18 May 2024

Smart green VCs you should know

Here's our list of smart green VCs that back startups in climate tech, energy, mobility, cities, advanced materials, food and circular economy to generate impact as well as environmental, financial and strategic returns for their fund investors. To showcase the investment strategy, we also include portfolio companies that we like. In the VC food chain, early stage investors prefer to invest, at lower valuations and higher risk, in the Seed and Series A financing rounds of young startups working on product market fit and traction (customers, revenues). Afterwards, late stage VCs join startup cap tables from Series B onwards, expecting more than €5M revenues, experienced management teams, positive unit economics and fast growth. Facing climate change, technology revolution and global competition, the majority of corporates are active in corporate venturing and open innovation to invest and cooperate with startups. As a result, VCs follow different investment strategies to build their portfolios that startups should know before pitching.

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23 January 2024

Instagrid raises €88M Series C led by Teachers’ Venture Growth

Instagrid got rhythm. The mobile battery making machine from Germany grooves and moves ahead with a new financing round every 2 years tripling the capital raised: €8.5M Series A in February 2020, €29M Series B in February 2022 and €88M Series C on 23 January 2024. Teachers' Venture Growth, the venture arm of Ontario Teachers' pension fund ($185 billion AUM), leads the Series C and Morgan Stanley Investment Management ($1.5 trillion AUM) co-invests implementing their investment strategy to avoid 1 gigaton of CO2 emissions. The new funds will be used to expand into North America, scale production to satisfy the unlimited demand and grow the product family with bigger batteries.

Extrapolating, we foresee a €250M Series D in early 2026 bringing Instagrid close to unicorn status and right on track to a potential IPO soon after. So far, 30.000 portable, pollution-free and silent batteries have been shipped to professional customers in construction, events, film, media and emergency services. Replacing millions of diesel gensets with mobile batteries will be a huge accomplishment for the 2 down-to-earth co-founders Andreas Sedlmayr and Sebastian Berning that launched their tiny hardware startup in 2018. In fact, the mission of the more than 120 employees is generating massive impact by enabling 10 million people to access clean mobile energy by 2030.

Existing investors Energy Impact Partners, SET Ventures that sourced Instagrid at Ecosummit 2019, Blueworld Group and High-Tech Gründerfonds make follow-on investments in the Series C to further support their portfolio star and minimise dilution. As you can see, Instagrid is a bright star in our Ecosummit community and a dream come true for every investor in the cap table.