Venture capital firm Congruent Ventures has raised a $300 million fund to help its stable of climate-focused startups grow their businesses, with much of the money coming from large institutional investors.
The new Continuity Fund brings to more than $700 million the total amount of assets managed by Congruent, which focuses on early-stage companies addressing climate change or sustainability. The fund will help those companies scale their operations, said Abe Yokell, a co-founder and managing partner at Congruent. Based in San Francisco, Congruent launched in 2017.
Institutional investors have often shied away from cleantech, daunted by past failures such as Solyndra and the possibility of a long wait for the startups to go public or be bought by a larger company. But Yokell, who has been investing in the field for 19 years, said two of Congruent’s companies had already been acquired by oil giant BP Plc: Amply Power, which offers electric vehicle charging for fleets, and Blueprint Power, which provides energy management for buildings.
“A story is not going to get you a good exit, here,” he said, in an interview. “You’re going to have to build good companies.”
Investors in the new fund include several US and Canadian pension funds — such as the California State Teachers Retirement System — as well as the Grantham Foundation, Sobrato Capital, Three Cairns Group and investors advised by Cambridge Associates.
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