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US-based VC firm secures $250M, wants to invest in African cleantech startups

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US-based VC firm secures $250M, wants to invest in African cleantech startups

A San Francisco-based VC firm, Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), has secured $250 million for sustainable firms, including two in Africa.

The cleantech-focused investment company closed its fourth fund with support from the Tennessee Valley Authority Retirement System and Franz Haniel & Cie, a family-owned holding company in Germany.

With solutions ranging from hydrogen-powered airplanes to electric motorcycles and subscription scooters, about 20 early-stage green technology startups will receive funding.

Ampersand, Rwandan e-mobility startup, and Ghana’s Energicity, a distributor of solar microgrids for underserved rural communities, are among the selected beneficiaries of the EIF.

Other cleantech startups include Oakland-based Unagi, which is developing a subscription-based network of electric scooters, and ZeroAvia Inc., a provider of hydrogen-powered airplanes.

In the words of Sasha Brown, a partner at EIF, Sustainable investing opportunities are “becoming much better understood.”

She believes that attitudes have changed since the days when “people thought what we did was counter to fundamental economics, that we were tree huggers who were going against capitalism.”

Cleantech- an attractive investment option or a priority?

Recently, CNN reported that the Pacific Northwest heatwave in late June was a mass casualty event according to officials. With hundreds of deaths resulting from unprecedented heat, scientists have identified climate change as the deadly culprit.

Even as heartbreaking news continue to be churned out almost consistently, it is interesting to note that the growing effects of climate change is directly proportional to the interest of investors worldwide.

Accumulating evidence of global warming due to high carbon emissions has underscored the need to transition away from fossil fuels.

Six years ago, world leaders met in Paris to discuss and agree on measures to keep the global warming increase to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and ideally no more than 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) by the end of the century.

Scientists say both goals will be missed by a wide margin unless drastic steps are taken to cut down greenhouse gas emissions. While governments across the world are gearing up to transition into renewable energy, investors- public and private- are turning more attention to sustainable cleantech startups.

It is not surprising that global spending on technologies to transition away from fossil fuels hit a new record of $501.3 billion in 2020. From an economic point of view, this figure shows that the global energy industry is ripe for picking.

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