Climate Tech Venture Capital reached 2.5x pre-pandemic investment levels in 2021, accelerating startups around the world with over $37B of funding. Fueled by a massive US and EU investment surge, Indian investment progressing and China accelerating after moderating from it's 2018 investment leadership position.
From CleanTech to ClimateTech, there has never been more awareness, anticipation or support for innovation and technology to drive a cleaner, more sustainable future. But to think we are even close to where we need to be for mass-scale, full-spectrum, unleashed potential would be a mistake. What for some might feel like a hyped-up, valuation toppy, over-capitalized greenwashing machine is really just the beginning of a global wholesale re-allocation of talent, capital and data into technologies and companies that will power a critical decade of climate adaptation and mitigation activity without a moment to spare.
The US’ decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement, followed by COP26, the highest profile meeting of it’s kind in history, combined with massive public awareness and pressure for countries and companies to make firm and ambitious commitments has raised the stakes for Climate Tech, aka CleanTech, like never before.
ClimateTech Venture investment (excluding Private Equity, PIPEs, SPACs and secondary transactions) is now 23x larger than it was a little over a decade ago in 2010 and 2.5x pre-pandemic investment levels in 2019. With innovation surging across the entire ClimateTech Landscape notable mega rounds included 🇸🇪 Northvolt’s $2.8B Series E Private Placement, 🇺🇸 Rivian’s collective $5.2B Pre IPO Series F and Growth Equity Rounds, 🇺🇸 Commonwealth Fusion Systems $1.8B Series B to commercialize fusion energy, 🇨🇳 SVOLT’s collective $2.5B Series B and B1 rounds, 🇺🇸 Redwood Materials $700M Series C, 🇺🇸 Beta Technologies $368M Series A, 🇺🇸 Bowery Farming‘s $320M Series C and 🇩🇪 Infarm’s $200M Series D to name a few.
With 45 ClimateTech Unicorns at the end of 2021 and 61 Mega Rounds ($100M+) over the last 12 months, this cumulative wave of investment in innovation and technology marks a meaningful milestone in the digital transformation of learning from early childhood though school, college and university to a new approach from industry for up-skilling and lifelong learning.
ClimateTech has seen 47 Unicorns since 2015, with 28 joining in 2021 alone. Collectively they’ve raised $50B at $130B valuation.
2021 delivered the world 28 new Climate Tech Unicorns, startups that are valued at over $1B USD via a venture funding round. This is more than 4x the number added in any previous year and brings the 2021 year end total to 45. 2021 also saw two Unicorns escape the herd, making their way to the capital markets via IPO in Rivian and Bird.