H1 ’22 Prithvi Ventures LP Update

Prithvi Ventures
8 min readJul 27, 2022


We haven’t done a post since our launch in Q4 2020 so here goes it :)

Who Are We: Prithvi Ventures is a climate “startup” investing in and supporting other climate startups. We believe that markets will determine the success of Climate 2.0 and are actively investing, using launch capital to support climate founders who are developing technologies that protect our Prithvi (Earth) by reducing/removing GHG emissions at an industrial scale.

How It Was and How It’s Going: With the year more than halfway over, we have been using the summer months to review how we can improve our vision. We have certainly had some incredible achievements so far in 2022 — both Turntide Technologies and Amprius Technologies (both SPVs) are now unicorn investments for Prithvi Ventures (with a third unicorn announcement TBD) and we await the de-SPACing exit for Amprius Technologies. Additionally, our sponsored clean energy SPAC, Monterey Capital Acquisition Corp. went public, raising $92 million in gross proceeds in an IPO with the help of Prithvi partner, Vivek Soni as Director and EVP. Additionally, we are excited to announce the recent appointments of Vivek and Eric as partners in our climate funds!

One of our goals in 2022 is to get raise an addition $10MM in new investable capital for pre-seed & seed investing in the rolling fund and $25MM for Series A and beyond deals from the opportunity fund, which will help us write bigger checks to create a stronger portfolio of climate startups. While fundraising in the first half of 2022 has been slower than expected, we still completed seven new rolling fund investments and one new opportunity fund investment without losing focus on our QSBS strategy. Most prominently, we’ve honed in on our sweet spots in climate: Energy, Industrial Materials, Biomaterials, Cellular Agriculture, Fermentation and Agriculture Technologies. Additionally, we continue to build and solidify sourcing partnerships and deal pipelines with Climate believers. “Come for the impact, stay for the returns” A big thank you to all our LPs for placing your confidence in this team and giving us the honor of protecting Prithvi.

State Of Climate: Global GHG emissions after discounting Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) is on the order of about 51 GTe annually. Globally 65% of these emissions are from CO2. Significant GHG emissions reduction/ removal could potentially be achieved from decarbonization of the grid and industrial processes. Several technology solutions with solar power and windmills are maturing and will scale with project finance. We also recognize that private capital must focus on CapEx heavy technologies that have to be enabled to succeed to solve the hard decarbonization challenges. Several strategies currently exist to reduce GHG emissions. So far, most decarbonization strategies have focused mainly on improving energy efficiency and on promoting electricity from renewable energy sources. However, with energy efficiency and renewable energy policy measures likely to reach limits (e.g. electricity from renewable energy sources is likely to face barriers related to intermittency), the decarbonization strategy needs to be broadened to promoting higher resource productivity, with the aim of reducing the overall consumption of material inputs. This will allow addressing the real challenge of climate change — increasing the physical scale of the global economy. Steel, cement, and chemicals are the top three GHG emitting industries and are among the most difficult to decarbonize currently, owing to technical factors like the need for very high heat and process emissions of carbon dioxide, and economic factors including low profit margins, capital intensity, long asset life, and trade exposure. Despite their emissions and energy intensity, the steel, cement, and chemical industries are with us to stay. Much of the infrastructure needed to build a low-carbon economy will be made of steel and cement. Reductions in single-use plastics could help reduce organic chemical demand, but plastics have qualities that are hard to replace entirely, such as their light weight and durability. Industrial biotechnology, based on renewable resources, can save energy and significantly reduce CO2 emissions. This is an emerging industry, but has already proven its worth in climate change mitigation. It holds much greater promise for the future by avoiding the use of fossil raw materials. It involves the use of enzymes and microorganisms to make biobased products in a diverse variety of industry sectors. The feedstocks are agricultural biomass and organic waste materials, even wastewaters. A number of these technologies are highly relevant to our additional focus on technologies underlying cellular agriculture, fermentation, and other biomaterials. We continue to see a number of great opportunities in these fields and they present the potential to significantly reduce the GHG emissions from agriculture, forestry, livestock, and other forms of similar land use, which account for 24% of global GHG emissions. Cellular agriculture, fermentation, and biomaterial technologies enable us to remove GHG-emitting ingredients from various agriculture and land use-based supply chains, including food, biomedical, fashion, textiles, and beauty/personal care and many other ingredients. Companies have long seen the importance of these technologies to optimize their supply chains and we continue to see the development of these technologies as critical to the race against climate change. These three industries continue to grow more broad — the first phase was the obvious like insulin, meat, dairy, or leather. Now we are beginning to see new technologies that both improve the underlying technology of cellular agriculture, fermentation, and biomaterials in cell lines, bioreactors, and natural growth factors as well as less obvious ingredients like collagen, cotton, and even carbon fiber. we see enormous potential in deploying new agriculture technologies that enable traditional agriculture and livestock to significantly reduce land & water use and reduce GHG emissions, particularly in the plant sciences, crop protection, and soil health subsectors. Sustainable agriculture as a means of feeding humanity is a critical component of a bright future and we believe that it is within reach — we must just continue to rethink our unsustainable agriculture-based supply chains and find where we can reduce intensive resource use and emissions.

