And so the story begins…launching our climate tech fund.
Prithvi Ventures will invest $100–200k checks in 3 deals per quarter into the best climate tech startups; and what makes this so easy, we have a massive pipeline of deals already! Prithvi Ventures is a community-building approach consisting of global LPs who are experts in their fields, such as scientists, entrepreneurs, fund managers, academics, policymakers, politicians, and activists, who want to address the biggest issue of our lifetime by helping startups.
We will focus only on areas where we are experts, including how we grow & consume food, what we wear, what we use on a daily basis, and how we generate, transmit & consume energy. It’s more tech than brand-focused, more IOT, using data analytics to address climate change.
To create more sustainable food systems, we want to support startups developing alternative proteins, such as plant-, cell-, and fermentation-based products to replace meat, seafood, dairy & eggs, and reduce GHG emissions.
Animals are also used extensively for the production of materials, including leather, wool and fur, for use in fashion, household goods and the automotive industry. Innovation in this space has accelerated rapidly, with the development of materials based on a range of alternatives, including fungi, plants and synthetic biology.
Though we constantly hear about new companies emerging in the food tech and materials space, we must support more innovation in this space. Grocery stores are still filled with animal products and only a very small percentage is made up of alternatives to these products, with plant-based meat still representing less than one percent of the global meat market. Even though Covid might have temporarily brought down clothing sales, leather, silk and wool are still widely used in this industry.
We want to see more companies using fungal strains to create dairy proteins without the cows via fermentation, more companies making plant-based egg for World Egg Day on Oct 13, more companies using mushrooms to make leather that can be used by companies like Adidas, Stella McCartney, and Lululemon.
In clean energy, we focus on entrepreneurs who use AI, ML & Data analytics-driven technologies to address mobility and grid solutions by integrating energy storage, transactive energy, and creative business models into the current ecosystem. With a still growing population that has to be fed, housed and transported, as urban sprawl continues, we aim to support more technologies enabling efficient transport in and out of cities, establishment of carbon-neutral buildings, urban and vertical farming options and self-sufficient communities, that can even take future pandemics into consideration.
We will co-invest alongside other climate-focused investors ( more as follow-on than lead investors), whom we trust and have strong relationships with, investing in entrepreneurs who have a strong management team and are focussed on the impact. We want to help them by adding value to their businesses. We are not just investors who write checks; we are true partners who support entrepreneurs on their journeys.
During my M&A days, I had little understanding of ways technology can address Climate Change. Frankly, back then I was more focused on the ROI. Unfortunately, it took a life-changing event for me to understand how my personal experiences could help society. Classic misfit mentality.
So I jumped in straight, spending years just talking to people 24/7 365 to better understand what the issues at hand were and what the solutions are. I realized quite soon there are lots of people who want to help, all over the world. And that’s literally how S CAP was born, with entrepreneurs at the core of it. It led to investing in the Food & Beverage space in 2019, with amazing entrepreneurs like Bright Greens, Libre Naturals, Cusa Tea and Wild Friends who were longing for this focus. But Covid really fast-tracked both my growth stage Venture Impact funds’ raise, focused on institutional late-stage investing, in Alternative Protein and Environmental Technology.
However, I have always seen a “Pioneer Gap” between early-stage and late-stage investing, where I saw a great quantity & quality of deal flow, types of companies I was seeing, getting easy access to these companies due to my earlier experience & networks, and most importantly, helping them post-investment. That’s what early-stage investing is all about, and climate tech-focussed entrepreneurs welcome that with open arms. I always knew without a strong early-stage funnel, chances of growth-stage companies addressing Climate Change is minimal. Frankly, lack of innovation in Climate Tech isn’t the issue, as a society do we trust the early-stage innovation to invest in them & help them to address the climate issues at hand, globally? That’s the best compliment you can give any entrepreneur IMO. Money & time.
That’s where my heart has always been investing in venture stage companies where true innovation happens.
And that’s how Prithvi was born.
The rolling fund is an amazing fit for many reasons, most importantly because it democratizes and brings something refreshing to:
1) how you raise every quarter, you evolve every quarter as you learn & improve. It’s like a software auto-update every quarter.
2) It is 506(c), that’s a huge plus for emerging managers like me to use general solicitation for raising money in a completely transparent manner, in public to share what my unfiltered experiences have been in climate change, and why I’m doing what I’m doing and who I want to work with globally to build a community of like-minded people who believe in “To Make a Living, Not A Killing”.
3) Prithvi Ventures, using the rolling fund is a feeder fund for S CAP for access to deal flow, something that I have been wanting to do for a very very long time. It’s an automatic & natural fit for early-stage investing that feeds into S CAP for growth-stage investing, in climate tech.
Finally, yessssss, as of Oct 12, Prithvi Ventures rolling fund goes live. And considering we already have soft committed capital from our networks and an awesome pipeline of early-stage deals to invest in, we will announce soon the date of our first investment, wire :) the date we’re out of the gates.
I’m super stoked about the next phase of my Climate experience and cannot wait to share it with you. It has definitely been strange in a crazy way in the last few years and I’m sure it is about to get crazier. There are so many people I want to thank for helping me get here, and there are so many people I want to work with from here on in.
Lastly, if you are an accredited investor who is interested in learning more about investing in Prithvi Ventures as an LP and becoming part of the community of climate-focused entrepreneurs, visit my AngelList page and feel free to contact me via our website.