ImpactAlpha, October 30 — TELUS’ Pollinator Fund for Good has backed three new impact startups. Among the additions to the Vancouver-based corporate social impact fund is Houston-based Climate Robotics, which uses robotics and artificial intelligence to convert agricultural waste into biochar for sequestering carbon. The Pollinator Fund led Climate Robotics’ $20 million venture round.
The Pollinator Fund’s investment in Erthos’ $6.5 million Series A round will help the Ontario-based startup expand its plant-based resin alternatives to single-use plastics.
South Africa’s smart energy company Plentify retrofits home appliances. Its flagship product, HotBot, connects to electric water heaters to operate them more efficiently. Linked HotBots can serve as virtual power plants, allowing for a shift in energy usage away from peak hours to times when excess renewable energy is available.
“TELUS’ investment is a catalyst in our mission to ease the strain on global electricity grids amidst rapid urbanization and climate change,” said Plentify’s Jon Kornik.
Corporate impact footprint
The Pollinator Fund has deployed over $40 million in 30 impact startups. Half of the fund’s portfolio companies are led by Indigenous and other minority founders; 42% are led by women.
Canadian telecommunications company TELUS launched the corporate fund three years ago to invest in local and global impact startups focused on improving health, agriculture, the environment, and social and economic inclusion in Canada.