Spain’s embrace of climate change helped Madrid-based VC, Seia, raise a 300 million euro climate-tech fund

Date:

According to a recent Dealroom report on the Spanish tech ecosystem, the combined venture value of Spanish startups is set to surpass €100 billion in 2023. In the latest confirmation of this upward trend, Madrid-based VC fund Cea has closed Cea Andromeda, an ‘Article 9’ €300 million climate-tech fund based out of Madrid.

Article 9 refers to the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation Act, which places an obligation on investment firms to ensure their investments have a positive impact on society or the environment.

Seia has been focusing on mission-driven startups in Europe and Latin America for the past 12 years. The new ‘Andromeda’ fund will invest in growth companies that specialise in energy transition, decarbonisation, sustainable food value chains, and the circular economy.

The firm said the new climate fund will invest between €7M-€40M as a first check; retain capital for follow-on; and plans to make 25 investments by the end of 2027. So far, five investments have been made from the fund (see below).

Cea was launched in 2013 by former private equity investor Beatriz Gonzalez, who became involved in climate and sustainable investing after backing a recycled clothing line. She previously worked for Morgan Stanley, Accel Partners and Darby Overseas Investments in the US. She then became a director of Telefonica’s pension fund, leading its alternative asset programme.

Under Gonzalez’s leadership, Cea has invested in climate tech companies including Biome Makers, Clarity.ai, Crowdfarming, Descartes, RatedPower, Samara, and electric car charging station company Wallbox (which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021).

On a call I asked Gonzalez if he thought there would be any particular benefit to having a fund based out of Spain to tackle climate tech, since the country is closest to the worst impacts of a changing climate, such as extreme heat, drought, wildfires and storms.

“That’s a good question,” he said. “If you think about the energy transition and decarbonisation coming from southern Europe, particularly Spain, we see that we are better suited for two reasons. One reason is that southern Europe has more heat waves. So clearly, there is a lot more social awareness there. But we also think we have competitive advantages in the industries we are targeting.

“We have been a leader in renewable energy, so we have the talent and we have large companies manufacturing auto parts. So we have a large industrial base. The same is true for agriculture and real estate. So we believe we have industry expertise and talent coming from southern Europe, particularly Spain, which gives us a slight advantage.”

I also asked what kind of expertise they have that would enable them to make insightful investment decisions about climate technology.

“We have some engineers, so we have in-house expertise, but our LP network also has large EU banks like Santander that provide project finance for energy or factories. So having access to that knowledge helps us do due diligence and move much faster.”

So far, Seea has used that knowledge to invest in a number of relevant companies. For example, Spain-based augmented-reality skills training solution Seeberry has developed AR software and hardware for training welders, meaning they don’t need to use real welding for training, thus reducing carbon emissions per welding session by 95%.

It has also invested in UK-based AI-powered waste management startup RecycleEye in February 2022, which builds robots to sort waste for recycling.

In San Francisco, the firm invested in a climate-tech company called Pachama, which uses data to verify the quality of carbon credits and helps launch new carbon credit projects.

News of the new fund follows other signs of a Southern European funding renaissance. Just last week, Plus Partners launched in Barcelona aiming to raise a $30M-$50M fund.

The annual “State of European Tech” report for 2023 also found Spain’s ecosystem ranked fourth overall and said it had the highest number of startup funding last year.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe

spot_imgspot_img

Popular

More like this
Related

Memes and Jokes Know the funny side of ‘International Blue Screen Day’

In fact, there's nothing funny about the massive global...

Silicon Valley donors ditched Biden. Kamala Harris is winning them back

Just hours after President Joe Biden announced he was...

Vivo V40 series with 5,500mAh battery and IP68 rating may launch in India soon: Report

According to a report, the Vivo V40 series may...