Buoyant Ventures debuts $76M climate fund backed by Microsoft
Buoyant Ventures, a Chicago-based firm launched by Energize Ventures co-founder Amy Francetic, unveiled its first fund at $76 million.
Why it matters: The female-owned debut venture fund will be investing in early-stage climate software startups. Microsoft's Climate Innovation Fund is among the LPs.
What's happening: Francetic launched the firm with Allison Myers, formerly of Accenture, in January 2020.
- In addition to Microsoft, LPs include Xcel Energy, Bank of America, NiSource, WovenEarth Ventures and the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer.
Zoom in: The fund has made nine investments so far.
- They include Raptor Maps, a software developer for tracking the solar energy lifecycle, FloodFlash, a parametric flood insurance provider, and ReelData, a software provider for land-based aquaculture.
Of note: Buoyant had initially aimed to raise $100 million.
- Francetic said LPs started pulling back venture investments when recession fears surfaced last year.
- "That made us really proud that we got to $76. And because we’ve been investing since we did our first close [in May 2021], we felt we had to turn our attention from building this portfolio to these companies."
State of play: Women remain underrepresented in venture capital — both in terms of who's deciding where the money goes and which founders receive it.
- Women held 16.4% of decision-maker roles at U.S. venture firms last year, per a PitchBook report in September.
- Female-founded companies made up 25.5% of U.S. venture deals, a decline from 2021.
What they're saying: "We are trying to fight those terrible statistics," Francetic says.
What's next: Buoyant plans to make 18 to 20 investments in total with the fund, with target investments in the $500,000 to $2 million range for seed rounds, and $3 million to $4 million for series A.