climate, cop26, climate change

Like a groundhog and its shadow, many venture capitalists see a shrinking economy and burrow away, resting their check-signing hand for better days.

But climate-focused VCs seem to be on a hot streak lately, pumping well over a billion dollars per quarter into startups that strive to mitigate emissions as the Earth bakes.

Buoyant Ventures is one such firm building momentum for the sector. Based in Chicago, the investor told regulators this week via an SEC filing that it has locked down just over $50 million for a new fund. Buoyant declined to comment when emailed by TechCrunch, but the filing shows the firm had been raising cash for the fund since at least May 2021. So far, 75 (unnamed) limited partners have chipped in, and Buoyant is fishing for just shy of $50 million more. 

Led by Electronic Arts and Energize Ventures alum Amy Francetic and former Accenture executive Allison Myers, Buoyant’s first deal dates back to the summer of 2020. That’s when it backed Raptor Maps, which aims to help solar farms squeeze more juice from the sun by spotting issues—like panel damage and shading—via drones and sensors.

Buoyant said in 2021 that it’s focused on “solutions for the industries contributing the most to carbon emissions,” including power, transportation, agriculture and buildings. Since then, it has funded at least four other early-ish stage startups, including FloodFlash, StormSensor and others seeking to cash in on emissions mitigation or climate adaptation.

Several other noteworthy climate (and climate-adjacent) VC fundraises have crossed our desks in recent weeks, including Fifth Wall‘s $500 million fund, Climentum Capital ($157 million), Systemiq Capital ($70 million) and Equal Ventures ($56 million).

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