The new fund will primarily support start-ups already in the Speedinvest portfolio but there will also be opportunities for selective co-investments in late-stage start-ups.
Speedinvest’s €80m Climate & Industry Opportunity Fund, scheduled to close in the second quarter of 2022, is set to capitalise on a boom in industrial tech start-ups with sustainability in mind.
The fund will primarily be used to provide long-term support for existing sustainability-oriented start-ups in the VC firm’s portfolio through follow-on funding.
This includes start-ups such as battery analytics software developer Twaice, automated waste management provider Greyparrot and One.Five, a platform supporting bio-based materials science research.
It also includes Planetly and Sylvera, start-ups supporting efficient carbon offsetting. Carbon offsetting, however, has been flagged as a problematic response to the need to dramatically reduce global carbon emissions.
While touted as a ‘climate tech’ fund, Speedinvest’s early investments from the fund demonstrate a broad interest in backing start-ups set for growth in a more climate-conscious market. This includes e-mobility start-up Tier Mobility and Packhelp, an online marketplace for custom branded packaging that is making some effort toward sustainable alternatives.
The fund will also provide backing for selective co-investments with top tier funds in later-stage rounds of non-portfolio start-ups.
It all adds up to a clearly identified investment opportunity for Speedinvest and many other investors across Europe. A recent report from Dealroom and Speedinvest noted that investment in early-stage industrial tech start-ups in Europe that are making efforts to tackle factors affecting the climate crisis rose 220pc in a single year.
Cornerstone investors in the fund from Speedinvest include US VC fund New Enterprise Associates and other non-institutional investors from industry that could make use of the products and services the fund is backing. These include logistics automation company Knapp, plastics and foam supplier Greiner AG, and pulp and paper provider Heinzel Group.
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