New Zealand’s first climate venture fund, launched in early 2022, has released its first report revealing the growth of the realm of climate innovation.
The Climate Venture Capital Fund is managed by 2040 Ventures and Punakaiki Fund, one of the country’s leading venture capital firms.
In 2022, the fund invested in four companies across New Zealand and one from Australia:
Cleanery, low emissions powdered cleaning and personal care products from Auckland; Liquium, green ammonia from Wellington; Zincovery, recycling zinc without using coal from Christchurch; and MGA Thermal, thermal energy storage from Australia.
As one of the first funds to disclose emissions from the companies they invest in, they have reduced over 60 tonnes of CO2 in one year.
Sixty-nine of those tonnes come from one company alone, and it is expected to reduce even more.
The fund predicts an expected potential reduction of 1 million tonnes within their first 10 years.
“It’s incredibly satisfying to look back on this first year and see that we have delivered on what was promised,” says Rohan MacMahon, one of three partners of the fund.
“We know there is strong interest among investors in emissions reduction technology. And we’ve seen that there are more opportunities to invest than we can possibly support. It’s an exciting time to be in this space.”
With funds like this already in place in Europe, Dr Jodi York, Chair of the Fund’s Impact Committee and Chief Impact Officer for Melbourne-based Kilara Capital, says this is the right step for Australasia.
“A lot of the focus has been on industry reducing emissions but very little on investors. It looks like investors don’t have a carbon footprint until you actually look at what emissions you are financing,” says York.
The demand for investment in climate innovation is continuing to grow. Despite the decrease in broader venture capital fundraising, global climate tech funding has grown 16 percent year on year.
The Climate Venture Capital Fund, recently invested in horticultural tech company Hot Lime Labs from Lower Hutt, which converts wood waste into clean CO2 for commercial greenhouses.