The Climate Fund that Welcomes Hardware Innovation

The Climate Fund that Welcomes Hardware Innovation. (Image: Congruent Ventures)
The Climate Fund that Welcomes Hardware Innovation. (Image: Congruent Ventures)

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Congruent Ventures is a leading early stage venture firm focused on partnering with entrepreneurs to build companies addressing climate and sustainability challenges across four themes: Mobility and Urbanization, the Energy TransitionFood and Agriculture,  and Sustainable Production and Consumption.

Congruent Ventures invests in startups that will positively impact climate change and environmental sustainability. Congruent is typically the first institutional capital into early-stage startups, even if there’s a high level of risk involved at that early stage. The key piece when it comes to risk is that there is a clear path to de-risk the technology.

Fund Snapshot

  • Stage: Pre-Seed – Series A 
  • Check Size: $500K-4M
  • Geography: US
  • Lead/Follow: Lead or Follow

About the Fund

Why was the fund created?

Back in 2017, one of the reasons for starting Congruent was to fill the gap in pre-seed and seed stage climate tech funding. Congruent also wanted to get mainstream VCs to start investing in climate. The idea was for Congruent to do the early stage investing and pull in mainstream VCs for the larger follow-on fundraising.

What is a contrarian idea Congruent believes to be true?

Congruent welcomes hardware innovation, and the science and engineering risk that comes with it. The catch is that Congruent is very selective when investing in hardware companies. In order for them to make an investment in hardware, they look for founders and teams that have an extremely clear roadmap for de-risking the tech before they need to raise enormous amounts of capital. 

What domains in climate tech does Congruent have the greatest expertise in?

As the team has been investing within the climate sector over a number of years, they collectively know a lot about many different sectors. That said, the four areas Congruent invest in are:

  • Mobility and Urbanization
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Production and Consumption 
  • Energy Transition

What type of portfolio support does Congruent provide?

With 40+ companies in the portfolio, Congruent is amongst the most active investors in the climate ecosystem led by co-founders and managing partners Joshua Posamentier and Abe Yokell, along with an experienced senior team with diverse investor and entrepreneurial backgrounds.
 
Congruent spends time with founders both in and outside of the boardroom. Congruent likes to help portfolio companies out as much as possible, including:

  • Business strategy
  • Network (potential customers, investors, LPs, etc)
  • Resources, subscriptions, and discounts

About Investments

What is your investment process and timeline?

Congruent starts their process with a couple of calls with startup founders. If Congruent is interested in the startup, they will then proceed with backchannel reference calls, as Congruent is really investing in a team at the pre-seed and seed stage. Additionally, Congruent likes to understand how a team talks through and thinks about unit economics, techno-economic analysis, and financial models. From the team’s years of investing experience, Congruent can make investment decisions as quickly as a startup needs.

What would make Congruent consider deviating from their typical criteria?

Congruent is investing in founders and teams. They will invest in riskier startups with great teams.

About The Author

Daniel Kriozere

Daniel Kriozere

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.

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