Investible launches $100M AUD fund for early-stage climate tech startups

Investible, the Sydney-based early-stage venture firm known for investments in Canva and other top Australian startups, announced today it is raising a $100 million AUD (about $72.3 million USD) Climate Tech Fund. This is the first time Investible has launched a sector-focused fund. Its first two funds, including a $50 million AUD one closed earlier this year, were both sector-agnostic.

Last month, Investible also said it will launch Greenhouse, a growth and innovation hub for climate tech startups, in partnership with the City of Sydney. Once it opens next year, Greenhouse will bring together startups, researchers, academics and corporations, including climate tech companies outside of Investible’s portfolio.

“It’s about helping them go from startup to scale, and so some of that will be additional research to improve their technology or engaging corporates to understand what exactly they are looking for and also finding their next customers,” said Tom Kline, one of the heads of the Climate Tech Fund.

The fund will invest in seed rounds, but reserve half of its capital for follow-on funding. It will primarily back Australian companies, but also plans to devote up to 30% of the fund to international companies. It is focused on the six sectors identified by the United Nations Environment Programme as the most important for reducing climate change and global warming: energy, transport, industry, buildings and cities, food and agriculture, and forests and land use.

The fund will be led by Kline, former chief executive officer of renewable energy manager New Energy Solar, and Patrick Sieb, who has invested in tech companies since 2014 and focused specifically on climate tech startups since 2019.

“With each passing year, we’re noticing that we need to do more in the space, and coming from the other end, Investible sees deal flow of between 1,500 to 2,000 a year, and an increasing amount of those have been climate focused,” Kline told TechCrunch about the firm’s decision to launch a climate-focused fund after being sector-agnostic.

He added that more people are paying attention to climate change and it’s driving consumer choices and prompting corporations to become more transparent. More governments are also setting targets that will require significant technology — and capital — to achieve.

Investible’s climate fund will typically participate in seed rounds starting from about $1.5 million AUD, contributing up to 30%, so about $500,000 AUD. Follow-on checks could be up to several million dollars.

The fund will use the same investment process as Investible’s sector-agnostic funds, but with climate-focused criteria. For example, it may look at how much emissions it can reduce, the founding team, opportunity size and how long it will take to develop and monetize its tech.

“Scientists have been talking about climate change for decades and there’s been a lot of debate, but I think we’re finally at the stage where the debate is over and people are acknowledging that this is human-caused and we really must take action this decade,” said Kline.