Meatless filet mignon, wood credit cards, cocoa-less chocolate.
A new Berlin-based venture capital firm raising a €350 million fund is investing it in all new technologies as long as they do one thing: cut CO2 emissions by at least 100 megatons annually.
The World Fund—the newest climate tech investment fund in Europe—shares a lot of its DNA with Ecosia, a search engine that plants a tree every time a user searches for something. Operating as a separate entity, the World Fund has raised half of its seed amount from clients including Rolf Schrömgens, the founder of travel search site Trivago; entrepreneur and investor Verena Pausder; and German national team footballer Mario Götze.
The fund has an overarching goal of eliminating 2 gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2040—equivalent to 4% of all global emissions.
So far the World Fund has invested in three companies: QOA, which makes chocolate without cocoa; Juicy Marbles, creator of the meatless filet mignon; and Recup, a German reusable coffee cup maker. The fund hopes to invest in a total of 40 companies manufacturing anything from semiconductors to sensors that measure the amount of fertilizer needed for crops.
The green search engine Ecosia was a seed investor in the fund, providing €10 million of the capital, and another €10 million was provided by the fund’s founders Tim Schumacher, Danijel Višević, Daria Saharova, and Craig Douglas.
The fund is investing up to €8 million in each climate tech company, and it is targeting two to three times returns on each investment. However, founding partner Višević notes the company has downplayed this figure as climate tech companies have generally outperformed major indices like Nasdaq.
Europe is the fastest growing region for climate tech investment with more companies originating in Europe when compared to the U.S. and China combined, but there is far less VC funding Višević says.
The World Fund would fill this demand. In the fund’s home country alone, the German energy agency, or Deutsche Energie Agentur, has said that there is an estimated average €22.7 billion in financing opportunity available annually until 2030 for venture capital investments.
Since launching the fund, more than 600 firms have reached out to the World Fund looking for additional funding, Višević notes, and the company already has plans for a second fund.
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