2030 is the new 2050 as countries and companies compete on climate ambitions. Call it The Great Acceleration. Goals for cutting carbon emissions that seemed ambitious when the Paris Agreement was forged six years ago have become passé even before they've been achieved. Net-zero by 2050 no longer impresses. This Earth Day is marked by the confluence of a rising climate emergency with falling costs for renewable energy, battery storage, electric vehicles and other low-carbon solutions. Leaders in the low-carbon transition now have to show dramatic results – by 2030. That has flipped climate action from being a drag on financial performance and economic growth to being its main driver – and a competitive business and national advantage. “It's not about 2050,” said President Joe Biden’s climate change adviser Gina McCarthy. “It's about what we do in the next decade.”
Dealflow: Follow the Money
Misfits Market raises $200 million to sell 'ugly' fruits and vegetables. The raise brings funding for the New Jersey-based food startup to $301.5 million and pushes its valuation north of $1 billion. Misfits multiplied its customer based and order volume by five last year, shipping 44 millions pounds of food. In January, its food reuse peer Imperfect Foods raised $95 million. Investors are eyeing the $14 billion annual investment opportunity in halving U.S. food waste. Accel and D1 Capital led Misfits' round. Valor Equity Partners, Greenoaks Capital, Sound Ventures, Third Kind Ventures and others also participated.
Signals: Ahead of the Curve
Fifteen startups offer solutions for land restoration in Latin America. Latin America a testing ground for innovative environmental financing and business solutions: Lending incentives supporting smallholder farmers. Partnerships with Indigenous communities on forest restoration. Carbon credits for Amazon restoration. And pay-for-success forest conservation. Fifteen entrepreneurs in the first Latin American cohort of the World Resources Institute’s Land Accelerator are rolling out solutions to restore 50 million hectares by 2030 (see, “Land Accelerator helps close financing gap for African soil startups”).
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
ISF Advisors is hiring a project manager and an investment associate… Lowercarbon Capital seeks a synthetic biology associate… Great Lakes Protection Fund is looking for a project development manager in Evanston, Ill.
“It’s a great time for new entrants, but for those of us who’ve been doing this for a while it is equally urgent to raise our game right and to not get complacent,” said Margot Brandenburg of the Ford Foundation.
Bryce Roberts and Tim O’Reilly: VCs that help startups raise revenues, not rounds
The team at
New Revivalists is a series from ImpactAlpha and Village Capital profiling the people, places and policies reviving entrepreneurship — and the American Dream.
New Revivalists: Bryce Roberts and Tim O’Reilly, co-founders, Indie.vc. Place: San Francisco Bay Area The approach: “It’s not how fast you grow, but can you grow sustainably. This focus on operating businesses that make early revenue is a really fresh idea in Silicon Valley. But it’s a really old idea in the real world.” Follow: @bryce and @timoreilly
In an age of bloated venture capital funds and startups that are long on valuations and short on profit models, investor Bryce Roberts and media entrepreneur Tim O’Reilly are getting back to basics.
Through an approach they dubbed Indie.vc, Roberts and O’Reilly are surrounding founders with the resources and networks that other VCs offer, but without the baggage and sky-high expectations. The team has backed 16 firms with investments of between $100,000 and $500,000, with a focus on customers, cash flow and sustainability rather than future mega-funding rounds.
The investments are executed through O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV), the pair’s venture capital firm, which is applying the Indie.vc approach in its fourth fund. ImpactAlpha caught up with Roberts and O’Reilly to talk about their unconventional approach to investing in and building companies, and why they burned that unicorn head.