Amazon launches a $2 billion clean energy fund
Criticized for its lack of environmental friendliness, e-commerce giant Amazon is launching a $2 billion venture capital fund that will invest in companies that “ facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy.”
Dubbed The Climate Pledge Fund, the new pool of capital will go to companies in transportation, energy generation, battery storage, manufacturing, and food and agriculture, per the Wall Street Journal. Amazon is considering “pre-product startups to well-established enterprises,” according to a statement from Jeff Bezos. While the time horizon of the fund is unclear, Amazon says the $2 billion is an “initial” number.
Matt Peterson on Amazon’s corporate development team is leading the fund alongside Kara Hurst, who heads the company’s sustainability team.
Amazon is seeking to reach net zero in carbon emission by 2040 and plans to run on completely renewable energy by 2025. It’s already made investments in electric vehicles, leading a $700 million round in EV startup Rivian, which is expected to produce some 100,000 delivery vans for the e-commerce company as part of a separate deal.
But remember…the company has been criticized for its lack of environmental protections. A business of ferrying around billions of packages a day is inherently one that takes a toll on the environment, at least for now.
Female founders weather the coronavirus: As the coronavirus was unfolding in April, Term Sheet asked Forerunner’s Kirsten Green if she thought female founders would be disproportionately dinged by a downturn. Her response: “I sure as hell hope not.”
Now there are some early numbers, per my colleague, Emma Hinchliffe.
“New survey data suggests that, in some ways, women-run startups may actually be better positioned to make it through the economic downturn than their peers,” she writes. “The female-founded companies reporting increased revenue are all in the wellness and home categories, according to Female Founders Fund’s survey. They include sexual wellness brands, makers of home hair care and fitness products, and sellers of ‘alternative adult beverages.’” Read more.
- DispatchHealth, a Denver, Colo.-based provider of in-home health care, raised $135.8 million in Series C funding. Optum Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Alta Partners, Questa Capital, Echo Health Ventures, and new investors Oak HC/FT and Humana.
- UJET, a San Francisco-based provider of cloud customer support solutions, raised $55 million in funding. Sapphire Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including GV,, Citi Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, DCM, and Resolute Ventures.
- SQream, a New York-based provider of data analytics, raised $39.4 million in Series B+ funding. Mangrove Capital Partners and Schusterman Family Investments led the round and were joined by investors including Hanaco Venture Capital, Sistema.vc, World Trade Center Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Silvertech Ventures and Alibaba Group.
- Librestream, a Winnipeg, Canada-based provider of augmented site inspection tech, raised $24 million in Series D funding. Investors include Canadian Business Growth Fund, Export Development Canada, and Pender Technology Inflection Fund.
- HelloOffice, a San Francisco-based commercial real estate brokerage, raised $20 million Series A funding. Point Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Initialized Capital, Founders Fund, SaaStr, House Fund, and Jake Gibson.
- Cyclica, a Toronto-based biotech company, raised CAD$23 million ($17 million) in Series B funding. Drive Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Chiesi Farmaceutici, and GreenSky Capital.
- Urjanet, an Atlanta, Ga.‚based utility account aggregator, raised $14.7 million in Series D funding. Investors included Equifax, Oak HC/FT, Pete Kight, Grotech Ventures, and Correlation Ventures.
- Pipe Technologies, a Los Angeles-based provider of a financing to SaaS platforms, raised $10 million in funding. Fin VC led the round.
- Tara Biosystems, a New York-based vitro human biology company, raised $10 million in extended Series A funding. Investors include OMX Ventures, Merieux Equity Partners, and LifeForce Capital.
- Soil Carbon Co, an Australian company converting atmospheric CO2 into stable soil carbon using microbial fungi, raised $6.8 million in seed funding. Horizons Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Grok Ventures; Mike Cannon-Brookes (Atlassian cofounder) and his wife Annie’s investment fund, the Australian government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Lowercarbon Capital.
- RenoFi, a Philadelphia-based home renovation loan provider,raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. Canaan Partners led the round and was joined by investors including First Round Capital and Comcast Ventures.
- Authomize, a Tel Aviv-based authorization management solution, raised $6 million in seed funding. Investors include Blumberg Capital, M12 Microsoft's venture fund, and Entrée Capital.
- Calibrate, a New York-based one-year telemedicine program that helps overweight shed pounds, raised $5.1 million in seed funding. Kirsten Green at Forerunner Ventures led the round and was joined by Redesign Health.
- Cape Privacy, a New York-based privacy platform for collaborative data science and machine learning, raised $5 million in seed funding. Boldstart Ventures and Version One led the round and were joined by Haystack, Radical, and Faktory Ventures.
- Satelytics, a cloud-based geospatial analytics software company monitoring environmental changes, raised $5 million in funding from bp ventures.
- Tatch, a New York-based startup developing a patch to diagnose sleep disorders, raised $4.3 million in seed funding. Spark Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Abstract Ventures and Correlation Ventures. Read more.
- DriveU.auto, an Israeli autonomous driving startup that spun out of video transmission technology company LiveU, raised $4 million in new funding. RAD group co-founder Zohar Zisapel led the round and was joined by investors including Two Lanterns Venture Partners, Yigal Jacoby, and Kaedan Capital. Read more.
- Treehouse, a Los Angeles-based gaming startup, raised $2.6 million in seed funding. LVP led the round and was joined by investors including Transcend Fund and Super Evil Megacorp CEO Kristian Segestrale.
- A consortium of investors will invest in select Abu Dhabi National Oil Company gas lines for $10 billion. Investors included Global Infrastructure Partners, Brookfield Asset Management, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, NH Investment & Securities and Italy’s Snam. Read more.
- Charlesbank Capital Partners invested in Aptean, a Alpharetta, Ga.-based provider of enterprise resource planning and supply chain solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- RJD Partners acquired Improve International, a provider of education to the veterinary sector, from Benchmark Holdings (LON: BMK) for £12.8 million ($16 million).
- A water quality platform created by KKR and XPV Water Partners acquired Environmental Dynamics International, a Columbia, Mo.-based maker of diffused aeration systems. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) will acquire a 49.9 % stake in Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, a South San Francisco, Calif.-based maker of cancer immunotherapies, for $275 million.
- Volkswagen (DE: VOW) is weighing a bid for Europcar Mobility Group (EPA: EUCAR), a French car-rental company, per Bloomberg. Read more.
- Fosun International (HK: 0656) is in talks to sell a $1.3 billion stake in Cainiao, a parcel tracking platform launched by Alibaba, to investors including Alibaba. Read more.
- Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) agreed to acquire as much as 35% of modalmais, a Brazilian digital broker. Read more.
- Dell Technologies is weighing a spinoff for its roughly $50 billion stake in VMware, per the Wall Street Journal. Read more.
- MessageBird, a Dutch software company rivaling Twilio, is preparing for an IPO in 12 months. Read more.
- BigCommerce , an Austin-based e-commerce software developer, is preparin for an IPO this year, per Bloomberg. The deal could value the company at $1 billion. Investors include General Catalyst and GGV Capital. Read more.
- Schneider Electric SE and Emerson Electric Co. are among the companies considering a bid for OSIsoft, an industrial software maker that could value it at $4 billion, Bloomberg reports citing sources. SoftBank Group backs the firm. Read more.
- Mastercard (NYSE: MA) agreed to acquire Finicity, a provider of real-time access to financial data for $825 million. Finicity’s existing shareholders have the potential for an earn-out of up to an additional $160 million if performance targets are met. Finicity is backed by Experian Ventures and Nordmark Group.
- KKR & Co. has raised over $10 billion for its third Asia fund. Read more.
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