A 'green' unicorn
What the cleantech boom and bust tells us about the future of climate tech
“It is my belief that the next 1,000 unicorns — companies that have a market valuation over a billion dollars — won’t be a search engine, won’t be a media company, they’ll be businesses developing green hydrogen, green agriculture, green steel and green cement,” - Larry Fink, CEO and Chairman of Blackrock, 25th October 2021
Climate tech accounted for more than one quarter of all venture dollars invested in 2022, according to recent data analysed by PwC. Compared to the period 2018-20, the share of venture capital (VC) being channelled to climate tech has more than doubled.
Climate tech is defined as technologies that either directly mitigate or remove emissions, help society to adapt to the impacts of climate change, or enhance our understanding of the climate. Examples include mobility and transport (e.g. electric vehicles), sustainable food (e.g. lab grown meat or drought resistant seedlings), carbon capture utilisation & storage, and climate data intelligence (e.g. monitoring forests with satellites and drones).
Although climate tech’s share of VC funding has gone up, it hasn’t been immune to the decline in sentiment towards VC seen elsewhere in the sector during 2022. Indeed, when Larry Fink declared that “the next 1,000 unicorns” will be in climate tech, investment in the sector had already peaked.
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