The EU’s European Investment Fund (EIF) has invested €50 million World Fund, one of Europe’s new climate tech VC firms. The capital will be used to support the environment and climate-related ventures and shows the public sector’s commitment to supporting European startups shaping a more planet-positive future.
The omnipresent climate crisis continues to be a topic of daily discussion and its impacts of it are being increasingly felt. From extreme weather patterns which impact lives and businesses to fuel and food shortages, people, economies and environments are all taking a hit as a result.
In this context, Europe’s VC and startup community have been working collaboratively to bring about innovative and promising solutions – and recent reports are showing record-breaking commitments to climate innovation. We recently took an overview of the climate tech investment agenda and found that it’s a tech vertical reaching top priority for the public and private investment space alike.
Now, as the year draws to a close, the EU has made a hefty investment into World Fund – demonstrating that climate tech is a priority, and will continue to be one as we enter 2023.
The €50 million investment
Founded in 2021, World Fund has raised €50 million from the EIF, with support of the Invest EU programme, to back emerging climate tech across Europe. The Berlin-based VC now has over 200 backers, including PwC Germany, Ecosia, and the UK Environment Agency’s pension fund.
Marking one of the largest investments made by the EIF into a first-time fund, it’s part of a wider plan to bolster climate tech in Europe – supporting the innovations and entrepreneurs that are improving the outlook for our planet, society and economy for years to come. It reflects the importance of Europe’s startup ecosystem in long-term development plans and is exciting to see this climate agenda picking up pace.
The EIF’s financing into World Fund comes from EIF, the new InvestEU programme and regional mandates from across Europe, including The Netherlands (DFF), Germany (ERP Special Fund), and Bavaria (LfA). As part of this, World Fund will invest in start-ups in each of these regions, alongside Europe.
EIF-CEO Alain Godard said: “The climate tech VC market in Europe is in its infancy, and World Fund stands out as a fund with a strong track record, network, investment hypothesis and experience, as well as scientific and commercial expertise within its founding team. These factors, alongside World Fund’s climate performance potential measurement criteria, have convinced us to back their first fund, with the support of the European Commission and we look forward to supporting the next generation of high-growth climate start-ups across the continent.”
World Fund: Supporting high-potential climate tech
World Fund, established by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Craig Douglas, and Tim Schumacher, was born to exclusively support entrepreneurs and startups shaping a more planet-positive future.
From energy, food, agriculture, and land use, to building materials, manufacturing and transport, World Fund is investing in European climate tech with a climate performance potential (CPP) of at least 100Mt CO2e emission savings per year.
With the pressure on the world’s economy and businesses to decarbonise, World Fund was founded to back and support startups building innovative technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pave the way to a regenerative world. World Fund’s strict criteria for investment aims to back companies using technology to directly reduce emissions, not only to help achieve the world’s climate goals faster.
In order to find these start-ups, World Fund’s team of experts has devised the climate performance potential (CPP) assessment to gauge a start-up’s ability to assist in the fund’s goal of reducing emissions.
So far, the fund has backed ventures like quantum computing leader IQM, space tech startup Space Forge and the precision fermentation platform Planet A Foods.
Danijel Višević, co-founder of World Fund, said: “We’re thrilled to have EIF on board as an anchor LP in fund I, alongside the likes of the UK’s Environment Agency pension fund, PwC Germany and Ecosia. We see this landmark investment – one of the largest EIF has made in a first-time VC fund – as a strong signal that the European Union is serious about tackling the climate crisis. It will help us continue our mission to back the founders that will deliver decarbonisation at scale.”
EIF: Backing Europe’s SMEs
Established to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance, the EIF is showing its commitment to climate tech and the importance this market has for the future of Europe’s business ecosystem and environmental outlook.
The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term financing by mobilizing significant public and private funds to support sustainable growth. It helps generate additional investments in line with key European priorities, such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and support for SMEs.
Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “The new InvestEU programme will help businesses across Europe gain access to the funds they need to innovate, grow and create jobs. This agreement is an excellent example of how the programme will help us achieve our green objectives through supporting innovative technology start-ups. I am pleased to see InvestEU helping entrepreneurs across Europe unlock funds that will enable them to achieve their full potential.”