What SOSV’s Climate Tech 100 tells founders about investors in the space

on earth day, 22 April, Published by SOSV SOSV Climate Tech 100, a list of the best startups that we have supported since their early stages to tackle climate change. A list like 100 always contains valuable insights. A Nerdshala story captured the investment outlook, and a SOSV Post Went in-depth into the companies category breakdown and founder profiles.

But what can the founders learn from the Climate Tech investors list? In other words, who invested in Climate Tech 100? We dug into the “Who’s Who” of the list, which had over 500 investors, and here’s what we found.

An active but fragmented landscape

If you think that 500 investors in 100 companies is a lot of investors, you are right. There’s clearly a lot of investor interest in climate tech, and most generalists are just testing the waters. For the Climate Tech 100, about 10% of investors put their money in more than one startup and only seven (less than 2%) wrote checks to four or more. These include blue horizon, CPT Capital, ef, fifty years, Hemisphere Ventures and Horizon Ventures.

This pattern tracks well with data from PwC, which found that 2,700 unique investors backed 1,200 startups in its state of climate tech 2020 Report covering the period 2013-2019. The report found that only 10 of the 2,700 firms made an average of four or more climate tech deals per year in the 2013-2019 period. The most active firms are listed in the table below.

image credit: PwC, 2020; Additional research by SOSV

Capital deployed in climate technology grew five times the overall growth rate of venture capital in the 2013-2019 period.

There is reason to believe that fragmentation will decrease with the launch of more funding focused on climate technology. Since 2020, four funds each worth over $1 billion have been launched that fit the description (see chart below).

It is also encouraging to see that capital invested in climate technology has increased Five times Venture capital overall growth rate in the period 2013-2019.

Even so, climate technology still represented only 6% of total venture capital deployed in 2019, so there’s plenty of room to grow.

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