InvestEU: EIF invests €50 million into climate tech VC World Fund

  • World Fund invests in European climate tech start-ups that have the potential to save at least 100 million tons of CO2-equivalents per year
  • The funds will be deployed across Europe - with a partial remit to invest in the Netherlands and Germany

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is investing – with support of the InvestEU programme - €50 million into the climate tech venture capital (VC) fund World Fund, joining more than 200 investors including PwC Germany, Ecosia, and the UK Environment Agency’s pension fund in supporting the next generation of climate tech companies.

This is one of the largest investments EIF has made into a first-time VC fund.

The investment is part of the EIF’s mission to support high-growth and innovative Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) across Europe, as well as to ensure at least 16% of its activity is in climate and environment-related projects in 2022 with the goal to increase to 25% by 2024.

Founded in 2021, World Fund is Europe’s leading climate tech VC fund. It invests in start-ups that have the potential to save at least 100 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year and tackle the most pressing issue of our time. Climate tech is one of the fastest-growing areas of European tech.

With the pressure on the world’s economy and businesses to decarbonise, World Fund was founded to back and support the start-ups building the innovative technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pave the way to a regenerative world.

World Fund’s strict criteria for investment aims to back companies using technology to directly reduce emissions not only to help achieve the world’s climate goals faster.In order to find these start-ups, World Fund’s team of experts has devised with the climate performance potential (CPP) assessment to gauge a start-up’s ability to assist in the fund’s goal of reducing emissions.

This assessment has led World Fund to invest amongst others in quantum computing leader IQM, Europe’s fastest-growing space tech start-up Space Forge and the precision fermentation platform Planet A Foods.

The EIF`s financing into World Fund comes from EIF, the new InvestEU programme and regional mandates from across Europe, including The Netherlands (DFF), Germany (ERP Special Fund), and Bavaria (LfA). As part of this, World Fund will invest in start-ups in each of these regions, alongside Europe.  

Founded by Tim Schumacher, Daria Saharova, Craig Douglas, and Danijel Višević, the high calibre of World Fund’s investment strategy, best practices and ESG frameworks saw the fund ranked first in Europe for Environmental, Social and Governance by alternative assets data and insights provider Preqin earlier this year.

EIF-CEO Alain Godard said: “The climate tech VC market in Europe is in its infancy, and World Fund stands out as a fund with a strong track record, network, investment hypothesis and experience, as well as scientific and commercial expertise within its founding team. These factors, alongside World Fund’s climate performance potential measurement criteria, have convinced us to back their first fund, with the support of the European Commission and we look forward to supporting the next generation of high-growth climate start-ups across the continent.”
Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “The new InvestEU programme will help businesses across Europe gain access to the funds they need to innovate, grow and create jobs. This agreement is an excellent example of how the programme will help us achieve our green objectives through supporting innovative technology start-ups. I am pleased to see InvestEU helping entrepreneurs across Europe unlock funds that will enable them to achieve their full potential.”
Danijel Višević, co-founder of World Fund, said: “We’re thrilled to have EIF on board as an anchor LP in fund I, alongside the likes of the UK’s Environment Agency pension fund, PwC Germany and Ecosia. We see this landmark investment - one of the largest EIF has made in a first-time VC fund - as a strong signal that the European Union is serious about tackling the climate crisis. It will help us continue our mission to back the founders that will deliver decarbonisation at scale.”


Background information:

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments, which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term financing by mobilising significant public and private funds to support a sustainable recovery. It helps generate additional investments in line with key European priorities, such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and support for SMEs. The InvestEU programme brings together all EU financial tools to support investment by making project financing simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme has three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners who will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budgetary guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

World Fund

World Fund is the leading Europe-focused climate venture capital fund established by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Craig Douglas, and Tim Schumacher. From energy, food, agriculture, and land use, to building materials, manufacturing and transport, World Fund is investing in European tech with significant climate performance potential (CPP). The investment team comprises engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, early and growth stage investors. World Fund is backing those entrepreneurs who are building tech for a regenerative world.

As featured in: Forbes, Axios and Fortune

Veronica Fresneau, World Fund

Head of Communications

Donata Riedel, EIF

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