Planet A Ventures, which is taking a science-based approach to impact investment, has just closed its first fund at €160 million. The Berlin-based firm will back European innovators with planet-positive solutions, shaping a more sustainable future for society.
It’s only February and already it’s clear that GreenTech will be a massive market in 2023. And it’s a positive sign to see! Investors, governments and innovative thinkers are all uniting to push forward GreenTech innovation, creating planet-positive solutions that can help us reach net zero and more sustainable life on earth.
We post a monthly GreenTech report and found that in January, as world leaders met in Davos and Ursula von der Leyen spoke of the importance of green technologies, European startups and innovators were busy coming up with new tech-based solutions, and attracting a total of €1.6 billion to do it.
Now, European GreenTech leaders have got another boost as Planet A unveils its €160 million fund.
The fund, which is the Berlin-based firm’s first, is taking a science-based approach to venture capital, prioritising genuine impact and backing disruptive founders.
Planet A has anchored science into its investment process to identify the companies that will help us reach net-zero targets. To this end, science will have veto power in investment decisions if there is no significant positive impact. Environmental impact is the priority metric, rather than just strong and scalable business models. The firm is also the first in Europe to leverage an in-house science team that will carry out life cycle assessments as part of its due diligence.
Fridtjof Detzner, Founding Partner at Planet A: “Green-tech and impact investing is no longer a niche in venture capital. But in order to scale solutions fast enough, we need to ask ourselves what impact our investments really have on the planet. There are scientific methods and enough data to do that, we just need to use them to empower founders that make a difference. That’s exactly what we do at Planet A.”
The in-house science team considers all resources, material flows, and emissions of a product or service – from the extraction of raw materials to production, transport, use, and end of life – to quantify its net positive impact. Founders benefit from the assessments as an external validation, helping them attract customers, talent, and funding while scaling their impact further.
Planet A was founded in 2020 by Tobias Seikel, Nick de la Forge, Fridtjof Detzner, Christian Schad, Christoph Gras and Lena Theide – a group of investors, entrepreneurs and environmental experts. The aim is to create a global economy that is within the planetary boundaries, by scaling impactful green technologies and bringing science into the world of VC.
Founding Partner Lena Thiede: “Many funds look at CO2 emissions only. We go beyond climate mitigation and also look at biodiversity protection, resource savings, and waste reduction. Our scientific assessments allow us to understand how much better an innovation is compared to the status quo. This in turn enables us to identify the winners of the massive economic transformation that we are seeing.”
This new fund will back early-stage status from all sectors of the EU taxonomy. That includes agriculture, forestry and food; construction and real estate; energy and heat; manufacturing; transport and mobility; water, waste and remediation. Initial ticket sizes will range from €500k up to €3 million.
The existing portfolio includes the likes of Makersite, GA Drilling, C1, and 44.01.
The experience behind the firm coupled with its approach has earned backing from industry leaders such as BMW, KfW Capital (one of the world’s largest development banks), REWE (one of the largest German retailers), the Danish state’s investment fund Vaekstfonden/EIFO and renowned serial entrepreneurs such as Rolf Schrömgens (Trivago), Maximilian Backhaus (HelloFresh) and Rubin Ritter (Zalando).
Frank Niederländer, member of the BMW Foundation Board: “We are witnessing a fundamental shift in regulation and capital, creating new markets and enormous advantages for green-tech startups. Planet A’s scientific approach to identify and support such game-changing ventures is one of the most convincing we have seen so far in the market.”
GreenTech is undoubtedly one of the most influential markets in Europe at the moment, and there’s a real chance for the continent to establish itself as a global leader in the sector. Funds like this one, backing early innovation to grow, will help achieve this and we’ll be keeping an eye on the initial investments to be announced.