Most companies today recognize the importance of global warming. As such, they are redefining their goals in an effort to address the climate change issue.
Envisioning Partners, a Seoul-based venture capital firm, has secured its latest impact fund, the oversubscribed $64 million (76.8 billion KRW) Envisioning Climate Solutions (ECS) Fund, to back startups combating the climate crisis.
Hyunjoo Je, managing partner of Envisioning Partners, told TechCrunch that climate change has been one of the major impact domains since the inception of Envisioning Partners.
“We decided to launch a 100% dedicated fund for climate solutions. We do not have much time left now to solve the climate problem and need to act fast [as we can] to help our society better prepare for the massive transitions ahead,” Je said.
The ECS fund is backed by South Korean corporations committed to pursuing environmental, social and governance (ESG) and decarbonization targets and developing innovative climate solutions for a sustainable future, the company said. The VC firm counts limited partners like Hanwha Solutions, GS Holdings, IS Dongseo, Yesco Holdings, Hankuk Carbon, Insun ENT, Yellowdog Corp and Korean fashion platform startup Musinsa.
Je told TechCrunch Envisioning wants to have more collaborative work with strategic corporations that see the climate issue from a different angle in terms of investments.
“Climate solution is more of a concept that encompasses the various fields necessary to reorganize existing business structures from a long-term perspective,” Je told TechCrunch. “Since the proportion of deep tech is high, more time is needed before it is applied to the market. When introduced, it will have a very large impact on society, so comprehensive support is required. We will expand the scope of capital to support technology commercialization and business growth and increase the level of cooperation between industry investors and experts.”
“We have seen strong growth in venture capital investments in climate tech in the past five years in the U.S. and China. This trend has further accelerated in the last 12 months. The close relationships with corporate LPs in our fund will offer a clear advantage,” Je said in a statement.
Global venture capital and private equity firms invested $87.5 billion in the climate technology sector over H2 2020 and H1 2021, according to a report by PwC. The report also mentioned the top five technologies representing over 80% of the emissions reduction: solar power, wind power, food waste technology, green hydrogen production and alternative foods/low greenhouse gas proteins.
Envisioning Partners, which now has $140 million in assets under management, is focused on investing in Series A and Series B rounds. The ticket size will start from about $1 million to 5 million. The venture capital firm expects its limited partners to participate as co-investors for the follow-on investments.
Envisioning has been actively investing in climate tech startups in the past five years in the U.S., Korea and overseas.
Companies in the portfolio include Novoloop, a California-based plastic upcycling technology startup; Circ, a Virginia-based mixed textile recycling technology startup; Green Li-ion, a Singapore-based cleantech startup; Reco, a South Korean food waste technology platform; and Mission Barns, a California-based food tech company.
The venture capital firm is led by Hyunjoo Je and YongHyun Kim, managing partner of Envisioning and former CEO of Hanwha Asset Management.