€300M Climate Fund Seeks Follow-On and Supports Hardware: World Fund’s Inaugural Closure

If you’re looking for comparisons, Norrsken VC is a $130 million impact VC that covers climate, while Demeter Partners last raised a €250 million fund focused on climate. World Fund is also backed by pension funds including the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund, Wiltshire Pension Fund, and Croatia’s Erste Plavi. World Fund has completed its raise during a war in Europe, interest rate rises, and jittery LPs. In 2023 there was over $20 billion raised by European climate tech startups, almost matching the previous year, and bucking declining trends in other sectors, according to Dealroom. The U.K., Sweden and Germany led for total climate tech VC in 2023 but Iceland, Lithuania and Bulgaria showed notable growth.

After three years of fundraising efforts, World Fund has finally announced the successful closure of its first fund at €300 million. While it may have fallen €50 million short of its target for 2021, this number is still impressive considering the challenging economic and political climate of the world. What sets this venture capital apart is its connection to Ecosia, an independent search engine whose search inquiries directly fund tree-planting efforts.

If you’re searching for similar endeavors, you may come across Norrsken VC, a $130 million impact fund focused on climate-related ventures, or Demeter Partners, who recently raised €250 million for climate-focused investments.

Backing World Fund is a diverse group, including the European Investment Fund, KfW Capital, Wachstumsfonds, BPI France (marking the first investment in their portfolio outside of France), PwC Germany, NRWbank, and Ignitis Group. Additionally, they have secured support from pension funds, such as the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund, Wiltshire Pension Fund, and Croatia’s Erste Plavi.

With this new influx of capital, World Fund has already begun investing in numerous climate tech companies, with plans for 25-30 investments in European startups focused on decarbonization.

Notable investments include IQM Quantum Computers, Space Forge, Planet A Foods, Juicy Marbles, ENOUGH Foods, CustomCells, Cylib, Aedifion, and Ecoworks.

Despite facing challenges like war, rising interest rates, and hesitant investors, World Fund’s managing partner, Danijel Višević, describes their fundraising experience as “super hard,” particularly in 2023.

“We exclusively invest in decarbonization technologies,” Višević adds,”and we reserve more than two thirds of our capital for follow-on investments. This is necessary in Europe, where it can be difficult to bridge the later-stage gap for startups.” In order to effectively assess these investments, the fund has brought on technical talent, including biotech and biochem experts.

World Fund’s successful fundraising comes at an advantageous time. In 2023, European climate tech startups raised over $20 billion, nearly matching the previous year’s record and surpassing declines seen in other sectors, according to data from Dealroom.

The United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany were top leaders in climate tech venture capital, but impressive growth was also seen in smaller countries like Iceland, Lithuania, and Bulgaria. In Europe as a whole, climate tech investments are performing well, with steady valuations and a 15% year-over-year increase in energy-related patents.

Based in Berlin, World Fund was founded in 2021 by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Tim Schumacher, and Craig Douglas. The VC firm has offices in Berlin, Munich, Cologne, and Amsterdam.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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