🔥 $100T in ocean ventures | 146 founder-friendly PE and VC firms | $1T for low-carbon hydrogen

Plus, revolting against the morning routine, defining vs. denying reality, and a podcast interview with climate tech VC investor Aera Ventures

Howdy folks —

I hope you find something useful in this issue of the ZERO: Climate Finance newsletter from Entrepreneurs for Impact. If you have feedback, drop me an email.

High fives and such,


🌊 $100 Trillion Market in Sustainable Oceans.

“The largest untapped investment opportunity in my lifetime.”

That’s the perspective of Adam Draper — 2x entrepreneur, 4th generation venture capitalist, and seed investor in companies like Coinbase ($52B+ market cap).

Why care about oceans?

Who’s taking action?

  • Netherlands-based Aqua-Spark is the first and largest investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture, with about $119M in assets under management and plans for a $300M Aqua-Spark Africa Fund.

  • Hatch — with offices in Hawaii, Singapore, and Norway — is the world’s first aquaculture accelerator.

  • Ag and foodtech investor S2G Ventures has committed up to $100M for oceans and seafood investment.

  • Investable Oceans is an online marketplace providing access to a broad array of marine-focused investment opportunities across all asset classes.

Learn more — The ocean is a $100tln market opportunity (AgFunder News)

🎙️ Climate Tech Investor: Deep Tech — Derek Handley, Founder of Aera Ventures

Led by Founder Derek Handley, Aera Ventures invests at the frontier of deep technology and sustainability to accelerate the world to a better future.

Climate-focused portfolio companies include: Solugen, Twelve, Carbon Chain, Dawn Aerospace, Eclipse, Fable, For Days, New Culture, Noya, Shiru, Shiok Meats, and Wild Earth.

Below are two excerpts from the podcast.

"Since I built and sold my first company, everything I do now is related to some social or environmental issue. I had the chance to build an alliance of different CEOs around the world who were tackling the same question on different scales. I partnered with Richard Branson and was helping large-scale business leaders transitions with these issues. My wife and I then set up a small Charitable Trust. We ended up calling an Aera — the Latin word for “era.” It's the root word for our time, our generation. The Foundation came first, and then we spun out different projects, and the venture fund is a project at the Foundation. It's a unique genesis story to build a venture capital fund from a charitable trust, but the mission was always to work on sustainability and climate."

"The sectors that I think is blue sky and most exciting is heavy industry. The problem is so big with cement, plastic, steel, chemicals, etc. We're looking for interesting companies in that space. Also, the intersection of climate and fintech is really interesting. I am looking to see a banking system and a finance system that is trying to turn the ship to meet the climate issue. I'm starting to dream that people might build entirely new banking institutions or financial institutions that are climate-focused and built for a sustainable world."

Here's the Climate Torch podcast transcript summary.

  • https://www.entrepreneursforimpact.com/blog-interviews/derek-handley-founder-of-aera-ventures

💵 Mo money: 146 Investors who love you.

It’s a good day to be a founder in need of growth capital.

According to financial data firm Refinitiv, during the first half of 2021, fundraising in the U.S. hit record highs.

  • Venture capital — $66B raised, the highest amount ever for the first two quarters of a year

  • Private equity— $218B raised, the highest figure in a decade

But not all capital is created equal.

To that end, Inc.com creates an annual list of founder-friendly PE and VC firms.

This year there are 146 to choose from. Most don’t focus on businesses providing climate solutions, but just give them time. More will come, like moths to the moon.

⚡ We need $1.2T for low-carbon hydrogen, but…

We’re not on track to get there. (Insert: Sad trombone sound effect)

In the International Energy Agency’s Global Hydrogen Review 2021, we see that:

  • By 2030, $37B in government spending and $300B in private sector investment is planned

  • This is well short of the $1.2T that the IEA says we need for the hydrogen industry to grow at the rate required for the world to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

If you’re ready to pick up the metaphorical fork but not sure where to dig into this 224-page report, here’s your guide.

Or if you’re after specific hydrogen projects, the IEA is currently tracking 448 “projects commissioned worldwide since 2000 to produce hydrogen for energy or climate-change-mitigation purposes. Projects in planning or construction are also covered.”

You can create an IEA account and download the Excel version here.

🥃 Is your artisanal pottery mug of kombucha half full or half empty?

[Yep, I’m pointing and laughing directly at myself with that one.]

On this recent podcast Invest Like the Best (Patrick O'Shaughnessy) with one of the grandaddies of investing — Howard Marks: Embracing the Psychology of Investing — I came upon this reframing of a well-known fact:

  • Equity is about what can go right.

  • Debt is about what can go wrong.

But I think it applies to more than just a particular capital structure or risk-reward decision.

It’s likely to be equally relevant to our personal outlook on life.

In every situation that we encounter, do we assume the best? Or the worst?

⏰ Revolt against the morning routine.

OK, raise your hand if you’re into efficiency, health hacks, and mindfulness.

(Both of my hands and feet are raised.)

But now let’s pour some cold water on that parade of productivity.

Finance blogger and proud contrarian Ramit Sethi recently wrote this delightful piece.

What does he say?

My rules for the perfect morning:

  • No, you don’t need to meditate to be successful!

  • No, you don’t need to journal or do yoga.

  • It’s OK to check Instagram first thing in the morning. (I do.)

  • If it’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist.

  • You decide your Rich Life, including your morning routine.

He goes on to provide three questions to help us craft the perfect morning?

  • What would your perfect morning look like? Think expansively.

  • What are all the reasons this will never work? Get them out on paper.

  • What are all the reasons you could make this work? If you absolutely had to, what could you do to make your perfect morning happen?

Why am I even writing about this?

Well, it’s great to obsess about great habits. But only if we’re aware of why we’re doing them and what works best for us, instead of mirroring what we’re told (or sold).

And as much as I wish I could join the 5 AM club, that’s just not my jam.

That’s all, folks.

Make it a great week, because it’s usually a choice.

— Chris

P.S. Which kind of executive will you be?

“Leaders define, not defy, reality.”

- John Maxwell, author and leadership coach [paraphrased]


Which are you doing right now?

  • Denying reality —Sugarcoating or shying away from the hard facts about what's not working and what has to change?

  • Defining reality — Creating a clear and compelling vision for where your team is today versus where it can be in 1-3 years?

Dr. Chris Wedding
Founder and Chief Catalyst, Entrepreneurs for Impact
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