[Funding alert] Berlin-based World Fund Secures €300 Million in First Funding

Friday 22, 2024 | By Startup Rise EU

  • World Fund, European climate tech Venture capital firm secures €300 million funding
  • With this funding, the World Fund team will be able to invest 25–30% of their total capital into European entrepreneurs that are developing technologies
European climate tech venture capital world fund secures €300 Million in First Funding

World Fund, one of European venture capital firm, has secures €300 million first fund. Prominent supporters include NRWbank, Ignitis Group, BPI France, PwC Germany, EIF, KfW Capital, Wachstumsfonds, and PwC Germany.

The UK Environment Agency Pension Fund, Wiltshire Pension Fund, and Croatia's Erste Plavi are among the pension funds that have joined the fund. Ecosia, the biggest independent search engine in Europe, invested funds as the World Fund's initial investor.

With this closing sum, World Fund has successfully raised the largest first-time fund in the history of European climate venture capital. With this funding, the World Fund team will be able to invest 25–30% of their total capital into European entrepreneurs that are developing technologies that might decarbonise entire industries.

Danijel Višević, Managing Partner at World Fund, said: “We are proud that we have been able to attract numerous institutional investors who haven’t ever invested in VC or a first-time fund before, but did now with us. We will work to ensure that our fund demonstrates to the world that successful investments and positive climate impact go hand-in-hand. In this way, we hope to provide a service to the entire climate investment sector.”

The company's historic inaugural fund shows that institutional investors are still becoming more interested in climate technology, which is encouraging news for entrepreneurs in Europe. According to the most recent data, climate tech valuations in Europe have held steady since 2021 despite a decline in other industries, and the outlook is positive.

There is evidence that Europe is experiencing a boom in cutting edge climate technology research. For instance, European patents pertaining to energy are up 15% year over year, despite the fact that 43% of all top R&D patents worldwide have their origins in Europe. The World Fund team will take advantage of this opportunity with their new money.

Višević added: “We are on a mission to ensure that the best of European climate techs do not fail due to the dearth of funding beyond the earliest stages – that infamous ‘Series B valley of death’ that has plagued European companies for too long. Our planet is at a pivotal juncture, and we could not be prouder to spend every day working towards creating a regenerative world, backing European founders building world-changing companies. If you’re building something, please contact us – our doors and inboxes are always open.”

A handful of LPs who had never before supported first-time VC funds have joined the fund as well. This includes BPI France's first investment in a first-time fund outside of France, as well as the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund, Wiltshire Pension Fund, and Erste Plavi. The European Investment Fund contributed €50 million to the World Fund as well.

All of this is possible despite fundraising in one of the most difficult venture capital (VC) environments in history, one that saw investors pulling back on new commitments, a period of rapid interest rate rises, the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, and a backdrop of war and geopolitical turmoil in Europe.

Lilian Schwich, Co-Founder and CEO at Cylib, said: “World Fund really understands the mission we are on – the team believes that CAPEX projects are the lever for tackling the climate crisis. Their team is strong and always approachable, and offers us a superior mix of technical experts as well as relevant networks. Since investing in us in early 2023, they have already connected us with political institutions and offered incredible support with ESG expertise, as well as finding synergies within the wider portfolio. We could not recommend World Fund more highly.”

Petar Vlaić, President of the Management Board, Ersteplavi, commented: “We invested in the World Fund because we saw that the Fund’s team members have a strong track record in climate tech investing, and have extensive experience in the industry and a deep network within the European tech ecosystem, which will help in investing in startups with European roots that provide globally applicable solutions in the climate tech sector. Also, the Fund has a strong deal sourcing network, including co-investors, entrepreneurs, corporate partners, and limited partners. We see that the team’s experience and expertise will enable them to add value to portfolio companies through their understanding of the climate tech sector and their ability to help companies scale and succeed.”

In order to assist European climate tech firms in overcoming their greatest obstacle to date—the funding gap at the Series B stage—World Fund sought to generate climate capital on an unprecedented scale.

Today's early-stage European deeptech and climate businesses sometimes require capital of €30 million or more in order to scale up and construct the factory necessary to develop products that have the potential to change the game.

With this fund, World Fund provides a solution to this issue by spearheading financing rounds and setting aside sizeable funds for subsequent investments to assist businesses in its portfolio in overcoming this obstacle.

About World Fund

World Fund, European Climate Tech venture capital fiem, support the world economy's decarbonisation. They are motivated to address the climate catastrophe as climate tech venture capitalists, and they only fund scalable enterprises and technologies with large potential for reducing emissions. With an emphasis on energy, food and agriculture, manufacturing, buildings, and mobility, they assist companies at every stage of development, from early to growth.

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