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Galvanize closes $1B climate tech fund

Illustration of the Earth being covered in hundred dollar bills.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Galvanize Climate Solutions, co-founded by billionaire Tom Steyer, has closed its first $1 billion fund to invest in climate tech from early to growth stage.

Why it matters: The firm joins a small group of climate-focused peers with billion-dollar funds, and has tapped well-known partners to lead it.

Details: The Innovation + Expansion Fund is co-led by Saloni Multani, who was the former CFO for Joe Biden's presidential campaign; Veery Maxwell, a founding partner at Ajax Investment Strategies; and Cliff Ryan, formerly managing director with Riverstone Holdings.

  • Its strategic advisers include Lisa Jackson, Apple's sustainability lead, and Cheryl Martin, who formerly led the Department of Energy's ARPA-E program.
  • Multani told Axios earlier this week that Galvanize "solely invests in climate solutions," with checks ranging from $10 million up to $70 million plus.

Zoom in: Fundraising started in the go-go climate investing environment of 2021, and the fund has already made 11 investments.

  • Portfolio company industries include carbon and sustainability accounting firms (Pulsora and Watershed), software startups for agriculture (Regrow and Arable), transit (The Routing Company), cement and concrete (Alcemy) and consumer-goods supply chain (Worldly).
  • Deep-tech bets include super conductor power line startup Veir, Australian mining tech company Plotlogic and e-fuels maker Lydian.

Zoom out: VCs invested fewer dollars into climate tech in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022, but climate-focused funds remained more resilient while more generalist funds cut back on climate.

  • While growth capital took the largest hit in the first half of the year, some investors are predicting a return of climate growth capital.
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