Updated Mar 10, 2022 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on venture capital in 2022

On Thursday, March 10th, Axios technology & business reporter Kia Kokalitcheva and business editor Dan Primack examined the trends shaping venture capital in 2022 and the outlook for emerging industries from crypto to climate tech, featuring Elemental Excelerator CEO and Earthshot Ventures founding partner Dawn Lippert and FTX head of gaming and ventures Amy Wu.

Dawn Lippert illustrated what the current buzz surrounding energy pricing means for climate tech investors, which segments within climate tech are generating interest and lessons learned over the years about thoughtful investing in this space.

  • On recent attention to energy independence: “I think what this moment means is just a new realization that it’s not just this huge economic opportunity, but it’s really a national security issue and the issue is urgent in every way. The good news is that climate innovation, clean technology, it’s cheaper now, it’s cleaner and it’s safer from a national security perspective. So all the stars are aligned in a way that is really unique and that investors are paying attention to.”
  • On niches generating interest within climate tech: “One segment I’m really interested in right now is around circular economy. Folks don’t realize necessarily that about 10% of our global emissions come from fashion and clothing and those materials…so I think this whole idea of circular economy around materials, around reuse is going to be huge from a climate and emissions standpoint, and we’re just getting started.”

Amy Wu discussed skepticism surrounding crypto business models, how long it might take for the crypto industry to make products more user-friendly and how the rise of crypto integrations within gaming companies impacts gamers and the wider industry.

  • On long-term outlooks for the crypto market: “But if you look at a longer term perspective, which is what we look at from ventures and in VC, it’s hard to imagine that this pace is going away….whether it’s an NFT or just digital assets or tokens, it’s really captured the imagination of a lot of different industries in smart contract technology.”
  • On building more user-friendly crypto products: “I think in the next 12 to 18 months, we’re going to see it. And absolutely, this is probably one of the bigger challenges that’s slowing down the adoption in crypto and blockchain right now….this is a user experience that’s hard even for crypto native users, let alone mainstream users.”

In the View from the Top segment, Cooley Partner and Co-chair of Global Emerging Companies and Venture Capital Practice Group Peter Werner highlighted the growing number of companies who are focusing on ESG.

  • “Before 2021, there was one or maybe two public public benefit corporations. Now there are a dozen or more, including a couple of public corporations that converted to public benefit corporations during the year. And that has really had a trickle down effect and has disarmed concerns that an investment in a private company that’s a PBC or anything but a regular C-corp is like investing in a nonprofit.”

Thank you Cooley for sponsoring this event.

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