Investing in smart green startups to save our climate and planet
Ecosummit Ventures is the brand of our angel investments, it’s not a fund. If you’re interested in becoming a VC and managing other people’s money, it’s a good idea 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. Having started in 2019, we made 6 angel investments and follow-ons in Dendra Systems, Nexwafe, Aerones, Sunvigo, Clim8 and Solar for Schools reinvesting our profits from organising our Ecosummit conferences since 2010. The book value of our ecoportfolio increased by 2x and we expect further upside in the coming years. All 6 startups are led by outstanding CEOs and most of them fundraise again in 2023. We look forward to meeting more smart green investors in their cap tables soon. We plan new angel investments in the future to generate environmental, financial and strategic returns for Ecosummit and maximise our impact until 2030, the global deadline for net zero carbon.
Angel investment in 01.2019 – $10M Series A in 09.2020 – Raising Series B in 2023
We’re very happy that Dendra raised $10M Series A led by Airbus Ventures on 16 September 2020. In January 2019, Ecosummit made our first angel investment of £50K (plus £20K follow-on) with a convertible note in the bridge round of Dendra Systems. The Oxford-based smart green startup provides ecosystem restoration as a service to its customers in the mining, oil & gas and food & beverage industries. 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 Founder CEO Susan Graham and her brilliant and diverse team of ecologists and technologists. On 8 February 2021, Dendra launched Gen 3, “the new generation of aerial technology, including systems and drones, that will revolutionise our capabilities to restore ecosystems at scale.” Dendra will play a big role for our climate and planet and is one of the most impactful startups we can think of.
Angel investment in Series B 12.2020 – €39M Series C in 10.2021 – Raising Series D in 2023
Update 12 October 2021: Nexwafe raises €39M Series C led by Reliance Industries. Solar is by far the most important renewable energy on planet Earth. It is worthwhile to optimise solar economics and sustainability to accelerate the demand for solar systems. Nexwafe designs, develops and pilots a green solar wafer production process to make the PV industry more sustainable and efficient. The strategy is to go to market together with multiple strategic partners to reduce CAPEX and scale faster. In December 2020, we made our 5th angel investment participating with €50K (plus €20K follow-on) in the €10M Series B of the Freiburg-based solar deeptech startup. The new monocrystalline silicon wafers will be low-carbon, high-efficiency and price competitive, enabling a “Nexwafe inside” strategy to get embedded in the leading global solar cell and module manufacturers. The better the input (wafers), the better the output (cells and modules). We’re very happy and proud to work with CEO Davor Sutija and Chairman Bart Markus to maximise the impact of green solar wafers on our climate and planet. In 2015, Nexwafe was spun out from the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.
Angel investment in Seed 12.2019 – Raising Series A in 2023
In December 2019, Ecosummit made our third angel investment of £50K (plus £25K follow-on) in the Seed round of Clim8, a new smart green investment community in London. In April 2021, Clim8 launched in the app stores in the UK and has got a community of 28.000 users. Clim8 is a simple way to invest in a sustainable portfolio of carefully selected companies already making a positive impact on climate change. Founder CEO Duncan Grierson is a serial entrepreneur and ex-VC with an amazing track record who decided to build a big fintech startup to fight climate change rather than raising a VC fund. We know Duncan for 5 years as he is a loyal Ecosummit participant and speaker (Ecosummit Zoom 7 October 2020). Clim8 successfully raised £12M in several pre-Series A financing rounds on Crowdcube and directly from private investors. The next step is a big Series A in 2023.
Angel investment in Seed 10.2020 – €10M Series A in 02.2022 – Raising Series B in 2023
Update 8 February 2022: Sunvigo raises €10M Series A led by Eneco Ventures. Solar is by far the most important renewable energy on planet Earth. To grow the number of PV systems on global rooftops a lot faster, we have to make the solar purchase decision and PV system operations as simple as possible for consumers. The solution is to package the complex bundle of solar technology, financing, installation, operations and insurance into a super easy solar electricity tariff provided by a new smart solar utility. Sunvigo are the new kids on the block, in this case the residential solar market in Germany. After aggregating a strong partner network including a smart meter operator and several PV installers, the Cologne-based solar-as-a-service startup already have their first happy customers making their own solar power at home while paying only their monthly electricity bill. Most importantly, the 3 co-founders Vigen Nikogosian, Michael Peters and Bastian Bauwens are a great team: intelligent, well educated, modest and ambitious, with impressive track records and highly motivated to maximise their impact until 2030. That’s why Ecosummit invested €50K in the €500K Seed round together with Zurich-based Übermorgen Ventures and other smart green angels. Update 30 July 2021: Sunvigo raised around €3M from a new private investor with participation of existing investors HTGF and Übermorgen as well as €2.5M asset financing from Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB).
Angel investment in 11.2021 – $30M Series A in 01.2023 – Raising Series B in 2023
Update 16 January 2023: Aerones raises $30M Series A led by Lightrock and Haniel. In November 2021, we made our 6th angel investment of $100K in Aerones, the Riga-based wind turbine maintenance service provider minimising downtime with the help of smart robots and software developed inhouse. Aerones graduated from Y Combinator in 2018, is backed by Future Positive Capital and Change Ventures, is powered by a team of over 100 employees and pitched at Ecosummit Berlin 8-9 September 2021. Aerones works for the leading wind turbine manufacturers, wind park operators and asset owners and grows fast.
Angel investment in 05.2019 – Raising Series A in 2023
In May 2019, Ecosummit made our second angel investment of £15K (plus £10K follow-on) 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. Founder 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 pitched at Ecosummit Zoom 2 September 2020.
About Jan Michael Hess
Jan is Founder and CEO of Ecosummit, angel investor and advisor. Our mission is maximising our impact until 2030, the global deadline for net zero carbon. Ecosummit accelerates smart green startups in energy, mobility and cities to save our climate, decarbonise our economy and electrify our planet. Our conferences are startup markets enabling fundraising, lead and co-investing, corporate venturing, open innovation and M&A. Since 2010, we organised 22 physical Ecosummit events in 5 countries as well as 19 Ecosummit Zoom online events. Ecosummit TV on YouTube provides 1.300 videos (730.000 views). Prior to founding Mobile Economy in 2000, Jan worked for Pixelpark, Icon Medialab and Ciao as Strategy Consultant, Senior Project Manager and Head of Marketing and Sales. Holding a business degree from the University of Mannheim, he lives in Berlin and Barcelona with his wife Simone and their son Mateo and is a big fan of Jazz, Japan and sports (padel, yoga, mountain biking, kayaking, swimming, basketball and hiking).
Linkedin – firstname.lastname@example.org – +4917621208417