Dealflow | June 27, 2024

Blackhorn raises $150 million to invest in digital infrastructure for the low-carbon transition

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

Denver-headquartered Blackhorn Ventures backs early-stage clean tech companies that are addressing industrial resource efficiency. The firm sees a $1.7 trillion opportunity as new manufacturing and AI “super cycles” kick off and economies are rejiggered for a low-carbon future. 

With its second Industrial Impact Fund, Blackhorn is looking to fund ventures that can accelerate the transition, at the point when “they’re commercializing [and] thinking about the pathway to scale,” the firm’s Micah Kotch told ImpactAlpha.

The venture capital fund has made 20 seed and Series A investments, and plans to make another five investments, primarily in the US and Europe (see, “The LiiST”). It is targeting “founders at the forefront of industrial AI, addressing critical labor shortages, and delivering scalable decarbonization solutions,” said Blackhorn’s Melissa Cheong.

About half of the $150 million fund has been reserved for follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies. 


Blackhorn’s portfolio includes Seattle-based Electric Era, which has developed a high-speed EV charging system; and EcoWorks, a German startup retrofitting apartment buildings with prefabricated facades that improve properties’ energy efficiency.

Kotch says there’s been several mark-ups across the portfolio, with “nine out of the 20 companies [that] have either raised subsequent capital or received term sheets for up-rounds or round extensions.”

Strategic LPs

Investors in Blackhorn’s Industrial Impact Fund include Grantham Foundation, Jonathan Rose and Idaho-based family office Caprock, as well as corporate investors Mitsubishi Electric, Mercuria Energy and Westlake Corporation.

The LPs have “real reach, domain expertise and scale, and a real interest in startup innovation,” said Kotch. Blackhorn’s goal is to leverage the fund’s relationship with LPs, particularly those that will become customers of portfolio companies, to accelerate the pathway to scale.