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Buoyant Ventures is a female-led venture fund investing in entrepreneurs using digital technology to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Buoyant invests in startups that can reduce carbon emissions in four major industries: energy, transportation, agriculture, and the built environment. Buoyant is accelerating the shift to a clean, resilient future by investing in technology that can be deployed and scaled today.
- Stage: Seed – Series A
- Check Size: $500K – 5M
- Geography: US, Europe
- Lead/Follow: Prefer to Lead
- Revenue/Valuation Thresholds: Need Customers and Revenue
About the Fund
Why was the fund created?
At the end of 2019, the GPs of Buoyant Ventures, Amy and Allison, realized from their previous experience in venture capital and strategy consulting that the market needed digital solutions for climate. They saw that digitization and data have revolutionized other industries and saw that the climate sector was mature enough to begin disrupting technology built on the backbone of its core foundations.
What is Buoyant Ventures’ core belief?
Buoyant Ventures invests in solutions that directly impact climate change. For Buoyant, however, this impact needs to occur today. Therefore, the team believes and is seeking out solutions that can be easily deployed and scaled immediately with minimal technical risk. The state of the world and climate change needs to change, and Buoyant wants to make an impact and help streamline more capital entering the space.
What domains in climate tech does Buoyant Ventures have expertise in?
From Amy’s previous experience at Energize Ventures and Clean Energy Trust, and Allison’s time in strategy consulting, they approach climate from the lens of finding problems that need to be solved. They have a wide range of expertise, which includes energy, regulatory markets, built environment, EVs, and climate risk intelligence. Buoyant is a research first fund that is supported by a network of experts to help assess and analyze new sectors.
What type of portfolio support does the team provide?
Buoyant wants to be as helpful to the ecosystem as possible. With the startups they support, Buoyant likes to be on the board. The team is happy to help startups, even before investment. Support includes:
- Business development support
- Talent acquisition (screening, recruiter, network)
- Expert/advisors network
- Business & Operational Strategies
What is Buoyant Ventures’ investment process and timeline?
Buoyant is a Series-A sweet spot investor with typical investments ranging from Seed to early Series B. Buoyant strongly emphasizes investor-founder relationships and likes to connect with founders and their startups prior to them formally launching their Series A raise. This way, Buoyant can help and get involved earlier, and Buoyant can see how the startup progresses over time.
Buoyant’s investment process is quick and transparent. One of the GPs takes the first call with a startup, and if that goes well, the other GP will talk to the startup as well. Because Buoyant is focused on building relationships, they like to meet in person (if possible) and talk to all of the core team members, as well as a few customers. Buoyant then puts together a competitive analysis that they share with the startup and ask for feedback. At that point, Buoyant makes a decision to invest along with their LPs, or make other introductions for the startup.
For investments at the Seed stage, Buoyant focuses on the founding team and needs to have a high conviction in their abilities and person. Buoyant understands that Seed-stage companies are at the beginning of their sales process and may not have significant customer traction; however, the company must fully understand their market and that their solution is market-ready such that Buoyant can be ready and active to help in that space.
What would make Buoyant Ventures consider deviating from their typical criteria?
As Series A investing is Buoyant’s sweet spot, for them to invest at the Seed stage would mean that they would have high conviction in a team and their vision. At Series B, Buoyant would need to be able to add value to the startup, which usually lends itself to bringing a different perspective to the table or tapping into Buoyant’s network.
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.