Apr 19, 2023 - Energy & Environment

$300M fund to help climate tech startups keep growing

Illustration of hands holding garden scissors and a spray bottle next to a small potted plant.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

The prominent, early-stage climate tech VC firm Congruent Ventures has closed a $300 million-plus "Continuity Fund" that will aid companies in its existing portfolio.

Driving the news: Congruent's third fund is aimed at startups that are "scaling gracefully, both in terms of revenue and capital allocation," co-founder and managing partner Abe Yokell said in an interview.

  • He said it's essentially a "Series B to C entry point."

The big picture: Commitments to the fund from limited partners are "bucking the recent trend" of LPs "trimming their exposure to venture capital and private equity," Congruent's announcement states.

Zoom in: The first four startups supported by the new fund are:

  • Fervo Energy, a geothermal company.
  • Meati, a plant-based protein provider.
  • Span.io, which provides "smart" electrical panels that help integrate home solar, storage and EVs.
  • AMP Robotics, a materials recovery startup.

Catch up fast: Congruent, helmed by longtime clean tech veterans, launched in 2017 with a $92 million fund, and a second $175 million fund in 2021.

  • Its backers include CalSTRS, investors advised by Cambridge Associates, and pension funds in the U.S. and Canada, to name some.
  • The firm sees a landscape very different than the clean tech bust a decade ago — and that was true even before the new climate law.

The bottom line: “The whole goal of the organization, from the get-go, has been to prove to the world that there are returns that you can generate by investing in the venture asset class within climate,” Yokell said.

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