Updated: Oct 12, 2020
a New Philanthropic Impact Fund to Democratize and Amplify Investment in Cleantech Startups
As the world works to recover from COVID-19, a Northwest coalition’s fund allows anyone to support the innovation needed to build a more resilient future
SEATTLE, May 7, 2020 -- E8, an angel investor community committed to cleantech in support of both profit and ecological sustainability, unveiled today Decarbon8-US, a philanthropic impact investing fund that will allow anyone to support the growing number of startups that are developing the technologies and business models needed to address climate change. The damage wrought by the COVID-19 outbreak has only underscored the need to build a more resilient future, and many are calling for the global response to the pandemic to include more robust investment in climate action. However, investment in cleantech has lagged behind other sectors despite the growing interest in addressing the climate change challenge, and participation in startup funding opportunities is too often limited to those that qualify as accredited investors by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Decarbon8-US is designed to harness the passion of millions of people who want to directly support cleantech development, from individuals to philanthropic foundations, as well as accredited investors. Anyone can make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to Decarbon8-US that will be invested in fully-vetted, revenue-ready startups, which contributors can then follow and monitor.
Decarbon8-US is currently accepting contributions at https://www.e8angels.com/decarbon8-us-fund.
Returns generated by Decarbon8-US will be reinvested back into the fund to further amplify advanced technology development. Larger contributors can also share their returns in the form of recoverable grants, and the Fund will also leverage co-investment from angel investors and others.
“The Decarbon8-US fund presents a new option for consumers, philanthropic donors and investors who are driven to take action on climate change,” said Charles Curtis, Co-Chair of E8. “This is how we can democratize cleantech investing and give everyone with a passion for climate action a chance to have a hand in building a cleaner, more prosperous future.”
The new fund, managed by E8 advisors, will make equity and debt investments in cleantech startups that can address specific decarbonization pathways that have already been identified in regional and global climate policies. Like many maturing companies in E8’s existing portfolio, companies selected by Decarbon8-US will be market-ready startups with proven products and services that are ready to scale.
One such company in E8’s portfolio, Nori, has started a blockchain marketplace offering individuals and businesses an easy way to purchase carbon removals. Another is LevelTen, an efficient, cost-effective two-sided market for renewable energy producers and commercial customers.
The fund is set to open its first request for proposals (RFP) from cleantech startups on May 12. The first wave of investments will target high potential companies working in decarbonization in general, with following RFP themes focusing on electrifying transportation, the built environment, agriculture, carbon removal and more. Caption: The decarbonization pathways targeted for Decarbon8-US investments are linked to established climate change goals.
“Even as the COVID-19 crisis response takes shape, we cannot afford to slow down on the crisis of climate change,” said Ramez Naam, E8 member, cleantech investor and futurist. “This is just the time to accelerate our efforts, and the Decarbon8-US fund from E8 has the potential to bring new leverage to clean technology investment.”
In addition to E8, the Decarbon8-US fund’s operation is supported by a diverse coalition of Northwest climate leaders and investing advisors, including University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute, Washington State University, CleanTech Alliance, Craft3, Climate Solutions, Realize Impact, North Coast, VertueLab, Dharma 350 Fund and the Stolte Family Foundation.
“We all hope that the COVID-19 crisis can be resolved relatively quickly, but the only way out of the climate crisis is a multi-decade sprint of technology innovation and change,” said E8 Member KD Hallman. “No single actor will save us--we all have to be part of the solution. Let’s get started.”
About E8 E8 is an international, Seattle-based community whose mission is to accelerate the transition to a prosperous and cleaner world by investing in and fostering emerging cleantech enterprises. Our flexible, investor-centric platform supports different types of investors and asset classes, including direct angel for-profit investing, pooled investing in expertly managed VC funds such as the E8 Fund, donor advised fund impact investments, and a philanthropic fund for accelerating decarbonization and climate mitigation. E8's community and offerings are driven by a belief in the power of innovative enterprises and technologies to scale both positive returns and impact. (www.E8angels.com)
Media Contact Mike Rea, E8 firstname.lastname@example.org; (m) 425.409.9531