Ecosia Launches World Fund to Support Founders of Climate Technology

Konya, Turkey-September 13: On September 13, 2018, a row of solar panels can be seen at the TeknoRay Solar Farm in Konya, Turkey. By 2023, Turkey plans to generate 30% of its electricity from renewable energy sources with the aim of alleviating its reliance on energy imports from Iran, Russia and Iraq. Due to its geographical location, Turkey has the potential for the second largest amount of solar energy in Europe, with an average of 7.2 hours of sunshine per day. (Photo by Chris McGrath / Getty Images)

Chris McGrath | Getty Images

Ecosia, a search engine that uses advertising revenue to plant trees, has launched a € 350 million ($ 405 million) venture capital fund focused on the climate crisis.

According to Ecosia, the so-called World Fund will invest in the “next generation” of founders who want to tackle this problem and measure its success in terms of “climate change” and economic benefits.

“Our goal is to resolve climate change,” Ecosia CEO Christian Kroll told CNBC a few days before the COP26 Climate Summit, prior to the launch on Tuesday.

“We’ve been planting trees in Ecosia for a long time,” Kroll said, adding that the company has planted 136 million trees so far. “But that alone is not enough to solve climate change.”

Ecosia search engine has 15 million monthly active users and is expected to generate annual revenue of € 25 million ($ 29 million) this year. However, its user base size is inferior to Google, which has billions of users.

Ecosia “is very well connected to many climate change start-ups,” Kroll said, but the money generated through search engines can’t help them.

“The promise to our users is that if you search with us, we will spend money on tree planting,” he said. “If putting it into a high-risk start-up doesn’t work, it won’t be very popular,” he said.

He hopes that setting up another VC fund that raises money from another source will help solve this problem.

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft’s billionaire, said in an interview broadcast Wednesday: Climate technology produces 8-10 Tesla, Google, Amazon and Microsoft. People Ecosia has a similar view and believes that the most valuable companies in the next decade will be those that enable a decarbonized world.

Reduction of carbon emissions

More than half of the funding for the World Fund is already from entrepreneurs and large institutions, he added, and the fund has made three unannounced investments.

Daniel Visevic, Head of Investment at Ecosia and Head of the Global Fund, said:

In total, the Global Fund will be used to support approximately 40 early and “growth” enterprises.

One important caveat to note is that all companies invested by the Global Fund must contribute to significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Specifically, the fund only invests in companies that have the potential to remove 100 megatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

“Everything goes back to that number, no matter what the technology is,” World Fund partner Craig Douglas told CNBC.

The World Fund said it would consider supporting carbon-reducing companies, among other things, in food and agriculture, transportation, and the “building environment.”

Ecosia claims that the World Fund is Europe’s largest and the world’s largest is run by Gates’ Breakthrough Ventures and amounts to $ 2 billion.

Global climate technology VC investment surged from $ 6.6 billion in 2016 to $ 32.3 billion in 2021, nearly quintupling, according to a report by promotion agency London & Partners and VC analytics firm Did.

While the venture capital industry has traditionally been somewhat reluctant to invest in climate technology start-ups, World Fund General Partner Darasa Harova said the market capitalization of companies in the sector founded between 2008 and 2013. He said the total amount is currently about $ 800 billion.

“In Europe, there are a lot of people investing between $ 1 and $ 5 million, and now there are some big institutions that are willing to invest. You know over $ 30 million per company.” Douglas said. “But there is virtually no one in the meantime,” he added, adding that the World Fund was created to fill the gap.

Ecosia Launches World Fund to Support Founders of Climate Technology

Source link Ecosia Launches World Fund to Support Founders of Climate Technology

Back to top button