ImpactAlpha, October 24 — Trees get all the glory. But oceans absorb 20 times more carbon dioxide than trees. “Only a fraction of venture capital dollars that have flooded into climate tech flows into the seascape of ocean-based solutions,” said Hubspot cofounder Brian Halligan, who is launching Boston-based Propeller in partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The seed fund will target early-stage companies using algae and microbes for energy, green packaging and pharmaceutical applications to decarbonize maritime shipping, lithium mining, offshore wind and desalination and other solutions.
Halligan, “a sizable investor” in the seed fund, calls oceans “the planet’s best hope to decarbonize the global economy.” Propeller has closed three deals through the fund. The firm also will make grants to “accelerate IP” out of Woods Hole.
Ocean impact funds
Investors are starting to embrace ocean-based solutions.
Ocean 14 Capital last month secured €100 million from Lukas Walton’s Builders Initiative, Minderoo Foundation, the European Investment Bank and other investors for an ocean impact fund targeting €150 million to invest in growth-stage tech companies in sustainable fish and aquaculture, alternative protein and ocean health and conservation.
Walton’s S2G Ventures raised a $100 million fund to invest in ocean health and sustainable seafood in August 2020. The Althelia Ecosphere Sustainable Ocean Fund, now managed by Mirova, closed a $132 million fund in 2020.