Grok Ventures, the private investment fund of Atlassian cofounder Mike Cannon-Brookes, has named global asset management executive Tan Kueh as CEO, joining chief investment officer Jeremy Kwong-Law.
Cannon-Brookes said that Grok is entering a new phase of growth, having refined its investment strategy to make a bigger impact on addressing the global climate challenge.
“Having Tan and Jeremy at the helm means having a dream team behind Grok’s investment portfolio,” he said,
“Tan brings an incredible knowledge of global markets and climate tech, but most importantly, she is a visionary. She brings big ideas and big passion to solve the biggest challenge of our time – decarbonising our planet, quickly.
“We have huge goals, so Grok will be committing more capital to grow our portfolio and over time we’ll be looking to partner with others to scale our climate investment opportunities.”
In 2021, Cannon-Brookes pledged to commit $1.5 billion of his wealth to climate change philanthropy and green investments over 10 years. Alongside $1 billion to invest in climate tech, there’s also $500 million for philanthropy in the space.
The promise doubled down on the $1 billion Grok Ventures had already invested startups such as Canva, Culture Amp, SpaceX, Who Gives a Crap, Bitcoin, nano-satellite startup Fleet Space Technologies and Spriggy.
Now Grok will allocate all new capital on climate-related investments that support decarbonisation of the planet and achieving net zero as quickly as possible. The fund will invest right across the climate capital stack, from seed stage, to major renewable energy infrastructure projects and high conviction ‘lighthouse investments’.
Tan Kueh spent a decade establishing Macquarie’s US business, then building its distribution presence across Asia. In the past 10 years she also led the wealth management business of UBS in China and was BlackRock Asia’s MD.
“Grok has been a first mover and made real world impacts via their climate investing. I am excited by the opportunity of supporting Grok’s own ambitions to deploy more capital here in Australia and internationally,” Kueh said.
“I’m looking forward to working with Jeremy and the entire Grok team to supercharge our climate investments and engage with third party capital partners about how they can support our common goals.”
Jeremy Kwong-Law said Kueh’s addition to the VC means he can now focus on the CIO role he will have more bandwidth to do what he loves most – identifying the greatest opportunities in the climate space
“Technology is a core driver of decarbonisation – it’s where we see the most value and opportunity, but it’s also where we see a large gap,” he said.
“Seeding and scaling climate tech into climate infrastructure is going to require trillions of dollars in private capital. However, larger investors won’t fund these companies until the tech is proven at scale. This is the gap we are trying to fill, by investing early, de-risking the investments and working with founders to establish milestones that unlock additional forms of financing.”
Grok’s portfolio in climate tech includes software startups gridmo, Neara, WeaveGrid; renewables generation/storage hardware in SunDrive and Antora; sustainable fuels venture Lydian, Fleet, food sustainablity with Loam Bio and Asterix Foods; food waste management in Goterra and finance and project development through Brighte, SunCable and Solar Bay.
Grok remains the largest shareholder in AGL Energy.