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WORLD FUND White Paper

World Fund publishes inaugural white paper - funding gap threatens Europe's pioneering role in climate tech start-ups

The white paper - developed in partnership with Cleantech Group - provides a first-of-its-kind analysis of trends in European climate tech and provides scientific investment principles

White Paper available at here.

  • European climate tech firms raised a record $13.2 billion in 2022, representing 13% of total VC funding
  • However, only 16% of climate finance needs are being met, which means that climate financing needs to increase by 590% by 2030 - to meet climate targets
  • The white paper highlights third-party data on climate investment returns - which indicate a general outperformance compared to the broader investment landscape
  • Increasing carbon costs, the worsening climate crisis and the economic opportunity are pushing investors towards climate tech
  • The white paper offers a qualitative analysis of public and third-party data, tying up broader economic statistics and analysis to come to its conclusions - with editorial input from a number of key thought leaders in the climate tech and finance spaces

16th May, London - World Fund has today published the findings of its first white paper, developed in conjunction with Cleantech Group, and professionally reviewed by PwC. The white paper, ‘Climate Tech Investments: An Opportunity for Europe’, provides an overview of the investment landscape, identifying major funding gaps - particularly in later stage VC - and a need to increase funding in climate tech to meet climate targets by 2030.

Using a mix of qualitative research and third-party data, the white paper also analyses a broader market shift - highlighting an adoption of science-based methodology to determine an investment's long-term potential. Using industry sources and data, the white paper also benchmarks where additional funding is most required - highlighting the sectors with the biggest carbon reduction requirements, the technology investments required, and the sectors where technological breakthroughs need to be made.

Record climate funding and a growing climate funding gap

The white paper outlines a record year for climate tech investment in 2022. Investment levels on the continent reached $13.2 billion last year. But, investment requirements are outstripping investment volumes, at a rate which is widening exponentially. The white paper highlights third-party findings that in order to meet EU and global climate targets by 2030, climate finance funding must increase by at least 590% - to $4.35 trillion annually.

The gap is widest in later-stage VC, which would fund the commercialisation of ready-for-market, established technologies. In later-stage VC alone there is a $13 billion annual funding gap.

The growing role of science-based investment hypotheses and future frameworks

The report also highlights how science-led investment decision-making - and the adoption of strict investment criteria on climate as well as financial potential - is becoming more widespread. In contrast to other investment themes, climate requires extensive analysis. On top of typical economic and asset-specific criteria, an investor deploying capital in the climate transition needs to develop a solid understanding of the underlying climate science of a proposed target. This can range from the carbon cost of the vertical the technology is replacing through to the technology barriers that must be overcome for the technology to reach its potential.


Earlier this month, World Fund joined the Venture Climate Alliance as a founding member, which is an alliance of leading VCs including Tiger Global, and Union Square Ventures, which aims to develop tools for the Venture Capital industry and portfolio companies to track alignment with and contributions to the climate transition. World Fund is also a member of Cleantech for Europe, the initiative bridging the gap between cleantech and policy leaders in Europe, highlighting the critical role that ambitious policy plays in the success of clean technologies.

Lastly, the white paper provides an overview of the steps the European climate tech community - and investors into the space globally - must take to secure a bright future. This looks at access to financing, acceleration of market adoption of climate technologies, regulatory advances, developing infrastructure (i.e. power grids, sunsetting gas networks), and the development of workforce skills.

Danijel Visevic, Founding Partner at World Fund, commented: “Europe has the potential to lead the global climate tech revolution, and whilst we have lost a lot of time, it’s not too late to prevent the worst consequences of the climate crisis. We must grasp the full economic and environmental potential of the technological revolution unfolding before us. This first-of-its-kind analysis of the private markets in climate tech illustrates that much is still to be done - in terms of ensuring there is sufficient funding to secure a regenerative world - and the VC community has a particular responsibility to fight to secure that future. That means doubling down on climate deep tech - and the innovative solutions that replace carbon-heavy industries.”
Richard Youngman, CEO, Cleantech Group, adds: “Innovation is required everywhere and in all its facets, if we are to minimize the multi-decade climate crisis that is already upon us. Yes, technological, but equally so in policy-making and in finance. The so-called tried and tested instruments are simply not fit for purpose for the extent of the transformations needed and the speed at which the action gap needs to start closing.”
Andreas Feiner, Partner at PwC Germany, comments: “The world is facing three major challenges: climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the rise of social injustice. The European climate tech community has the potential to offer viable and effective solutions to tackle these. That’s why the investments in and the support of new technologies and business models aiming to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate decarbonization is essential. It’s now or never to bring the world back on track to reach the 1.5-degree target.”

*DISCLAIMER: this white paper has been produced utilising third-party data sources (linked with sources in the white paper document), and the findings are based on the qualitative assessments of the World Fund team, in conjunction with partners PwC and Cleantech Group.

ENDS

About 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.

About Cleantech Group
Cleantech® Group is the world’s leading authority on cleantech innovation. Since 2002, Cleantech Group’s research, consulting and events have catalyzed opportunities for sustainable growth powered by innovation. At every stage from initial strategy to final deals, we immerse ecosystem stakeholders in deep real-world conversations on cleantech intelligence to thrive in a more digitized, de-carbonized and resource-efficient future. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.

About PwC
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 152 countries with over 327,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com. In this document, “PwC” refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, which is a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL). Each member firm of PwCIL is a separate and independent legal entity. For more information, please visit www.pwc.com/structure .

Veronica Fresneau, World Fund

Head of Communications

veronica@worldfund.vc

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