Today Rockstart, a European accelerator-VC, launches its second fund of €21 million to invest in energy startups. The Energy Fund is the second fund launched by Rockstart after its 2019 launch of the Rockstart Agrifood Fund and contributes to Rockstart’s aim of driving positive impact at a global scale throughout its accelerator and follow-on investments.
The Rockstart Energy Fund is launched with the participation of an institutional investor, family offices, and business angels. The main investors in the fund are the Dutch pension fund ABP, De Hoge Dennen Capital, investment companies and several prominent angel investors from The Netherlands and Germany. The fund is also supported by the seed capital scheme from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
Interestingly, Rockstart has made the journey from accelerator, to accelerator-VC. The team has been active in the Energy domain since 2014, leveraging its network of mentors and investors to bring the best support for the most promising seed-stage startups contributing to the energy transition. The company has a 75% follow-on funding rate from its latest Energy accelerator, with €5.2 million raised by portfolio companies within 1 and a half years.
Rune Theill, Rockstart CEO, commented on the launch of the fund: “We are proud that the strategy we developed back in 2016 is now in the second stage, with the launch of the Rockstart Energy Fund. Our goal is to become one of the leading accelerators-VCs in the world and we aim to reach €100 million under management by the end of 2022 which will be allocated across approximately 250 early-stage startups. Rockstart invests from €100K in the initial round and will only co-invest together with syndication partners to empower the startups to scale.”
Freerk Bisschop, Managing Partner, Rockstart Energy also explained: “Today’s world is rapidly transitioning its energy system towards cleaner, more resilient and distributed power, heat and fuels for everyone. This is largely driven and enabled by innovative entrepreneurs and forward-looking investors and industry players. This is what Rockstart has been working on for six years already, through its Smart Energy accelerator and corporate programs such as Shell New Energy Challenge and the Green Challenge. With the Rockstart Energy Fund we will continue to support this goal and aim to invest in 50 energy startups in Europe, with a strong focus in the Netherlands. Rockstart will continue to invest in and empower startups for the longer term, from pre-seed to until scale-up growth.”
The Energy Fund will focus on five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production and, last but not least, Climate Action. In the next 18 months, Rockstart is also planning to launch a new domain-specific fund also focused on contributing positively to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the European long-term strategic vision for 2050.