Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the startup fund founded by billionaire Bill Gates, opened a 100 million euro ($116 million) investment fund to help European companies develop clean technologies.
“We need new technologies to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” Gates said in Brussels, where he met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “Scientists and entrepreneurs who are developing innovations to address climate change need capital to build companies that can deliver those innovations to the global market.”
The $1 billion Breakthrough Energy fund established by Gates in 2016 was founded to pursue the long-shot technological breakthroughs needed to avert climate change that are too risky for venture capitalists. Other investors include Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma. Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP, also provided seed funding to Breakthrough.
“The scale and speed of what is needed to reach our climate goals require innovative thinking and bold action,” Maros Sefcovic, the EC’s Vice President for Energy Union, said in a statement. “Not only is this new public-private investment vehicle being set up in record time, it will also serve as an example of us joining forces to accelerate breakthrough innovation.”
Breakthrough Energy reported last month that it’s taken stakes in companies pursuing fusion energy, power storage and bio-technologies. The European fund is expected to begin operating next year. Half its equity will come from Breakthrough and the other half from the EU’s InnovFin program.