The role of seed funding in net zero solutions

Comment from the UKI2S investment team

Funding early-stage technology companies is critical for turning innovation and science into real world solutions, including those which will help us adapt to and combat climate change.

Next-generation technologies have the potential to help solve climate issues across a variety of industries, based on sound science and with the potential for commercial success. Our investment portfolio includes high-sensitivity emission monitoring, clean energy, sustainable alternatives for the chemical industry and materials for a circular economy. The types of companies we back are usually at the earliest stages, possibly even pre company formation, often based on public research funding science with pilots and demonstration projects.

These companies need support with capital and commercial knowledge and that’s why seed investment is a crucial step in their development. Seed funding supports talented people with bright ideas at the very earliest stages to help them start cutting-edge businesses. It provides long-term, committed capital and strategic advice to make companies flourish and achieve their ambitions of solving world problems. Our model is based on co-investment with other funds and individuals who are also passionate about the potential for technology to create profit and meaningful impact and have a shared vision for climate and world solutions.

There are challenges of course. There is a messy middle in commercialising science and innovation, where the proof isn’t possible without early-stage investment, but the early-stage investment needs proof. This can be difficult to come by, but there is an increasing appetite from the investment community to support climate change, renewable energy, science and health, realising the co-benefits or win-wins that come from injecting capital into these areas.

We believe strongly that innovation can solve the world’s greatest challenges. To get there it requires collaboration and coordination, building investor capacity to effectively evaluate, select, and fund nascent climate technologies. Considering climate and societal-risk factors in financial decisions and enhancing non-financial support, such as expertise, partnerships, connections, equipment, and political advocacy can help businesses grow and develop and contribute to a positive economy that doesn’t damage people or the environment.

Find out more about climate solutions we invest in:

  • INITION– decarbonising battery production
  • Lineat Composites– fibre alignment technology to create sustainable composites for sports, marine, aerospace
  • Smart Green Shipping– wind-powered solutions that enable the shipping sector to reduce fuel and emissions
  • Tokamak – clean, carbon-free safe and secure fusion energy
  • HydRegen Limited– enzyme-based redox platform for sustainable chemical manufacturing
  • MIRICO Ltd– high sensitivity laser technology for greenhouse gas monitoring
  • SOLASTA Bio– highly-selective short peptides for “greener” insect control
  • Zentraxa –  scalable & sustainable biomaterials to meet the toughest challenges across a range of industries