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Exclusive: Prithvi raising $50M second fund

Jun 29, 2023
Illustration of a knob turning towards dollar bill signs of increasing size.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Climate tech-focused Prithvi Ventures is raising a second fund with a target of $50 million to invest in seed-stage climate tech startups, Axios has learned exclusively.

Why it matters: Led by general partner Kunal Sethi, Prithvi is one of the more prolific pre-seed and seed climate tech investors and has funded startups in sectors including batteries, recycling and carbon capture.

Details: Prithvi has begun raising the new fund and has already invested in three startups from it, Sethi says.

  • In total, Prithvi has a book value of $52.3 million across 36 startups including Amprius, Mars Materials, 6K and Capra Biosciences.
  • According to a new report from Silicon Valley Bank, Prithvi, which means "Mother Earth" in Sanskrit, was the fifth most prolific seed-stage climate investor. (Sethi says the report doesn't include a complete list of Prithvi's investments.)
  • Prithvi's first investment was into Amprius in early 2021, which went on to go public via SPAC just a short time later.

Of note: Sethi said that 33% of the fund's portfolio companies have female founders, and for fund two he's aiming to raise that to 60%.

Zoom in: Sethi says he's particularly excited about startups looking at synthetic biology and fermentation, which can develop products like biochemicals and biofuels or new materials and textiles.

  • Prithvi helps portfolio companies work on developing a life cycle analysis and a path for their climate tech products to eventually be priced competitively instead of having a green premium.

Big picture: Funding for growth-stage climate tech startups has slowed this year, but investors still seem bullish on early-stage companies.

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