This article was published on April 16, 2024

Climate tech heavyweights EQT, Contrarian launch investment ‘playbook’

'Climate Brick' could be the investment bible climate tech startups have been looking for

Climate tech heavyweights EQT, Contrarian launch investment ‘playbook’

More than 50 European VCs and startups have joined forces to launch Climate Brick — a new community designed to fast-track investment in green technologies. 

Climate Brick launched today along with what its founders claim to be one of the most comprehensive climate tech studies ever conducted. The report, featuring interviews with 100 climate experts and 3,000 companies, offers a roadmap for climate tech startups looking to scale. 

“We really needed a common vocabulary and playbook for climate tech, and now with Climate Brick — we have it,” said Rokas Peciulaitis, partner at Contrarian Ventures and one of Climate Brick’s co-founders. 

Contrarian initiated Climate Brick alongside Swedish VC firm EQT Ventures. The community includes representatives from HSBC, 2150, Norrsken, Einride, Northvolt, Marvel Fusion, Genomines and many others. 

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Climate Brick’s report identifies seven key company profiles that exist within climate tech. For each one (called Bricks) there is a unique risk profile, suggested capital stacks, and roadmap for scaling the business. 

These bricks include “moonshot” companies, like those working in quantum technology, and “gigascale” companies like those making batteries. 

Climate tech investment

“The journey to scale in climate tech is unconventional compared to traditional venture capital investment,” explained Sandra Malmberg, partner at EQT Ventures and a co-founder of the initiative. “It can be CAPEX intensive, it is influenced by regulatory developments, and has a complex stakeholder map.”

Climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge of our time, and technology is critical to solving it. But to succeed, the world needs to mobilise funding at an unprecedented pace and scale. Climate tech also requires investors to prioritise long-term growth over short-term gain.

McKinsey estimates that humanity must invest at least 270 trillion in climate tech by 2050 to meet net zero goals. That requires a global, coordinated effort on a level never seen before. It requires a blueprint. 

“Climate Brick is the missing manual to unite the community, enable better steering and target setting, improve capital allocation, and make stakeholder involvement more efficient — thereby generating impact at scale,” said Malmberg.  

While admittedly ambitious in its scope, Climate Brick couldn’t have launched at a better time. 

European climate tech startups raised over $20 billion last year, the second highest on record. That’s 43% of all global climate tech VC funding recorded that year, a big milestone considering 2023 saw one of history’s biggest downturns in VC funding. 

Climate Brick looks to capitalise on this momentum. “It is both a community to bring stakeholders together to learn from the best, and a blueprint on how to scale climate tech companies at speed and scale,” explained Peciulaitis. “All we need to do is put it into action.”

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