World Fund closes its first €300M climate tech fund, aiming to support hardware startups

After three years of hard work, World Fund has successfully closed its first fund at €300 million, falling €50 million short of its goal in 2021, but still a significant amount considering the challenging global circumstances. The venture capital firm was founded by the creators of the Ecosia search engine, where search queries contribute to tree planting.

Despite facing challenges such as ongoing conflicts, rising interest rates, and hesitant investors, World Fund managed to secure its funding. Managing partner Danijel Višević mentioned the difficulties faced during the fundraising process, particularly in 2023.

The fund focuses solely on decarbonization technologies and allocates a large portion of its capital to follow-on investments, addressing the gap in later-stage funding in Europe. Emphasizing the importance of hardware in climate solutions, World Fund has invested in technical experts like biotech and biochemists to evaluate potential investments.

World Fund has already invested in several climate tech companies and with its new funding, plans to support 25 to 30 European startups specialized in decarbonization. Notable investments include IQM Quantum Computers, Space Forge, Planet A Foods, Juicy Marbles, ENOUGH, CustomCells, Cylib, aedifion, and Ecoworks.

The fund received support from various entities including the European Investment Fund, KfW Capital, Wachstumsfonds, Bpifrance, PwC Germany, NRW.BANK, Ignitis Group, as well as several pension funds. Notable players in the climate tech investment space include Norrsken VC and Demeter Partners.

The European climate tech sector is thriving, with over $20 billion in funding raised by startups in 2023. Countries like the U.K., Sweden, and Germany lead in climate tech funding, while countries like Iceland, Lithuania, and Bulgaria show promising growth. Valuations remain strong and energy-related patents in Europe are on the rise.

Founded in 2021 by Daria Saharova, Višević, Tim Schumacher, and Craig Douglas, World Fund is headquartered in Berlin with offices in Munich, Cologne, and Amsterdam.