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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Funds are making moves to achieve climate solutions breakthroughs, as well as investing in companies that seek to help communities better manage the climate risks they already face today.

Driving the news: StormSensor, a company that monitors watersheds in real time, including providing flood data, announced on Wednesday that it has closed a $10 million funding round. The funding is co-led by Orbia Ventures and Buoyant Ventures, with participation from other funds and individuals.

Details: The company’s work is not the sexiest role in the climate tech space, but it’s increasingly vital as extreme precipitation events increase in intensity and frequency as global warming continues.

  • StormSensor places modular devices in pipes and other locations to monitor stormwater, sewer and coastal infrastructure in cities across the U.S., including Seattle, Norfolk, Virginia, and Boston.
  • The company’s cloud-based software can alert city officials when water depth gets too high or flow declines, potentially signaling impending flooding. StormSensor offers a whole-scale replacement of traditional ways of monitoring that rely on spot checks of tiny components of a city’s total underground infrastructure.

What they're saying: Erin Rothman, founder and CEO of StormSensor, told Axios that her vision for the company is for it to provide city agencies the equivalent of Google traffic maps of sewers and stormwater systems, and eventually coastal systems, too.

  • “We're monitoring and tracking how water is moving through these systems, or in many cases, how water is not moving through the systems,” she said. “And it's important to be able to do it both during good weather conditions and of course, disasters.”

State of play: In a separate development illustrating the push on carbon mitigation and cutting emissions, Lowercarbon Capital, the climate-focused VC firm led by Chris Sacca, yesterday told limited partners that it wants to raise two new funds, Axios has learned. One will be focused on carbon removal and the other on fusion.

What we're watching: Ryan Orbuch will lead the carbon removal fund. He joins Lowercarbon from Stripe, where he was widely credited with helping make the payments company a carbon removal pioneer.

  • Per the letter to LPs: "Removal means removal. It means cleanup on Aisle 2 of the 170 years of milk already spilled."
  • On fusion, Lowercarbon already has backed three companies; including Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which just raised more than $1.8 billion in new funding. Per the letter to LPs: "The biggest tipping point will come when fusion reaction generates more energy than it takes in... Q>1 is the Kitty Hawk moment for energy. It's Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic and Aldrin bouncing on the moon..."
  • Neither fund has a refined target, but both include a 15% GP commit and a 25% carried interest, per documents obtained by Axios.

Get smarter, faster on climate technology with our free, 5-video short course.

Go deeper

Visualizing the climate stakes of Build Back Better's downfall

Expand chart
Data: REPEAT Project; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A report from the Princeton-led REPEAT Project examines the scope of Democratic energy legislation in the Build Back Better Act that's on the brink of collapse.

By the numbers: The analysis projects the impact of the more than $300 billion in expanded tax incentives for deploying low-emissions tech, and other climate-related provisions that push the total even higher.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.

49 mins ago - Technology

Exclusive: YouTube shuts down two Oath Keepers channels

Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers. (Photo: Aaron C. Davis/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

YouTube has deactivated two channels linked to the Oath Keepers militia group whose members have been charged in relation to the January 6 Capitol riot, the company told Axios.

The big picture: Social media platforms that were used to plan or promote the Capitol attack have moved with varying degrees of speed to bar the accounts involved.

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