Climate Tech important to you?
Climate change is the biggest threat of our time. A technological revolution created it and a new technological revolution can be a key element to help solve it. This challenge however, presents a huge opportunity. We still need a few breakthroughs in hard-to-decarbonise sectors like aviation, but a lot of the existing technologies—deployed faster or in new ways—can get us most of the way there. Startups can really help drive efficiency, adoption, deployment and reduce cost.
In short Climate Tech startups are perfectly suited to achieve scale, quickly! The demand from consumers, corporates and governments is already there, and growing.
Personally I’ve always loved technology, so this is the best way for me to make a difference and to be able to tell my kids I did what I could
And why is it important for Investible Climate Tech Fund to support and recognise the Climate Tech Newcomer Award 2021?
Starting a new business is not easy. It should be celebrated. We believe in supporting and celebrating visionary new entrants into this important space. Investible has over a decade-long track record of successful early stage investing, and helping founders right from the start.
The Investible Climate Tech Fund will similarly follow that path. We look for exceptional and ambitious entrepreneurs with game changing ideas that will create successful startups. This award aligns really well with our vision
What are some of the Climate Tech companies you have invested in?
We are already very active, looking at a lot of great opportunities and making early commitments ahead of the Fund’s first close, before the end of the year. We can’t disclose our first investments just yet but will share more when we can. In the new year we will be looking to lead seed rounds. More to come!
What do you specifically look for when deciding on what companies to invest in?
Over the last decade, Investible developed a set of 16 parameters that guide our investment decisions called the Investibility Index. At the center of these important qualitative and quantitative metrics sits the founder(s).
We use these same key elements with the added lens of making sure it has an impact on climate, which could be direct (ie reducing emission), indirect (ie enabling emission reductions) or adaptation (ie living with the consequences of climate change). In short, great founder(s), promising tech, big market and good timing – simple...
You’ve said the next unicorn colour will be green, what do you mean by that?
I strongly believe the focus of the next decade will be on climate tech solutions that can help us in that rapid transition we need. Just transitioning the fossil fuel industry is a ~$40 trillion opportunity and that’s without counting the new industries that will be created.
Surely that will create quite a few Climate Tech companies valued at over $1 billion!
What’s your take on COP26?
It’s hard to look at what happens in those large intergovernmental gatherings and not feel like much more could be done. That’s true for COP26, but I think it’s also really important to recognise there has been great progress:
- ~40 countries have agreed to phase out coal production
- 20 countries agreed to end financing overseas fossil fuel projects
- 100+ countries pledged $20b to protect forests
- India committed to net-zero by 2070
- The Global Methane Pledge was revealed
- Countries representing 2/3rds of the global economy support green-tech in order to drive down costs of these solutions
What excites you most about Climate Tech in Australia and New Zealand?
A lot. We have a number of really interesting local market dynamics like highest penetration of rooftop solar and a complex grid which is driving best of class innovation and startups. Our carbon farming market and its associated credits is booming and paving the way globally.
We have world leading research which is increasingly being commercialised. We have enthusiastic founders wanting to make a difference and an ever-growing startup ecosystem, including Greenhouse, the Climate Tech growth hub that Investible is developing in the heart of Sydney.
New Zealand and Australia have all it takes to become powerhouses in Climate Tech.
Grab your tickets to the Climate Tech awards and showcase on December 9 in Sydney.