Climate technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the investment world, with venture capital investments in the space doubling over the past three years. But it’s a still pretty small niche. The amount of money invested in climate tech this year totaled anywhere from $30 billion to $50 billion, depending on who’s doing the counting – not exactly chump change, but nowhere near as big as other sustainable investment sectors.
One startup that aims to push that total a lot higher is Clim8 Invest, a London-based sustainable investing platform on a mission to move billions of dollars into clean energy and green companies. One way it hopes to do that is by taking the mystery out of climate tech so it’s more accessible to all types of investors, from novices to seasoned vets.
Clim8 selects companies to invest in according to six portfolio categories: clean energy, sustainable food, water, smart mobility, electric mobility, and circular economy. It then vets the companies to ensure they are not only good financial bets but also good stewards of the planet.
“That’s our (unique selling proposition) — we’re not just negatively screening out things, we are looking for companies that are making a big positive impact,” Clim8 Founder and CEO Duncan Grierson told Forbes in a recent interview.
Grierson said he’d like to have “millions of people” investing through Clim8’s platform, and “billions and billions of dollars” invested in the right kinds of companies.
“It’s a double whammy because you’re moving away from the companies that are having a negative impact and into firms with super positive climate impact,” he said.
Grierson founded Clim8 in 2019 after spending much of the previous two decades as an entrepreneur and investment firm exec. Clim8 has already raised 12 million pounds (about $16 million) in funding to finance its growth.
It boasts a staff of 31 people, including 13 software engineers. Women make up about half of the team.
In April Clime8 raised $8 million in a funding round led by 7pc Ventures and British Business Bank Future Fund, as well as nearly a dozen individual technology entrepreneurs and executives. A couple of months later it secured up to 2 million pounds in capital from Channel 4 Ventures to further fuel its growth.
The company has also raised money on Crowdcube, the British crowdfunding platform. One advantage of Crowdcube is that it lets customers join Clim8 as both users and shareholders, according to the City A.M. website.
As TechCrunch reported earlier this year, Clim8 looks to take advantage of new European Union rules governing the disclosure requirements for sustainable investment funds. The company’s investors can choose between either stocks and shares ISAs (up to 20,000 pounds), or a taxable general investment account.
Its Stocks & Shares ISA platform lets customers transfer their existing ISAs to Clim8 in a few simple steps. Users can start investing with as little as 25 pounds. With the General Investment Account, customers can choose different risk profiles and customize their investments so they meet specific growth and impact criteria.