Aera VC builds $42 million war chest for climate breakthroughs

- February 22, 2022 2 MIN READ
Aera VC co-founder Derek Handley

Climate tech venture firm Aera VC has raised US$30 million (A$42m) in the first close of its new fund to back startups addressing sustainability and global warming.

The new climate-focused fund has already backed Michael Fox’s alt-protein business Fable Foods, along with US-based chemical decarbonisation unicorn startup Solugen (valued at US$1.8bn) as well as Shiok Meats (Singapore), Carbon Chain (London), Noya and Twelve (San Francisco).

Co-founded by New Zealander Derek Handley, the former CEO of Richard Branson’s B Team sustainability collective, Singapore-based Aera launched in late 2016 and looked to back transformational technologies to reverse climate change and advance new breakthroughs for humanity.

Handley said Aera is a launching an investment DAO (Distributed Autonomous Organization) called Aera Force, with 2000 ETH (c. US$6 million) earmarked specifically for pre-seed projects harnessing the power of blockchain to conquer climate and carbon-related challenges.

Established in partnership with the creators of Dream DAO, the Aera Force DAO will expand the global community of innovators, scientists and founders formed in the past five years by Aera VC.

“The entire world needs to be rebuilt and decarbonised,” Handley said.

“At Aera, our long-term vision is about investing across the sustainability spectrum, by backing breakthrough technologies that reverse climate change, whether they spawn from blockchain innovations or through scientific discoveries.

“Every industry needs to be reimagined, from finance, food and fashion, through to chemicals, cement and construction. And we are backing the very best founders hell bent on making this happen.”

The new Aera fund expects to make up to 30 new seed investments over the next two years and will also contribute to follow-on rounds.

The fund is continuing to accept further subscriptions up to US$100m from institutional investors this year.

Handley said Aera VC as one of the first global climate funds based out of the Asia-Pacific region and its portfolio companies have gone on to raise more than A$1.3 billion dollars since receiving Aera’s backing.

Alex Andre de la Porte is Aera’s Sydney-based representative.

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