The Fund Finding the Climate Superheroes at the Seed Stage

Investing in businesses pushing the world forward while aiming to outpace the market and produce alpha returns over the next decade and beyond. (Image: Collaborative Fund)
Investing in businesses pushing the world forward while aiming to outpace the market and produce alpha returns over the next decade and beyond. (Image: Collaborative Fund)

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Collaborative Fund invests in businesses pushing the world forward while aiming to outpace the market and produce alpha returns over the next decade and beyond.

To do so, Collaborative asks two questions:

  • If this startup becomes massively successful, will it make the world a better or more interesting place?
  • Would a ‘villain’ invest in this company if their motive was one of pure self-interest?

Collaborative is investing in startups that are a “yes” to both questions.

Fund Snapshot

  • Stage: Seed and Series A
  • Check Size: $1-5M
  • Geography: US, Europe, Asia, LatAm
  • Lead/Follow: Both

Why was the fund created?

Collaborative Fund was founded in 2010 by Craig Shapiro. Collaborative believes that entrepreneurs working at the intersection of “better for me” and “better for the world” produce outsized returns on capital and for humanity.

What is a contrarian idea that Collaborative Fund believes in?

Though Collaborative’s core belief seems commonplace today, in 2010 it was a bit contrarian. The idea that extraordinary financial returns can also produce positive social benefits is rooted in the idea that the economy is becoming more values-based. Collaborative believes that, over time, consumers will increasingly value intangibles such as happiness, creativity, and or transparency. This shift will greatly affect the way we live and work in the future.

It also means that many successful businesses will look different than the ones we know now. For instance, consumer preferences for food may evolve to include products that are environmentally sustainable and ethically produced, given increasing knowledge of how unsustainable our current food system is.

What domains in climate tech does Collaborative Fund have the greatest expertise in?

Collaborative Fund invests in the future of food and all the ways it intersects with the climate.

Collaborative made early investments into next-generation food brands such as Beyond MeatSweetgreenBlue Bottle CoffeeGood Eggs, and The Farmer’s Dog. More recently, the firm has expanded its focus to include broader agricultural ventures, including; sustainable fertilizers, methane capturing hardware, and advanced farm robotics.

The future of food is a space that impacts all of us in our everyday lives and is undergoing massive disruption, from how things are produced, shipped, packaged, and consumed.

What type of portfolio support does Collaborative Fund provide?

Collaborative Fund partners with our portfolio companies to meet their needs. This varies on a company-by-company basis, but can include:  

  • Operational support
  • Go to market strategy
  • Branding
  • Hiring

What is Collaborative Fund’s investment process and timeline?

Collaborative does not have a rigid investment process. They work closely together as a team to source, research, and decide on investments. The portfolio is their primary sourcing engine and acts as a key component of the diligence.

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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