Specialist climate VCs reign supreme
Venture firms investing solely in climate technology are driving the majority of deal activity in the industry.
Why it matters: There's been lots of chatter — and blame — about the increase in deal activity and higher valuations coming from generalist investors hoping to break into the red-hot climate technology sector.
Reality check: That's not the case, according to PitchBook data provided exclusively to Axios.
State of play: Historically, deal activity has been concentrated among the venture firms that have made a name for themselves by investing in climate and energy technology.
- The surge of deal activity in 2021 and 2022 hasn't shifted that expectation much at all.
- Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the top climate investor among its peers, was founded in 2015 and is backed by Bill Gates.
- SOSV is much older — founded in 1995 — and has a much more stage-agnostic approach to investing in climate technology companies, but fell short of Breakthrough's more aggressive deal activity to date.
The intrigue: Several firms, including Alumni Ventures and Sand Hill Angels, focus on the earliest stages of investment.
- Those firms' activity speaks to the rate of company creation in climate technology.