World Nano: Climate change silver lining for investors

By Helen Adams
According to a new Venture Capital trend, investors are to benefit in the race to save the planet from the devastation of climate change

The World Nano Foundation has predicted that sustainability, environmental and social governance will shape the next decade in terms of value creation, around climate change as well as healthcare.

Examples of this can already be seen in the meteoric rise of sustainable startups over the past few years. As awareness around climate change grows, so does interest in financing products or services involved in sustainability.

Venture Capital, a type of private equity used as a way for investors to finance these startups is usually financial, but it can also be in other terms of support, such as technological or managerial.


The pandemic, climate change and future healthcare needs

"You can trackback the pandemic to climate change”, said Paul Stannard, Co-Founder of The World Nano Foundation and General Partner of Vector Innovation Fund based out of London and Luxembourg. “More and more of the world's population live in urban developments. This has had a massive effect on bio-diversity as the natural world has come into contact more regularly with humankind. Over 220 pathogens have come from animals, and only a handful have a clinically approved technological solution. 

Stannard continued to explain that it is not feasible to separate the planet’s decreased reliance on carbon emissions, the pandemic and future healthcare.

"We think you can make substantial returns on capital and solve climate change, pandemic protection and preparedness, by investing in advanced nanotechnologies that can make the world a fairer and safer place."

Vector Innovation Fund has just launched a $300m sub-fund for Pandemic Protection Preparedness as part of a broader billion-dollar technology fund, focusing on enabling technologies that impact healthcare and climate change. 


Cleantech is more than a buzzword

Another climate-focused fund, Congreunt Ventures, believes that the tipping point has passed for the financial world to still think that environmental issues would not be capable of generating viable rewards.

Congruent raises investment specifically for Climate Change solution start-ups and, with $300 million under management after closing its second fund at $175m.

"If you brought up the word 'cleantech' to any institutional investor allocating to venture ten years ago, they would do their best to avoid the meeting”, said managing partner and co-founder Abe Yokell. “But now, there's a fundamental belief there will be significant financial returns investing broadly in climate tech over time."

Congruent investors include UC Investments, the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Three Cairns Group, Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust and Surdna Foundation.


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