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Congruent raises $275M for third climate fund

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early stage climate investor Congruent Ventures raised $275 million for its third flagship fund, the firm tells Axios.

Why it matters: Congruent is among the most respected venture firms in climate investing— and it's reflected in the raise, which pushed the firm's AUM past $1 billion.

Of note: Congruent says it turned away an additional $300 million-plus in potential investment.

Driving the news: Congruent expects to back 30 startups through Fund III, starting in late Q1 2024.

  • It'll write initial checks ranging from $250,000 to $5 million, typically as lead investor.

Details: LPs include the California State Teachers' Retirement System, the Grantham Foundation, the University of California, Sobrato Capital, Strategic Investment Group, Northwestern University, Vintage Investment Partners, and clients advised by Cambridge Associates.

Of note: Shell's venture capital arm is the fund's only corporate investor.

  • "There are other oil companies that tried quite hard to come in. We politely declined," managing partner Joshua Posamentier says.

Plus: "The bigger the fund, the harder it is to write those small checks and pay attention to them," Posamentier tells Axios.

Context: While other venture firms and startups have struggled for a year or longer to hit fundraising targets, Congruent this month closed Fund III less than six months after it began pitching investors.

  • The firm's portfolio includes plant-based protein maker Meati Foods, recycling sorting startup Amp Robotics, geothermal developer Fervo Energy, and electrification startup Span.io.

Meanwhile: Congruent this spring raised a $300 million "continuity fund" to further its startups' growth.

Separately: The firm has had three "positive exits" since launching in 2017, Posamentier says:

  • BP's acquisitions of building electrification startup Blueprint and EV fleet services provider Amply for undisclosed prices in 2021, and vehicle imaging developer Sense Photonic's SPAC merger that year with blank-check company Ouster for a reported $71.3 million.
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