Prithvi Ventures focuses on deep tech solutions to enable industrial scale GHG reduction/ removal and we are committed to supporting our founders’ work on GHG emissions reduction to meet the Net Zero goal to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set at the Paris Climate Agreement. We are now targeting a goal of an aggregate reduction of 2.5 GTe of GHG by each startup’s approach by 2050. This is one of the most aggressive targets and we will work with our founders to develop a pathway for GHG emissions reduction/ removal in their sector.Industrial scale emissions impact is possible only with significant adoption in a large market. The key to significant adoption is a pathway to low cost and high value for the end users (and the investors — us). These are very demanding requirements that make us very selective in building our portfolio. There are several major challenges to overcome, but the top three from our perspective are decarbonization in all the major industries; carbon dioxide reduction/ removal; and cost reduction of long duration energy storage that will drive large scale integration of renewable energy in the grid. Accordingly, while our initial investment focus at Prithvi was quite broad, we have reviewed where we can make the greatest impact and narrowed our focus primarily to the following sub-sectors:

  • Agriculture Technologies (Soil Health, Crop Yield, Plant Science/Genetics)
  • Cellular Agriculture, Fermentation, and Biomaterials (Food Ingredients, Industrial Ingredients, Textiles)
  • Energy and Industrial Materials (Grid Management, Energy Storage, Energy Generation, Industrial Polymers, CDR, Chemicals)

A standout achievement for us is 34% of our founders/ co founders are women — outpacing the percent of female founders in the United States. We hope to grow this number as we invest in the most qualified and accomplished founders in Climate.

Quotes from Investors & Founders

“Kunal and his team are about 12 months ahead of other VCs, and about two years ahead of anyone else with larger ideas, and what needs funding to build a bigger future. The level of information and updates, but also bilateral interaction with LP’s is outstanding.”– Prithvi Ventures LP

I couldn’t be more delighted to partner with Prithvi Ventures. I sought investor partners who understood the unique challenges faced by climatetech startups, and even more unique challenges faced by companies seeking to disrupt heavy industry. Since becoming a portfolio company for Prithvi, not only have we found patient and understanding investors — but we’ve found a group of people committed to our/my well-being. It’s not always easy being a founder — the demands of the job can be overwhelming — but I can always expect a check-in text from Kunal or the team when he senses the going is getting tough.

That kind of empathy along with the team’s industry expertise is why I refer founders to the firm.” Co-founder and CEO, Biochemicals company

We’ve found Prithvi’s advice shared thus far to be quite helpful, particularly around strategy for fundraising, recruiting, and strategic partnerships. We have also found the team to be among the most accessible of our current investors, and appreciate how much they make themselves available to support us whenever we need it!”

– Founder and CEO, Cellular agriculture food company

I’m new to the portfolio but I received a warm welcome. Kunal enthusiastically emphasizes authenticity and that’s very aligned with my values. I don’t know where the hell he came from but I’m glad he’s on the team. Prithvi clearly rolls up its sleeves in ways that others do not, and I respect that.

– Co-founder and CEO, Biochemicals company


Kunal Sethi, General Partner

A Climate nerd with a Cleantech 1.0 M&A background >20 years, believes in a community approach to put capital in the hands of founders who create their own playbook to advance innovation, living life on their own terms and don’t subscribe to the thumb twiddling culture. I live in the city of dreams with my soul mate, believe in reiki and am currently manifesting my Climate 2.0 future, advancing Longevity via Ayuh Ventures

Vivek Soni, Partner

Vivek has more than 30 years of global leadership experience as a senior executive, board member, investor, and advisor with 16 years in the ClimateTech sector. He has a comprehensive investment, technical and operations background. He is the EVP and Board Director at Monterey Capital Acquisition Corporation, which is a clean transition SPAC. He is a Board Director of the holding company for the A.T.E. Group in India and is the Vice Chair of the Advisory Board of Massachusetts’ largest municipal electric utility. Till recently, he was the Managing Director of TiE Boston Angels which he managed for 6 years. Vivek was a Venture Adviser to Nomura International’s London-based New Energy and Clean Technology Fund, which focused on expansion-stage venture capital deals. Vivek’s prior roles include President of Corporate Technology Strategy & Services at the Aditya Birla Group, one of the largest industrial groups in India, senior technology roles at Polaroid, and R&D at Shell. He has been a judge at numerous business plan competitions such as the CleanTech Open and youngStartup Venture Summit and a reviewer for MassCEC grants. He received his Ph.D. in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.

Eric Brook, Partner

Eric Brook is an ingredient technology investor based in Oakland, CA who currently manages deals for Prithvi Ventures that are focused on food and agricultural ingredients. With a passion for addressing climate change by rebuilding our food supply chain, Eric was first an LP and investor in Prithvi’s mission to protect our planet prior to joining Prithvi Ventures as Partner. Eric was previously an associate at Big Rock, a cannabis and hospitality-focused private equity firm with holdings in cannabis, agriculture, fine dining, wineries, and technology where he additionally managed business & corporate development for Sonoma Hills Farm. Prior, Eric was an analyst at Ceres Group Holdings, a cannabis-focused venture fund and SPAC. He received dual B.A.s from Tufts University in Philosophy and Political Science.



Prithvi Ventures