Pan-European Climentum Capital to launch a €150 million Fund to support innovators accelerating the green transition

Aiming to supercharge Europe’s green transition by launching a new climate tech Fund, Climentum Capital is raising €150 million to invest in early-stage startups helping Europe become carbon neutral. 

As Europe continues on the journey to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, Climentum Capital has today announced it is launching a new €150 million Fund I. Europe’s ambitious journey to Net-Zero is reliant upon new innovations and tech-first approaches that can make society more sustainable and accelerate a green transition – and it’s a journey with a long way to go. This new fund is sure to be a pivotal part of getting us there. 

“Now is the time to invest in Climate Tech. We need to see results within the next decades and see momentum from all sides: governments and corporations are pushing for real change, the best talent is moving into the space and technology has developed massively”. Dörte Hirschberg. 

Founded in 2021, Climentum Capital is a pan-European venture with bases in Copenhagen, Berlin and Stockholm. The VC firm is investing in European startups that are dedicated to cutting down CO2 emissions in a concrete, measurable and sustainable way. This freshly launched fund aims to avoid millions of tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, accelerating the transition to a sustainable future. It’s among the first article 9 funds in Europe, with a dedicated focus on CO2 emission reductions from day one.

Stefan Maard commented: “There is a concrete value-add to both founders and investors. “Investors gain access to a cutting-edge Article 9 fund that delivers climate impacts and the associated data to help them achieve and report on their own climate and ESG targets. This is something that has resonated well with especially institutional and more forward-looking investors. Looking toward the founders, they are keen to work with truly mission-aligned investors that are also willing and able to help them mature on their own sustainability journeys – including documenting climate change impacts and leveraging that to access non-dilutive capital such as carbon credits, grants and ESG related project financing.”

Further, with a double carry structure, Climentum is unique in the VC space in that it sets both financial and impact targets, meaning it is truly committed to investing in companies with genuine potential to make a difference to our planet. 

Stefan Maard: “The impact space needs investment vehicles that are fully competitive in the market. It’s the only way to bring sufficient leverage to the fight against global warming.”

With this fund, ambitious founders looking to scale innovative climate tech will be supported. A total of 25 startups across Europe will be backed at late-Seed to Series A with tickets ranging from €1 million to €5 million. The key verticals are: next-generation renewables; food and agriculture; industry and manufacturing; buildings and architecture; transportation and mobility; and, waste and materials. 

Throughout Europe, there are several macro trends which are helping fuel more sustainable approaches – and climate tech is one of the forces supporting these changes. Consumer preferences and demands have changed – we are now more aware of the need to make more sustainable choices, and consumers are looking for more ethical, circular and regenerative products. In addition to this, corporate strategy is shifting, as companies need to respond to pressure to be more transparent on their carbon emissions and environmental impact. It created a boom in corporate spending veering towards sustainability and offsetting initiatives. 

Lastly, governments and wider socio-political contexts come into play here. With globally rising energy prices and a volatile energy market as a whole, there is a real need for countries to boost their green energy transition, and implement circular, renewable strategies. Climate innovation is fueling these movements and shifts in perspectives. 

Founding team member Morten Halborg, stated: “Mobilising institutional capital to invest in attractive, early-stage, and highly scalable European green innovation is mission-critical if we are to curb climate change in time.”

The firm is also pioneering diversity in VC – with ⅖ of the founding partners being women. The founders all have extensive career experience in the climate tech space and bring a wealth of knowledge to the endeavour.

The founding team of Dörte Hirschberg ( formerly Junior Partner at McKinsey and member of the Rocket Internet leadership team), Yoann Berno ( ex-silicon valley software engineer turned serial entrepreneur turned investor), Stefan Maard (ex-Novozymes sustainability & venturing leader), Morten Halborg (ex-Executive at Skandia ), and, the Stockholm GP (who is still to be announced but tipped to be a deep-tech woman VC investor with decades of experience in corporate and financial VC), represent a combined working experience in the VC and startup space of over 70 years. 

With deep corporate experience in asset management, innovation, acceleration/incubation, and sustainability, the team is uniquely positioned to support innovative startups shaking up the climate tech sector. 

Yoann Berno added: “We are absolute technophiles. We will be looking for needle-moving technologies and solutions that often stretch a bit from your ordinary ‘safe-zone’ investment opportunities we might see the generalist funds go for. Deep tech is not something we shy away from – quite the contrary.” 

The fund is backed by renowned corporate investors, banks, industrial conglomerates, prominent family offices and successful tech entrepreneurs – all sharing the ambition to combat climate change through investing in disruptive technologies. The first close has been secured successfully and the final close is expected for the end of 2022.

Climate tech has been reported as one of Europe’s fastest-growing verticals at the moment. Fuelled by the pressing need to find solutions to this generation’s greatest challenge, climate innovation is big business. There are already 46 climate tech unicorns around the world and it’s a sector that is only growing in importance. The European climate ecosystem is in full swing, and Europe has a real chance to become a world leader in this sphere. This new fund will certainly play an important role in fueling this.