Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Exclusive: Crux nets $18M for clean energy credits, led by a16z

headshot
Jan 30, 2024
Illustration of a calculator surrounded by clean energy imagery, abstract shapes, and money elements.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Crux Climate closed an $18 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz to expand its marketplace for buying and selling clean energy tax credits, the startup tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The Inflation Reduction Act created a booming market for companies like Crux that provide tools for financing solar, wind, battery and other energy transition projects.

How it works: Crux is among a handful of startups that launched tax credit marketplaces shortly after President Biden signed the IRA. The company says its aim is to make clean energy financing more efficient.

  • The IRA provides hundreds of billions of dollars in tax credits for companies building facilities or producing clean power and materials.
  • A key piece of the law for Crux is that the credits are transferable, a stipulation that creates its own market for energy transition projects, with the company providing products and software to support it.
  • "Crux is the ecosystem for developers, tax credit buyers, and financial institutions to transact and manage transferable tax credits. Our network
    and tools streamline transactions, provide access to a large market, and reduce risk...," the company says.

Driving the news: Andreessen Horowitz led the all equity round.

  • Existing investors Lowercarbon Capital, New System Ventures, Overture, and Three Cairns Group also joined.
  • Andreessen Horowitz general partner David Haber is joining Crux's board.

Details: Crux collects a fee from transactions on its site. It also offers a white-label version of its software to banks and others.

  • Including the latest round, the company has raised $27 million.

Of note: Crux published a report last week on the surge in tax equity trading activity, which reached as high as $9 billion last year.

  • Crux itself has seen the volume of tax credits on its site grow from $1 billion last summer to $8.3 billion, CEO Alfred Johnson tells Axios.

Context: Other tax credit marketplaces in the space include Reunion Infrastructure, Evergrow and Ever.green.

What's next: Crux plans to expand its team from 15 to 30-plus people. Johnson and co-founder Allen Kramer previously launched and sold events management startup, Mobilize.

Go deeper