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VoLo Earth Ventures (VoLo Earth) is investing in early-stage climate tech companies that are focused on profitable decarbonization and are ready to commercialize and be deployed into the market this decade.
- Stage: Pre-seed – Series A
- Check Size: $250K – 5M
- Fund Size: $100M cap (fundraising still open)
- Geography: Mainly North America with strategic external investments
- Lead/Follow: Lead or follow
About the Fund
Why was the fund created?
VoLo Earth Ventures launched with their first fund in 2020, via an anchor investment from David Vogel, the CEO of Voloridge Investment Management. David is also actively involved with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The fund also welcomes numerous strategic LPs in the space and an institutional investment from Credit Suisse.
VoLo Earth Ventures’ mission is to decarbonize the economy and the climate this decade, by addressing mitigation at its roots through technology. VoLo Earth believes in capitalism as a mechanism for change and that decarbonization is now a signal for economic growth and investment return.
What is a contrarian idea the VoLo Earth believes to be true/accurate?
VoLo Earth believes that there is enough existing technology to decarbonize and enable the new energy economy, one that is sustainable, equitable, and profitable to humans and our planet. Embedded in this, VoLo does not think that carbon capture is the biggest investment opportunity of the decade (nor geo-engineering our atmosphere/planet, nor “sustainable” rocketry, nor terraforming other planets).
The team members at VoLo are capitalists, not just venture capitalists. They believe that investment turns innovation. If products can compete on economic merit, they will win, and products that decarbonize will provide superior investment returns.
What domains in climate tech does your firm have the greatest expertise in?
From Joe and Kareem’s time in leadership roles in the electricity practice at RMI, as well as nearly 2 decades a piece working in the new energy economy and building startups of their own, VoLo Earth has expertise in the clean energy system, mainly focusing on electricity and its core end uses – mobility, buildings, and industry.
What type of portfolio support does VoLo Earth provide?
Because the team has strong backgrounds in technology and engineering, as well as product launch, go-to-market, and growing companies, VoLo Earth focuses on the R&D phase and the go-to-market of the products, technologies, and companies it invests in. Other pieces VoLo Earth can help with, given their large and strategic team, include:
- Company growth
- Impact quantification
- Legal and IP
What is VoLo Earth’s investment process and timeline?
VoLo Earth is first and foremost adaptable, dynamic, and works with founders to ensure a collaborative approach that fits within their investment philosophy. If the fit is there, VoLo Earth puts flexibility at the forefront and works towards a fair and transparent process with founders. On average, VoLo Earth may typically take 2-3 months to get to know a founding team (sometimes longer) and have a number of calls (>5) covering tech, product, go-to-market, commercialization, financials/revenue plan, and other topics. VoLo Earth then does 1-2 customer/client calls, as well as a few calls in network with relevant personnel as sounding boards on the potential investment. VoLo Earth then has a full review of additional info in the data room, sometimes before and sometimes after a term sheet depending on if they are leading or not. This is all paired with VoLo Earth’s successful internal relative value matrix analysis coupled with a quantitative portfolio construction model. At the end of the day, fit within our investment thesis is first and foremost, as well as founder quality, commitment, and vision.
What would make VoLo Earth consider deviating from your typical criteria?
VoLo Earth stays firm on assessing economic merit and profitable decarbonization this decade. However, if hardpressed, the answer could be an incredible founding team that convinced us that our criteria and methodology had good reason to be deviated from.
About The Author
Co-Founder @ 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.