Dealflow | November 13, 2023

Pioneer snags $2.9 million to connect climate tech founders with government funding

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, November 13 — Navigating the labyrinth of government funding has been a challenge for founders of cleantech ventures looking to tap the hundreds of billions of loan, grant and tax-credit capital in the Inflation Reduction Act and other laws. The IRA alone involves 119 programs managed by multiple federal agencies.

San Francisco-based Pioneer uses artificial intelligence to help startups identify and apply for government funding opportunities. “Parsing and matching huge amounts of written data for a process that’s non-core to your daily operations: that is a perfect job for large language models,” said Ernst Sack of Blue Bear Capital, which led Pioneer’s seed round.

IRA edge

Pioneer, which bills itself as “an outsourced incentives team,” has been helping time-strapped founders take advantage of the historic government largesse since February. Pioneer will use the investment “to speed up development and serve more entrepreneurs looking to rapidly deploy and scale key climate solutions,” said the firm’s Mitko Simeonov.

Participating investors in the round also include Collaborative Fund, Soma Capital,Cool Climate Collective and Kayan Ventures.