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Climate fund Blackhorn halfway toward $200M industrial fund

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Climate investor Blackhorn Ventures has raised about half of a planned $200 million industrial fund, the firm tells Axios.

Why it matters: The early-stage fund has already invested in about 15 digital-focused startups working to cut emissions in hard-to-decarbonize sectors.

What's happening: Blackhorn's Industrial Impact Fund II is investing in software-focused startups raising seed and Series A rounds.

Context: The $200 million target is double the firm's first industrial fund.

  • That $100 million vehicle, closed in 2019, ultimately backed 19 startups.

Zoom in: The fund will make about 30 seed investments and another 10-12 Series A investments, managing partner Melissa Cheong says.

  • Initial check sizes will be about $1 million for the seed rounds, and $4 million to $7 million for the Series A rounds, typically as lead investor.
  • Blackhorn plans to reserve about 50% of the fund for follow-on investment.

Of note: Investors include the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Getty Family, and billionaire Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of asset management firm GMO.

What's next: The new fund's investments are heavily concentrated in AI.

  • They include language-learning and data model startups Datch and Electric Era; generative AI developer Circuit Mind; deep-learning startup Fero Labs; and infrastructure software provider Golioth.
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