Axios Pro: Climate Deals

May 29, 2024

Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Happy 🐪 day!

🛢️ Situational awareness: ConocoPhillips agreed to buy Marathon Oil in an all-stock deal that values the company at $22.5 billion.

1 big thing: A hefty hardware fund

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Early stage investment firm Clean Energy Ventures has raised $305 million for its second fund targeting startups developing the hardware needed to decarbonize.

Why it matters: It's a big chunk of money for nascent startups pursuing some of the most challenging tech in climate, Alan writes.

The big picture: Clean Energy Ventures closed Fund II after a lengthy raise that started in July 2022, a spokesperson tells Axios.

  • It's nearly triple the size of Clean Energy Ventures' debut $110 million fund.
  • The firm had initially targeted $200 million. It raised the cap after reaching that figure in six months, the spokesperson says.
  • LPs include Carbon Equity, The Grantham Foundation, Builders Vision, and New Summit Investments.

Catch up fast: Clean Energy Ventures got its start in 2017, but it draws from seasoned climate veterans, including managing partner Daniel Goldman, who launched a clean energy-focused private equity firm in 2003, and strategic advisor Ernest Moniz, the former U.S. energy secretary.

The latest: The firm generally invests as lead or co-lead, and it typically seeks board seats.

  • It's targeting startups from pre-seed through early growth rounds, an expansion from its Fund I practice of investing up to a startup's Series A.
  • "Technologies and companies with the potential to mitigate 2.5 gigatons of emissions is our key criteria," Goldman tells Axios.

The intrigue: Clean Energy Ventures with Fund II is expanding its focus to Europe and Israel, which has included opening an office in London.

  • Fund investments so far include Israeli green ammonia startup Nitrofix and UK sustainable aviation fuel developer OxCCU, as well as battery maker Noon Energy and compressor technology developer Evari.
  • The firm declined to predict how many companies it expects to invest in through the new fund. It backed 20 startups through Fund I.

👀 Worthy of your time: Goldman worries some of the challenges facing the energy transition may be insurmountable.

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