Ecosummit invests in Clim8, Dendra Systems and Solar for Schools
If you want to become a VC and manage other people’s money, you need to start investing your own money first. The angel strategy allows us to build a profitable ecoportfolio and track record now rather than waiting for the first closing of our first fund. In 2019, we’ve made 3 angel investments in Clim8, Dendra Systems and Solar for Schools reinvesting profits we made from organising our Ecosummit conferences. All 3 startups are led by outstanding founder CEOs and will raise their Series A in 2020. We look forward to meeting more smart green investors in their cap tables soon. In the future, we plan 2-3 new angel investments every year to generate environmental, financial and strategic returns for Ecosummit and maximise our impact until 2030, the global deadline for reaching carbon neutrality.
Ecosummit Angel Portfolio
In December 2019, Ecosummit made our third angel investment of £50K in the seed round of Clim8, a new smart green fintech startup in London that will launch next year. Clim8 is a smart green investment community with an app for retail investors in the UK. The Founder and CEO is Duncan Grierson, a serial entrepreneur and ex-VC with an amazing track record who decided to build a big startup to fight climate change rather than raising a VC fund. We know Duncan for 4 years as he is a loyal Ecosummit participant (ECO16 London, ECO17 Berlin, ECO17 London and ECO19 Berlin). Of course, he will pitch Clim8 at Ecosummit Berlin 6-7 May 2020 to tell their story in detail and foster their upcoming Series A.
Clim8 says: “We provide a simple way to invest into a targeted portfolio of publicly listed companies that are making an impact. Investment themes include clean energy, clean technology, sustainable food, smart mobility and recycling. According to the United Nations, the world needs to invest $2.4 trillion dollars, every year, into clean energy, from now until 2035, to meet the climate change targets. At Clim8, our mission is to move billions of pounds of investments into clean energy and truly green, sustainable companies. We set up Clim8 to help make a better world for our children. We and others need to do much more. And we need to do this NOW.”
In January 2019, Ecosummit made our first angel investment of £50K in the bridge round of Dendra Systems (formerly Biocarbon Engineering) that provides automation and intelligence for the natural world. We got to know Dendra via our Ecosummit sponsor Systemiq that invested in March 2018. After our initial call we visited their HQ in Oxford in December 2018 and were very impressed by Co-Founder and CEO Susan Graham and her brilliant team. Dendra will play a big role for global reforestation and is one of the most impactful startups we can think of. Susan will pitch again at Ecosummit Berlin 6-7 May 2020 aiming at raising a big Series A. Dendra is exactly what our planet needs.
Dendra says: “Forests are the most efficient way to remove carbon from the atmosphere, yet we’re moving in the wrong direction. Each year, we have a net loss of 6 billion trees. We need to reverse this trend and put ourselves on course to add up to one trillion trees over the rest of the century. Dendra enables faster, cheaper, more scalable restoration of the world’s native forests so that we can turn the tide. Today, we work with mature, regulated industries that already pay to restore native ecosystems. We provide end-to-end ecosystem management, from ultra-high resolution monitoring to aerial seeding to automated environmental reporting. As more organisations engage in restoration, voluntarily or because of government regulation, we’re best positioned to serve them.”
In May 2019, Ecosummit made our second angel investment of £15K into Solar for Schools that brings solar systems to our schools and sustainability education to our kids empowering the next generation to fight climate change. Co-Founder and CEO Robert Schrimpff is a long-time friend and soul brother, a serial entrepreneur with 2 exits and an ex-VC, too. Solar for Schools is Robert’s third startup and we absolutely believe in his mission and execution skills. Solar for Schools is currently raising their Series A and will also pitch again at ECO20 Berlin.
Solar for Schools says: “We believe that the next generation is key to society becoming sustainable fast enough, so we provide energy and carbon literacy education to students funded by solar panels on each school. Our goal is to provide an online platform to a network of local partners to help 2000 schools a week go solar.”
Since we announced our plan to build Ecosummit Ventures at Ecosummit Berlin 2018 we have learned a lot about setting up a new independent financial VC with many LPs. The key lesson is that the fund management team and its proven experience making successful investments and building a reputation among founders are the key decision criteria for professional fund investors. Our fund management team is not yet complete and we continue to look for co-founders with VC and startup track record who want to be part of our new smart green VC platform in Berlin. Our investment strategy is focused on investing in promising software and hardware startups with B2C and B2B business models in energy, mobility and cities. Ecosummit Ventures leverages the deal flow, investor network and track record of 20 Ecosummit conferences in 5 countries since 2010. Let’s automate sustainability in every industry and build big startups with big impact. We look forward to hearing from you.