Discover Climentum Capital | With Yoann Berno

Fund Fact Sheet:

Size and horizon: €150m total fund size with final close expected for the end of 2022

Focus: The 6 most promising CO2 reducing verticals:

  • NextGen Renewables
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Industry & Manufacturing
  • Buildings & Architecture
  • Transportation & Mobility
  • Waste & Materials

Geography: Europe, occasionally Northern America and Israel

Maturity/stage: Late Seed (Seed+) and Series A investments (mature R&D and initial commercial traction)

Ticket size: 25 startup investments at €1-5m EUR initial investment. 50% of capital reserved for follow-on investments

Potential lead: Yes, 50% lead, 50% follow-on alongside strong generalist VCs and other world-class Climate Tech investors. (We lead investments where we can obtain a 10-25% entry stake, often in companies that offer outsized return potential in areas that are not yet obvious to generalist VCs.)

About the Fund:

How would you describe your VC and your investment thesis/guiding principles in one sentence?

Climentum Capital is a VC fund that scales climate-positive ventures.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the main partners/experts in the team?

We are an international, experienced, and diverse team: 5 GPs, thereof 2 women, based in three of the most strategically important Northern European innovation hubs: Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Berlin.

Climentum is set up as a digital and remote-first fund.

With two partners out of five being female (40% female), Climentum is one of the most equal VC organizations in Europe and intends to continue doing everything possible to bridge the gender gap.

Why do you think now is the right moment to launch this fund?

The timing couldn’t be better with the pressure on energy markets, liquidities tightening up and startup valuations cooling off.

The fund’s investment thesis is rooted in several macro trends, all related and mutually reinforcing:

  • Shifting consumer preferences, with consumers already changing their habits to more ethical, clean, circular, and regenerative products
  • Shifting political sentiment and regulatory frameworks: with governments feeling increasing pressure from their electoral base to accelerate the pace of climate-friendly reforms
  • Shifting corporate spending: with a boom in corporate spending veering towards sustainability and carbon neutrality
  • Shifting corporate strategies: with a profound restructuring of supply chains, operations and playbooks to secure market share and retain valuable employees
  • Increasing pressure on energy and commodities markets: with a recent spike in energy prices due to conflicts, supply chain issues, and scarce resources forcing nations to boost their green energy transition and enact a true circular economy.

What is your unfair advantage? What do you bring besides money?

We support companies with impact assessment and documentation, access to non-dilutive funding, and carbon credit expertise. 

Our portfolio companies get access to our network of vertical experts, strategic corporates and partner Climate Tech funds and investors. We also mentor founders on operational strategy, HR, company culture and provide active board support.

What do you look for in entrepreneurs?

We are an SFDR Article 9 fund. This means that we will only invest in companies that aim to realize annual emission reductions of 100 MtCO2e at scale and founders who are truly motivated to deliver that.

We conduct a scientific climate impact assessment as part of every due diligence and work closely with companies on ensuring that the climate impact gets realized.

Can you give a few examples of startups you previously invested in and why?

You can follow all our investments in our Medium blog:

We have invested or are finalizing deals in the following verticals:

  • Composite material recycling
  • Plastics recycling
  • Microbial protein
  • Insect-based protein

What is the best way for founders to approach you and what will convince you to have a first meeting?

We suggest submitting a direct application on our website which our sourcing team consults daily:

Make sure to emphasize how your tech can become a true commercial success and cut down or avoid 1 million tons CO2e emissions per year.

What is the most important advice you would give deep tech founders?

Tackle a REALLY big problem. That’s the only way to attract great VC money and world-class talent.

Start with the end in mind. Visualize where you want to take your business. Convince investors with your level of clarity and conviction on the milestones to get there.

Learn from other people’s mistakes, not your own. If you don’t know enough about that space, join another startup that’s 3 years ahead of you. Learn as much as possible, develop access to partners/customers/talent, then start your own project.

Who are your LPs and how did you convince them to invest their money in deep tech?

Climentum capital is backed by renowned corporate investors, banks, industrial conglomerates such as BASF Venture Capital, Arbejdernes Landsbank, Vaekstfonden, prominent family offices and successful tech entrepreneurs – all sharing the ambition to combat climate change through investing in disruptive technologies.

What do you think will be the next big thing in deep tech?

Any solution that solves one of the world’s largest problems will have pent-up demand and become a unicorn in just a few years. Some examples to name a few:

  • Sustainably recovering raw materials (fibers, resins) from end-of-life composite materials and manufacturing waste
  • Producing closed-loop aquaponics with recycled water for sustainable seafood production
  • Reinventing forestry using drones to reduce carbon dioxide production and forest destruction
  • Harnessing the power of algae to convert CO2 into valuable fish and animal feed
  • Enabling efficient and scalable insect farming
  • Redistributing excess food and eliminating food waste
  • Decentralized data centers in urban buildings, reusing heat production

What current trend(s) are you seeing in the deep tech investment landscape?

There are already 46 Climate Tech Unicorns around the world who have collectively raised over $46B+ of total funding in the last decade and are now collectively valued at $130B+ (Reference: HolonIQ).

With Climate tech being the fastest growing vertical in Europe (Reference), Climentum thinks there could be hundreds more and dozens of climate decacorns by the end of the decade.

The European Climate ecosystem is in full blossom and Climentum intends to play a central role shaping it by collecting and sharing Europe’s top investors and founders’ insights in their new podcast Climate Insiders.

Head to Climentum Capital for more info.

Social Media Sharing