Dealflow | January 20, 2021

Breakthrough Energy Ventures doubles down on cleantech

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, January 20 – Breakthrough Energy Ventures has raised an additional $1 billion to invest in up to 50 startups with potentially game-changing climate solutions.

In 2016, the billionaire-backed venture capital firm’s $1 billion commitment to accelerate the low-carbon transition helped lead a rebound in cleantech investing. BEV’s second round of funding comes as even commercial investors are chasing clean and climate tech solutions (see, “Investors and corporations bet billions on mobility’s all-electric future“).

BEV has made more than 30 investments. Since June, it has done more than 10 deals, backing lab-grown breast milk producer BIOMILQ; low-carbon concrete producer CarbonCure Technologies; Zero Mass Water, a tech venture converting water vapor to drinking water; and ZeroAvia, a producer of zero-emission power trains for airplanes. 

Amazon, which committed to investing $2 billion in low- and no-carbon tech ventures, has invested in three BEV portfolio companies.

Patient capital

BEV’s 20-year investment timeframe is more than double most venture capital funds. MIT spin-out The Engine, which co-invests with BEV, has a similarly long time horizon, reflecting the long development paths of deep tech startups.

Prime Coalition and Fifty Years are derisking high-impact climate tech with creative philanthropic capital and first-in institutional capital.