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Elemental Excelerator accelerates $43M fund

Megan Hernbroth
Mar 15, 2023
Illustration of a watering can pouring dollar bills.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Elemental Excelerator, a nonprofit group that funds climate tech startups, sped up finalizing its $43 million fund in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank's closure, the group tells Axios.

Why it matters: The firm hopes the faster-than-expected completion of its fund will help companies dealing with the aftermath of SVB's collapse and any disruption created with banking and lines of credit.

What's happening: Elemental raised the money from its network of nonprofit partners, which includes Emerson Collective, Grantham Foundation and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, among others.

  • It started the fundraise prior to the SVB collapse to help support its incoming cohort of companies, which can be later-stage compared to its previous early-stage cohorts.

Of note: Its network of LPs are government entities and other nonprofits.

  • The group accelerated the rollout of the additional funding, which was slated for later this year, due to the SVB closure, CEO Dawn Lippert tells Axios.

Zoom in: The firm hosted a call with its portfolio companies on Sunday to assess their needs after the government took over SVB on Friday.

  • Of Elemental's approximately 150 portfolio companies, roughly 40 had banked with SVB.
  • An additional 10 banked with First Republic, a regional bank sucked into the SVB mess early this week.

The bottom line: "We're nimble, we're flexible, and we want to be responsive to that need," Lippert says, referring to portfolio companies. "I think in some ways, we're all waiting to see how this is gonna play out."

Editor's note: Elemental Excelerator raised a $43 million fund, not $45 million as it initially said.

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