Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for additional information?
Check out our FAQs below.
What do you invest in?
We target disruptive and scalable hard science-based decarbonisation technologies that can move the needle on climate change. A technology must either fundamentally fix a problem or remove a barrier to adoption of an existing decarbonisation technology. An emission reduction potential of 0.5 Gt CO2e per year at full scale deployment (latest by 2050) is a prerequisite.
What do you mean by “hard science”?
With this we mean physical technology such as hardware (e.g. modular chemical reactors and equipment), novel materials, biotech (e.g. enzymes, microorganisms), agricultural tech (e.g. modified crops), etc.
What do you mean by “emission reduction potential”?
This is an estimate of the CO2e emissions that could be abated by a particular technology at scale. To count the emissions, we have to have reason to believe your new technology could win in a certain competitive space by being the cheapest or otherwise best technology. Check out Chloe’s blog post on this subject for more detail.
What else do you look for?
In addition to an estimated annual emission reduction potential of 0.5 Gt CO2e by 2050, we typically look for following attributes in a company:
Scientific founding team that is driven and committed to solving climate change
Breakthrough innovation with a strong competitive advantage
Logical theory of change (i.e. strong links, ideally evidence-based) between the company’s planned activity and the desired outcome (by thinking through a problem from first principles, we hope we will be able to spot companies with the ability to shape markets and behaviour)
Commercially viable technology, ideally demonstrated by means of a well-structured and transparent techno-economic analysis
At what stage do you invest?
We invest in pre-seed and seed rounds. Our preference is to invest as early as possible, often as the first institutional money in a company or alongside an angel round.
What distinguishes you from other early-stage investors?
We are scientists and engineers by education and have spent our careers at the intersection of technology, innovation and business. We have years of experience working with deeptech startups and understand what it takes for a venture scientist like you to be successful. As an investor, we will work tirelessly to provide the funding, guidance and network you will need to go from the lab to a fully fledged company. We take board director or observer seats in the majority of the companies we back.
How long have you been doing this?
We’ve been investing with the same thesis since 2016, first in the US as angel investors, then the UK (Fund 1) and now across Europe (Fund 2). Our three portfolios have all shown strong valuation growth, 100% of the companies are still operational, and we want to take what we have learned to help the next wave of ambitious scientists with frontier technologies.
Who are your LPs?
A mix of international corporations, institutional investors, funds of funds, family offices, and high net worth individuals. We’re happy to share more if you have specific questions.
What is your ticket size?
Our typical first check ranges between £100k and £1m. Our sweet spot is £300-500k.
Do you lead rounds?
Yes, we like to lead or co-lead rounds but we are also happy to follow an existing credible lead.
Do you commit to follow-on investments?
A large share of our fund is reserved for follow-on investments. We are committed to helping our portfolio companies succeed.
What is the lifetime of your current investment fund?
We started investing from our second fund in April 2022, and our window for making new investments will close April 2026. The fund has a typical 10 year time horizon.
Which countries do you invest in?
We invest in companies headquartered in Europe and Israel. To support our portfolio companies and interact with founders across Europe, we have people on the ground in the UK and Germany.
My company is headquartered outside of Europe but we want to expand to a country in Europe. Does that count?
No, sorry. We think we can operate best where we are most embedded in the ecosystem, and we have focussed on the region where we are based. This means we can better find and evaluate companies, and better support them as they grow. As we help companies at the earliest stage, this means you are also likely to be based here. We are not experienced in helping people and companies to relocate.
Which sectors and industries do you invest in?
Energy, industrial processes, heavy transport, construction, raw materials, carbon dioxide removal, food, agriculture – anything that currently has large CO2e emissions, and where technology innovation can reduce or avoid emissions, or remove barriers to existing decarbonised solutions. Check out our portfolio to get a first impression of the type of companies that we like to support.
Do you invest in software/AI/IoT companies?
No, sorry. Of course our companies use these tools, but we do not invest into companies with digital technology products. Climate change is a physical problem, and we believe that physical technology innovation is required to effectively reduce emissions.
Anything else you don’t invest in?
Companies that don’t meet the above criteria, including but not limited to:
Transitional technologies, e.g. something that will save emissions quickly, but does not have a place in a zero carbon future
Energy efficiency technologies, e.g. 10% better internal combustion engines
Project finance e.g. building a solar farm
Companies not based (and headquartered) in Europe
Companies not set up for successful fast growth, e.g. issues with cap table, or team composition
Companies without a defendable technology innovation that will form the basis of an enduring competitive advantage
What does our startup need before reaching out for investment?
We invest at the earliest stage and do not expect all founders to have a working prototype up and running. What we do want to see, however, is experimental evidence for the feasibility of a given technology and a strong commitment of the founders to execute effectively. We prefer a company to have two full-time founders on board. We’re happy to have a chat and give feedback if you aren’t quite at that point yet though.
What do you look for in founders?
We are looking for ambitious, passionate and values-aligned founders with the expertise and persistence needed for long-term success. The founding team should consist of a minimum of two full-time individuals, be based in Europe, have the necessary technological expertise, and the ability to learn quickly and communicate effectively. We prefer solo founders to team up with other like-minded individuals.
What is your stance on diversity and inclusion?
We think diverse teams make better decisions. We want to support founders of all backgrounds equally. Internally, we follow the same ethos and have built diverse and well-balanced investment and research teams. We’re proud that our team and portfolio has a well over the industry average proportion of female representation, and we hold our portfolio companies accountable to continue building diverse teams. We are signatories to the UK’s Investing in Women Code.
What does your pre-screening process look like?
Founders can submit their company data and pitch deck here. We review our inbox on a weekly basis and reply to all submitted requests. If we are interested in a company, we reach out to set up an introduction meeting.
My request was rejected. What is next?
We will aim to give you feedback on why we don’t think we are the best investment partners for you, and this should help you decide whether it’s worth applying again in the future. Don’t give up! There are lots of other VCs and funding sources out there. There are some excellent lists of VCs at CTVC and Startup Basecamp. For other sources of early-stage funding, check out ClimateScape, and the professional business angel organisations where you are based.
Are you or one of your portfolio companies hiring?
Please visit our careers page to check out all available positions.