2030 Finance | October 2, 2018

Billionaires’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund makes seven investments

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, October 2 – The $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) fund launched in late-2016 to finance emerging climate-friendly energy technologies. It has recently invested in seven new ventures, including:

  • Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which is building an experimental fusion energy device, called Sparc;
  • Zero Mass Water, which is creating rooftop devices to capture fresh water from the air;
  • Pivot Bio, which is developing an alternative to standard nitrogen-based fertilizers;
  • CarbonCure, which is devising a way to turn concrete production from a high-carbon industry to a carbon-capture industry;
  • Fervo Energy, which is designing new geothermal energy systems;
  • DMC Biotechnologies, which is testing new microbe strains to serve as the basis for making biofuels; and
  • QuantumScape, which, like BEV’s prior investments, is working in battery design.

In all, BEV has made nine investments and has committed about 10% of its fund.

The fund, which is backed by a billionaire bench including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Mukesh Ambani, Richard Branson, makes long-term investments of up to 20 years, to address the need of extremely patient capital required by early stage, high tech companies.

BEV’s first two investments were in Quidnet Energy, which turns old oil wells into energy storage vaults, and Form Energy, which is developing battery chemistries to lower renewable-energy storage costs.