Climate Impact Investing at Pale Blue Dot

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(Image: Pale Blue Dot)
(Image: Pale Blue Dot)

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Pale Blue Dot is an €87M pre-seed and seed stage ClimateTech fund investing in startups that reduce and reverse the effects of climate change and prepare for a new world. They are trying to fill the gap of providing funding for startups that need between €500K-3M. Pale Blue Dot invests in high conviction, extraordinary founders that are creating climate impact.

Fund Snapshot

  • Stage: Pre-Seed – Seed
  • Check Size: €500K – 2M
  • Geography: Europe, US
  • Lead/Follow: Lead or Co-Lead
  • Revenue/Valuation Thresholds: Maximum post-money valuation of €12M, preferred

About the Fund

Why was the fund started?

Pale Blue Dot was founded in 2020 by Heidi Lindvall, Hampus Jakobsson, and Joel Larsson focusing on addressing the climate breakdown. The team itself seeks to combine their entrepreneurial and investor past with hard sciences, storytelling, and humanitarian aid backgrounds to drive climate innovation at scale.

What is Pale Blue Dot’s core belief?

Trust is a key component to Pale Blue Dot’s ultimate investment decision, meaning that Pale Blue Dot puts founders first. They are all about having conversations with founders to understand their why and their thoughts on the problem they are solving. Trusting a founder means trusting that the founder can build a team and stay on track to build a 100% climate impact startup.

What domains in climate tech does Pale Blue Dot have the greatest expertise in?

Pale Blue Dot is a generalist climate fund. However, they like to approach sectors after doing their own research, meaning they know what kind of startup they would like to invest in. They have invested in many different verticals to date, from mobility to food/agriculture.

What type of portfolio support does the team provide?

Pale Blue Dot is a small team that truly cares about the founder first. Pale Blue Dot will prioritize the founder over the startup. If you make a founder great, the founder will be able to lead a great startup.
One of the three GPs is the startup’s coach, each startup syncs up with their GP on a biweekly basis and the founder can reach the GP day or night.

As Pale Blue Dot is focused on the people aspect, they can help with:

  • Culture
  • HR
  • Hiring
  • Process
  • Mental Health

About Investments

What is Pale Blue Dot’s investment process and timeline?

Pale Blue Dot’s investment decision can take as little time as 1 week, and as long as 3 months – it depends on the founder’s timeline. However, Pale Blue Dot’s process was made to create friction, in the sense of having quality conversations and getting to know a founder.

As mentioned previously, Pale Blue Dot does their own research on topics of interest before connecting with a startup. One of the three GPs will be on the first call with a startup – the GP that is on that first call is the lead. After that first call, the lead needs to love the startup in order to proceed. At that point, one of the other GPs will play devil’s advocate in order to think through the business.

There are standardized questions that Pale Blue Dot talks through – the conversation and the resulting questions is the important part. The questions indicate if Pale Blue Dot has a lack of info or a lack of faith. Regardless, all of these questions are shared with the founder.

When Pale Blue Dot is ready, the GPs vote on a deal. There needs to be at least one “Hell Yes” and one “Yes” for the team to proceed to an investment/term sheet.

What would make Pale Blue Dot consider deviating from their typical criteria?

At the end of the day, Pale Blue Dot cares more about the people behind a startup more than anything else. They want to invest in extraordinary people, even if the idea won’t be as high as an environmental impact return as they would traditionally invest in.

About The Author

Daniel Kriozere

Daniel Kriozere

Co-Founder at The Impact

Daniel currently works at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a Product Manager. Outside of his day job, he is a Principal at C3, Tech Scout at For ClimateTech, and Venture Scout at Prithvi. He also works with various climate incubators/accelerators (Cleantech Open, Techstars, and Joules Accelerator) and runs The Impact and Innovate Climate – both are newsletters covering startups in the climate space.

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