Amazon launches a $2 billion clean energy fund
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Criticized for its lack of environmental friendliness, e-commerce giant Amazon is launching a $2 billion venture capital fund that will invest in companies that “facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy.”
Dubbed The Climate Pledge Fund, the new pool of capital will go to companies in transportation, energy generation, battery storage, manufacturing, and food and agriculture, per the Wall Street Journal. Amazon is considering “pre-product startups to well-established enterprises,” according to a statement from Jeff Bezos. While the time horizon of the fund is unclear, Amazon says the $2 billion is an “initial” number.
Matt Peterson on Amazon’s corporate development team is leading the fund alongside Kara Hurst, who heads the company’s sustainability team.
Amazon is seeking to reach net zero in carbon emission by 2040 and plans to run on completely renewable energy by 2025. It’s already made investments in electric vehicles, leading a $700 million round in EV startup Rivian, which is expected to produce some 100,000 delivery vans for the e-commerce company as part of a separate deal.
But remember…the company has been criticized for its lack of environmental protections. A business of ferrying around billions of packages a day is inherently one that takes a toll on the environment, at least for now.
Female founders weather the coronavirus: As the coronavirus was unfolding in April, Term Sheet asked Forerunner’s Kirsten Green if she thought female founders would be disproportionately dinged by a downturn. Her response: “I sure as hell hope not.”
Now there are some early numbers, per my colleague, Emma Hinchliffe.
“New survey data suggests that, in some ways, women-run startups may actually be better positioned to make it through the economic downturn than their peers,” she writes. “The female-founded companies reporting increased revenue are all in the wellness and home categories, according to Female Founders Fund’s survey. They include sexual wellness brands, makers of home hair care and fitness products, and sellers of ‘alternative adult beverages.’” Read more.
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