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London Tech Week

Giant Ventures backed by Richard Branson announces $250M fund to invest in startups focussed on climate, health, and diversity

Giant Ventures, backed by Sir Richard Branson raises $250M to invest in startups focussed on climate, health, and inclusive capitalism

Giant Ventures has made a significant stride in supporting purpose-driven innovation with the launch of two new funds, totaling $250 million. The funds are set to support technology companies addressing critical global challenges, emphasising themes such as climate, health, and inclusive capitalism.

We have recently seen startups like CEEZER raising funds to advance the voluntary carbon market. Moreover, in Europe climate-tech companies are doing really well in terms of raising awareness and capital. With the above investment available to them more such startups can pitch in to take a bite at the newly raised funds. 

Here’s an insightful look into the recent developments and the firm’s impactful contributions to the tech landscape.

Diversified investment approach

Giant Ventures strategically allocates funds to make a substantial impact. A $100 million seed fund targets 25 early-stage companies, while a larger $150 million climate-focused growth fund aims to address the Series B climate funding gap, providing vital scale-up capital to leading climate technology companies. The funds, however, will be allocated across the UK, the US, and the Nordics areas. Notably, the firm has already deployed capital into 10 ventures, demonstrating its commitment to supporting innovation even during challenging global venture capital climates.

Cameron McLain, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Giant, said, “Our vision is to create the world’s leading engine of purpose-driven innovation,” and further added, “We deliver top returns by partnering with the most ambitious founders using technology as a force for good.”

Global reach and collaborative efforts

The recently inaugurated Giant House in London’s Notting Hill serves as the global headquarters, reinforcing the firm’s international presence with team members in California, New York, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. Giant Ventures collaborates with experienced entrepreneurs, boasting an impressive track record of partnerships with industry leaders, including Expedia, Calm, and Delivery Hero.

Sustainable success stories

The company has a proven track record of success, with prior funds doubling in value since 2019, ranking in the top quartile of venture capital firms globally. Notable portfolio success stories include the $2 billion mental health app Calm, Agreena’s carbon removal platform, and energy storage startup Field. The firm remains on track to deploy over $1 billion into sustainable technology this decade.

Entrepreneurial leadership and expert advisory board

Giant Ventures stands out with its leadership team consisting of former founders and operators, fostering a unique blend of expertise in both the US and Europe. Founders Cameron McLain and Tommy Stadlen bring significant industry experience, and the advisory board includes influential figures such as former BP CEO Lord Browne, former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and 23andme founder Linda Avey.

Tommy Stadlen, co-founder of Giant Ventures, told TFN, “the company is committed to delivering impact not just through the actions its companies take on climate, health and inequality but also through the diversity of the teams it backs.”

Inclusive venture partnerships

Venture Partners at Giant Ventures include influential figures like Bulb founder Hayden Wood, Ganni founder Nicolaj Reffstrup, and former Jimmy Choo CEO Pierre Denis. This inclusive approach reflects the firm’s commitment to building diverse networks and fostering collaborative innovation.

Experienced team and diverse backing

Giant’s leadership team, composed of former founders and operators with strong US and European networks, sets it apart. Their entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond investments, as they build companies in-house through their incubation program, with early successes like green home renovation platform Beams.

The firm’s diverse backing reflects its impactful approach. They include leading institutional investors like BMW, Henkel, RIT Capital Partners, Denmark’s sovereign investment fund, and The Nature Conservancy. Individual backers include Sir Richard Branson, the founders of Booking.com, Unity, and SoFi, as well as current and former CEOs and board members of Rolls Royce, Goldman Sachs, Intel, bp, Johnson & Johnson, Standard Chartered, McKinsey and GSK.

Additionally, Giant connects its portfolio founders, politicians, CEOs, and athletes at its annual Giant Ideas summit hosted at Tate Modern, featuring speakers like Mustafa Suleyman (DeepMind co-founder) and Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web).

Global summit – Giant Ideas

Giant Ventures hosts an annual summit, Giant Ideas, bringing together portfolio company founders, senior politicians, corporate CEOs, and athletes. The summit features prominent speakers, including industry pioneers like DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharcyzk.

What we think of Giant Ventures

Giant Ventures’ commitment to purpose-driven innovation, global collaboration, and sustainable success positions it as a colossal brand in the venture capital landscape. With a visionary leadership team, diverse partnerships, and a track record of impactful investments, Giant Ventures should continue making significant contributions to the technology sector. The launch of the new funds reinforces the firm’s dedication to addressing pressing global challenges and driving positive change.

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