Private equity is an essential ally for almost all entrepreneurs – infusing the capital that fuels ideas and inventions. Through the years, that support has morphed beyond check writing to, more importantly, providing seasoned counsel and making key connections through well-oiled incubators and accelerators. More than ever, that depth of support is needed to advance global environmental innovation.
No longer are the table stakes only about return on investment. Corporate leaders, NGOs and governments recognize that climate tech can serve two distinct roles, providing:
- A needed path to intervene around climate change
- A business development laboratory for future products leading to profits.
Several prominent private equity groups have begun to recognize that climate technology and sustainability information platforms offer fertile ground for return on investment – promising returns for limited partners and essential benefits to the planet. In a recent visit to Israel, a nation noted for cultivating a bounty of start-up companies and “unicorns,” we met several of the country’s leading incubators, accelerators, and equity groups that have made climate tech their investment priority.
Seven Powerhouse Investment Groups
While many of the world’s leading equity groups have headquarters and branches in Israel, these seven organizations have prioritized climate tech. If you’re tracking the environmental innovation sector, make sure you’re following these venture capital groups that span the incubator, accelerator, and equity fields:
- Capital Nature is an Israeli private equity group – a front-runner – investing in environmentally focused startups and businesses. Launched as an incubator by the Israel Innovation Authority 10 years ago, Capital Nature, led by one of Israel’s top investors, business executives, and entrepreneurs, Anat Tsour, empowers entrepreneurs to develop scalable ventures by providing financial support, strategic guidance, and connections. The group actively seeks startups that address critical environmental challenges such as renewable energy, waste management, water conservation, and sustainable agriculture, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of green innovation in Israel. LINKEDIN
- Doral Energy-Tech Ventures has emerged as a key player shaping the landscape of climate technology. With its focus on sustainable innovation, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures has consistently invested in – and sought connections with – early-stage solutions that address pressing environmental challenges. Its strategic collaborations with startups and established companies have propelled the development and deployment of groundbreaking technologies spanning renewable energy, carbon capture, and efficient resource management. Roee Furman, managing director of Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, offers portfolio companies a welcomed combination of expertise and funding. Doral Energy-Tech Ventures is a lead global catalyst accelerating the transition to a more resilient and low-carbon future and the vital role private enterprises play in advancing climate tech. LINKEDIN
- Gravity Climate Fund focuses on climate change and sustainability. The fund was launched by one of Israel’s leading voices in climate technology, Bracha Halaf, formerly chief scientist at the Ministry of Energy. She brings her expertise as a principal at Qure Ventures, an OurCrowd fund, to the much-needed effort to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy by investing in early-stage startups and disruptive technologies. Gravity Climate Fund supports ventures that tackle climate challenges head-on, including renewable energy, energy storage, electric mobility, and sustainable infrastructure. Their strategic investments and support help drive technological advancements and create a more sustainable future.
- Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) is a government agency that promotes technological advancements and innovation across various sectors, especially the environment. The Authority supports initiatives focused on environmental sustainability, offering grants, funding programs, and mentorship to startups and research institutions – even supporting “laboratories” to field test promising innovations. The problems facing cleantech companies are not unique to Israel. IIA is sponsoring some 100 Israeli-based companies heading to COP28 in Dubai. IIA has a solid track record in clean technologies, resource efficiencies, and sustainable practices as the nexus among academia, industry, and government. LINKEDIN
- Mass Challenge Israel is the largest and most diverse zero-equity accelerator in Israel and has included a climate tech track among its operational priorities. Its comprehensive programs enable climate-focused startups to thrive by providing strategic mentorship, resources and connections to investors and industry leaders. Mass Challenge Israel accelerates the development of cutting-edge solutions addressing the world’s pressing climate challenges through collaboration between entrepreneurs and experts, and by doing so, contributes to the growth of sustainable technologies and the global effort to tackle climate change. LINKEDIN
- PLANETech is a nonprofit innovation community for climate change technologies – a joint venture of the Israel Innovation Institute and Consensus Business Group. Its power team, led by Noam Sonennberg, offers tailored acceleration programs, strategic mentorship, and access to a vast network of investors and industry leaders; PLANETech provides companies with the tools and resources needed to succeed in the complex world of capital and policy. Through its community, it emphasizes knowledge exchange so sponsored companies can refine solutions, scale their impact, and address the pressing challenges of climate change. PLANETech support is instrumental in laying the groundwork for groundbreaking technologies that contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future. LINKEDIN
- Start-Up Nation Central, an Israel-based non-profit organization, has fostered innovation and technological advancements in the field of climate tech. By connecting startups, researchers, investors, and corporates, they are accelerating the development and deployment of solutions addressing climate change challenges. Along with supporting companies at the forefront of climate tech innovation, Start-Up Nation Central has developed a visual inventory of 760 early-stage enterprises developing climate solutions. The go-to voice for the sector at Start-Up Nation is Yael Weisz Zilberman, who leads sector efforts. LINKEDIN
The climate-tech community is tight-knit, and ready access to private equity leadership is a given. The conference platforms are many, and the post-panel conversation offers plenty of opportunities to connect and chat. Israeli-based private equity groups have shown leadership and gravitas in advancing environmental innovation.
Follow the Money? Not Quite.
Through financial support, strategic guidance, and collaboration, these entities nurture startups by opening their bank accounts and, perhaps more importantly, their contact databases. As Israel continues to prioritize sustainability and environmental innovation, investors and partners outside the “Start-Up Nation” will look at the hundreds of companies entering the climate tech sector and, most importantly, the private equity group portfolios doing the due diligence and counseling behind the scenes. Follow the money and the wisdom!