Three newest investments by impact-first fund Climate VC

Climate change investor, Climate VC, has announced its three newest investments, after launching last week. Offgrid.FinanceTreeconomy and Deep.Meta are the latest UK-founded start-ups being supported to achieve Climate VC’s aim of removing a gigatonne of CO2e from global emissions through investments in high-potential, high-impact, climate-focussed businesses.


Offgrid.Finance is a fintech matching SMEs in emerging markets with green capital providers who can finance cleantech assets, such as solar powered machinery and electric vehicles. Founded by Tim Chambers, Amyas Phillips and Paulina Sokolova, Offgrid.Finance enables the deployment of emission-reducing technologies by businesses in emerging markets that find themselves hindered by a lack of access to finance. 


Offgrid.Finance is building a software platform which overcomes the traditional barriers associated with this kind of lending: high per-transaction costs, difficulty in assessing risk/creditworthiness and high interest rates on small loan amounts. Focused initially on matching finance to business need in Kenya, before expanding to other emerging markets including India, its platform streamlines the process connecting funders with businesses seamlessly and across borders. 


Treeconomy connects rural landowners directly to the global carbon offset market, shrinking the carbon supply chain and providing them with a new source of income from trees. Founded by Harry Grocott and Robert Godfrey, Treeconomy packages and sells carbon offsets on behalf of landowners undertaking afforestation, providing them with a sustainable income stream and meeting companies’ growing demand for high quality offsets.


Forestry-based carbon offsetting is plagued with issues of precision, reliability, and transparency. Treeconomy’s mission is to change this and make forestry-based carbon offsetting as effective as it can be, for people and the planet. It uses high-resolution remote sensing equipment with tree-species recognition, to provide superior accuracy and trustworthiness in quantifying the value of woodland ecosystem services and the actual carbon sequestered. 


Deep.Meta aims to slash waste (yield losses) in global production of steel, detecting defects before they happen by creating digital twins of steel as it rolls through a production line. 1.8 bn tonnes of steel are produced every year – and for every tonne of steel made, two tonnes of CO2 are produced. That’s around 8% of global CO2 emissions annually. These high CO2 emissions can exclude steel producers from regulated markets like the construction sector which affects steel supply. Deep.Meta enables these producers to participate by reducing yield losses in steel production and their associated CO2 emission. Allowing for security in steel supply and for companies further downstream to achieve their environmental objectives while remaining competitive.


Founded by Osas Omoigiade, Deep.Meta’s algorithms monitor steel mills and predict defects early on, preventing waste and reducing the carbon intensity of steel production. The company has achieved success so far in its trials on historical production line data. Its platform aims to demonstrate competitive predictive accuracies in production which if successfully applied across the steel industry could reduce global emissions by 1.6% simply by making sure the steel we produce works. With Climate VC’s  investment, Deep.Meta will do its first work with steel mills ‘live’, catching defects as they occur.


Peet Denny, founding partner of Climate VC, comments: “Every inch of the global economy will need to change to achieve net zero. The business success stories of the next 100 years will be those that create real solutions to the climate crisis. Though very different businesses, Offgrid.Finance, Treeconomy and Deep.Meta are prime examples of businesses each delivering scalable and high-potential solutions to some of the many challenges the world will have to overcome in the years ahead.”


Tim Chambers, founder of Offgrid.Finance said: “The World Economic Forum has identified that Africa has fewer financial opportunities to support the race to net zero. As a fintech, we are matching cleantech entrepreneurs and businesses in emerging markets with the huge demand from climate and impact focused funds to invest in meaningful climate conscious businesses. We’re looking forward to scaling our plans in Kenya to get finance to the cleantech businesses that are raring to make positive change happen.”


Harry Grocott, founder of Treeconomy said: “As more and more businesses look to rewilding and reforestation to offset their emissions, precise, reliable and transparent measurement of impact are crucial. Treeconomy is able to measure the true value of a woodland’s natural capital, beyond ascertaining the value of the carbon captured. Our approach has the potential to funnel vast amounts of capital into natural regeneration over the coming years. This investment will support us to build a technology platform to massively scale our work.” 


Osas Omoigiade, founder of Deep.Meta said: “Steel is crucial to our everyday life from our infrastructure to transportation, so when 8% of global emissions are coming from steel, urgent action is needed. The digital twin technology we employ has the potential to slash the amount of CO2 wasted due to yield losses – representing 1.6% of global emissions. The steel industry needs multiple solutions to get to net zero – our aim is that Deep.Meta makes a significant contribution to getting it there.”


Investing in startups throughout the UK, Climate VC is a specialist climate tech investor focused on finding and backing climate change startups that might have been overlooked by other VCs. Climate VC wants to disrupt the traditional VC approach to climate innovation by putting as much emphasis on the climate impact of a venture as the commercial return. 


Raising funds from individual and institutional UK-based LPs, Climate VC will back 100-120 early-stage UK-based climate startups over three years. The investors aim to see at least 10 of these investments become full-scale successes, each removing 10 megatonnes of CO2e a year for a decade, cumulatively creating a gigatonne impact on the climate change mission by the mid 2030s. The team previously announced investments in Global OTEC and Tierra Foods


Operating a rolling fundraising model, Climate VC expects to double the funds raised every quarter, eventually having raised upwards of £35 million by 2025. All companies are EIS eligible and investors will also be offered strategic opportunities for co-investment. 


To find out more about Climate VC, please visit https://climate.vc/ 


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