Planet-positive venture capital firm At One Ventures has closed its I Fund, which aims to inject $ 150 million into startups that are innovative in the field of technical equipment and specialize in positive technologies for the environment.
The Bay Area company was formed in 2019 by GoogleX co-founder Tom Chi Laurie Menoud, who co-led venture capital for North American BASF, and Helen Lin, who spent time in Africa providing banking services to low-income populations.
This combination of scientific, financial and technological experiences gives them an advantage to be able to assess the economics of the material and the environment in order to find companies that truly make humanity a net positive for nature, Chi told TechCrunch.
Chi had a home in Hawaii and said she saw a nearby coral reef go from all the colors of the rainbow – full of life – to gray and brown in a matter of months.
“Our mission is to find start-ups that are destroying industries that are destroying nature,” he added. “Witnessing the death of one of the most beautiful things, someone needed to do something, so I quit my job and traveled the world in search of some of the most destructive evils for environment and more social, and this led me to start my own business.
He thinks the toughest carbon emission reductions are unlikely to prevent global warming 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures by 2040. Instead, the answer goes to- beyond stopping emissions to repair damage and solve problems at a deeper level.
At One Ventures’ investment thesis does not stop at the founder, product and company, but takes a more in-depth look at the economics of the company’s unity. Chi explained that the majority of startups try to be positive for the planet, but their business model is to ask consumers to pay more for a product that can only benefit the environment 30% better. Instead, the company is looking for companies that can scale up a product that, for example, will cost three times less and be 50% better for the environment.
There is great potential here: Chi aims to raise $ 300 million for his second fund, a milestone, he said, that the company is on track to achieve.
The company invested in 21 out of 30 companies for its first fund. Ultimately, the company plans to invest in 100 companies over the next decade. Chi said his team has made more than 2,600 deals to reach 21st. Some of them include robotic indoor farming company Iron Ox, digestible foam packaging company Cruz Foam, and Alchemie Technology waterless textile dye.
“We don’t have time to invest badly, we only have a decade to do it right,” he added. “Even in a perfect world, our investments will still only represent 1% of the capital devoted to climate technology, and the remaining 99% must also be deployed efficiently. We are all limited in the capital and the time we have.