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July 10, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Climate-focused start-ups doing better than most in raising capital

Three areas were particularly attractive to investors: solar, waste and wastewater management, and battery tech.

Joanna Glasner writes in this Crunchbase News article that “catastrophic climate change projections are only getting more pronounced. And across the globe, overall start-up investment is on the decline.”

She continues, “These two trajectories don’t fundamentally have anything to do with each other. The planet doesn’t check start-up funding data before deciding how many record heat waves and hurricanes to unleash. And the venture pullback, a comedown from a cyclical bubble, has nothing to do with climate dynamics.”

According to Crunchbase data, investors have put slightly more than $17 billion into seed through growth-stage financings for sustainability-focused companies across the globe. Glasner writes that the number is “on track to come in pretty close to 2021 totals but likely below the record-setting investment tallies of 2022.”

Funding for start-ups focused on climate change has risen dramatically in the last few years, based on Crunchbase data. In 2018, the total was $8.9 billion globally, rising to $13.3 billion and $14.6 billion in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Investments rose by close to a 2.5X factor in 2021, reaching $36 billion in 2021 and $44 billion in 2022.

Glasner noted that three areas of the broader climate-focused sector were particularly attractive to investors: solar, waste and wastewater management, and battery tech. And the article specifically cited Nashville-headquartered Silicon Ranch, the 12-year-old company that develops and operates utility-scale solar facilities. It raised $375 million in January.

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