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European climate VC closes record €300M funding: 25-30 startups to benefit

European climate VC closes record €300M funding: 25-30 startups to benefit

Did you know that Europe leads the world in energy-related patents, with a 15% year-over-year increase? This innovation is fueling a surge in climate tech, and World Fund, Europe’s leading climate VC firm, is at the forefront of this movement. The firm recently closed its first fund at a staggering €300 million, marking a significant milestone for the European climate tech landscape.

We have been seeing quite a bit of VCs investing in climate startups. Just last month, we reported about Catalyst Fund’s $1.8M boost to spark African climatetech startups. Moreover, in a recent article, we also talked about whether AI will finally step up in the battle against climate change in 2024.

Who are the investors

This €300 million fund is a record-breaker, the largest ever first-time fund for a European climate venture capital firm. This substantial capital pool was secured through partnerships with prominent institutional investors, including the European Investment Fund (EIF), KfW Capital, BPI France, PwC Germany, and several pension funds like the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund and Croatia’s Erste Plavi. Notably, World Fund’s very first investor, Europe’s largest independent search engine Ecosia, also participated in the fundraise.

Where will be funding be invested in

The €300 million will empower World Fund to make 25-30 strategic investments in European startups developing groundbreaking technologies that have the potential to decarbonize entire industries. World Fund has already established a strong track record, having supported 15 market leaders like Planet A Foods, ENOUGH Foods, IQM Quantum Computers, and Space Forge. These investments demonstrate World Fund’s commitment to fostering innovation across various sectors critical for environmental sustainability.

This addresses the Series B bottleneck

This substantial fund directly addresses a critical challenge faced by European climate tech startups: the “Series B Valley of Death.” Early-stage ventures often require significant funding (around €30 million+) to scale up and build the infrastructure needed to bring their game-changing products to market. However, securing this level of funding at the Series B stage has proven difficult in the past, hindering the growth of promising companies.

World Fund’s significant capital reserves aim to bridge this gap. By leading financing rounds and allocating funds for follow-on investments, World Fund provides crucial support to portfolio companies, helping them navigate the Series B hurdle and achieve long-term success.

What VC and industry leaders had to say about this development

“We are proud that we have been able to attract numerous institutional investors who haven’t ever invested in VC or a first-time fund before,” said Danijel Višević, Managing Partner at World Fund. “We will work to ensure that our fund demonstrates to the world that successful investments and positive climate impact go hand-in-hand.”

Lilian Schwich, Co-Founder and CEO of Cylib, a World Fund portfolio company, echoed this sentiment. “World Fund really understands the mission we are on,” she said. “Since investing in us in early 2023, they have already connected us with political institutions and offered incredible support with ESG expertise, as well as finding synergies within the wider portfolio.”

Furthermore, Petar Vlaić, President of the Management Board at Ersteplavi, underscored the Fund’s strong track record in climate tech investing and its ability to add value to portfolio companies through its deep understanding of the sector and extensive network within the European tech ecosystem.

What we think about World Fund

World Fund’s record-breaking fundraise signifies a turning point for European climate tech. With substantial backing from prominent investors and a strategic focus on overcoming the Series B funding gap, World Fund is well-positioned to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs building a more sustainable future. 

As Danijel Višević concludes, “Our planet is at a pivotal juncture, and we could not be prouder to spend every day working towards creating a regenerative world.” The success of World Fund serves as a beacon of hope, paving the way for a future where cutting-edge climate technologies can flourish in Europe.

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