Munich-based VC firm Rethink Ventures is on a mission to rethink the future of transport, making it more sustainable and tech-driven. The firm has just launched a new €50 million fund to back impactful solutions.
Part of Europe’s green transition and the move towards creating a more sustainable, planet-positive continent, is the need to rethink transport. From how individuals move in and around cities, to how we transport goods and energy, how the continent keeps moving is now being shaped with sustainability at its centre.
Aiming to play a key role in making immobility and logistics greener is Rethink Ventures – a freshly launched €50 million specialist fund.
Launched by Jens-Philipp Klein and Matthias Schanze, the fund is focused on mobility, automotive and logistics innovators leading the transformation towards a clean, safe and digital future. The aim is to go beyond simply giving capital to these innovators, instead leveraging expert industry knowledge to drive long-term growth.
The Munich-based VC plans to act as a bridge between its portfolio companies, corporate investors and leading executives to establish partnerships and jointly scale innovative technologies.
Key tech areas the fund will support include next-generation vehicle technologies (software-defined, autonomously operated, new powertrains), mobility (providing comfortable, safe and affordable mobility for everyone), logistics (digital, automated and sustainable operations) and energy (infrastructure to power a clean, emission-free future of transportation).
Jens-Philipp Klein: “The transportation sector faces significant challenges as the global demand for mobility and logistics continues to grow. With more than 25% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from this sector and additional negative externalities such as congestion and the significant usage of physical space, there is a lot of pressure to rapidly change the way we move people and goods. Our mission is to back early-stage startups that address these challenges and help them scale their technologies and products using our capital, deep expertise and access to a strong network of corporates. Together with all stakeholders in the industry, we aim to foster solutions that eventually will provide clean, digital and safe mobility for everyone.”
The fund is backed by industry-leading corporate partners ZF Ventures, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, KION Group, Berylls and HAVI as well as the European Investment Fund, experienced entrepreneurs and several family offices It’ll offer seed to series A investments across Europe.
To ensure responsible investment practices, the firm has developed a proprietary sustainability framework to assess the impact potential of every investment early on in the investment process and continuously report the impact of the combined portfolio to the funds’ investors. It’s also regulated as an SFDR article 8 fund.
Matthias Schanze: “As a specialist fund, our top priority is to provide unparalleled support to our portfolio companies while adding long-term value to our corporate partners. We are creating a mutually beneficial ecosystem that creates a positive impact for all. For our corporate partners, we facilitate access to the dynamic startup ecosystem, providing a rich source of innovation and opportunities for growth. We are proud to be partnering with a complementary range of industry-leading companies such as ZF, Hellmann and KION Group.”
Rethink has already invested in 3 startups showing promise:
- Deftpower: an automotive charging platform that allows companies to launch, manage, and scale electric charging offerings to their customers
- Shipzero: a data-driven platform to measure and reduce CO2 emissions in global freight transportation
- Rydes: a SaaS solution for corporations to foster sustainable employee mobility by giving their employees access to various transport offerings.
Tobias Bohnhoff, co-founder of Shipzero: “We are thrilled to have partnered with Rethink Ventures as our seed investor. Their deep domain expertise in logistics has been a great asset and their ability to open doors to corporate partners has enabled us to win new customers and work on exciting new technology partnerships.”
The long-term vision of the fund is to create solutions at scale that will decarbonise the transportation of people and goods, transform the mobility and energy industry, and have a positive impact.