Kiko Ventures announces it has established a $450 million venture capital fund focused on cleantech investments.
The aim is to support transformative cleantech. Global investment in cleantech reached an all-time high of $40 billion in 2021. And the events of 2022 have further increased the momentum for sustainable technologies. Timing is important as many funds are considering exiting their investments due to the expected economic slowdown and high inflation.
However, there are structural restrictions in the existing funding landscape. The ecosystem lacks the flexibility to optimally meet the climate challenge. Based in London, the Kiko Ventures team has been investing in climate technology for decades, supporting global leaders such as Ceres Power, First Light Fusion and Oxbotica.
Kiko’s evergreen structure offers exceptional flexibility and a strong, long-term focus on climate technology entrepreneurs.
Founded by FTSE 250 listed investment firm IP Group, Kiko Ventures is a new investment platform designed to support and grow the industry-leading climate technology champions of the future. The team plans to deploy $245 million over the next five years using IP Group’s flexible capital platform. Kiko will launch with over $215 million in existing assets as well as a number of new investments already made as part of the Kiko strategy that are yet to be announced.
Kiko benefits from IP Group’s evergreen structure: by which returns from exits can be recycled into new opportunities, allowing for a true evergreen portfolio with no crossover between fund vehicles and with a very long time horizon.
With an increasingly urgent solution needed to avert the most damaging aspects of climate change, Kiko Ventures sees a resurgence in climate technology investments around the world. Figures from Climate Tech VC suggest that global investment hit an all-time high of $40 billion last year.
Recent events in Europe have also drawn attention to the need for more sustainable energy sources. However, most cleantech investors operate traditional fund structures or are required to adhere to corporate venture capital (CVC) commercial agendas, which imposes constraints on the existing funding landscape.
The founding team of Kiko Ventures brings together IP Group’s established cleantech team, led by veterans Robert Trezona and Jamie Vollbracht, with new partner Arne Morteani, who previously spent 14 years helping to build one of Europe’s leading cleantech VC funds. The entire team has dedicated its career to climate technology and the three partners have gone through two economic cycles as investors in this space.
This team has now developed Kiko Ventures, which leverages IP Group’s evergreen platform to take a more flexible approach, without the short time horizons, fixed capital constraints and tight mandates common in the industry. Kiko is therefore excellently geared towards entrepreneurs who want to build industry-leading companies over the long term. The team wants to enrich the existing ecosystem and become a reliable partner for both entrepreneurs and other investors in building a regenerative future.
As an evergreen platform with no fixed 10-year investment mandate, Kiko Ventures can be a flexible investor with the ability to do what is required. It may be entrepreneurial by launching new companies, investing at the seed and Series A/B stages, or choosing to capitalize on opportunities in the public capital markets.
The team has global experience operating in all these phases. As one of the largest climate technology investors in Europe, Kiko Ventures will invest primarily directly and occasionally indirectly through selected funds. It will combine this structural flexibility with a focus on thematic areas where it can build deep expertise and value.
“I believe in the transformative power of climate technologies and have worked my entire career to turn ideas from the lab into actionable solutions that can make our world a better place,” said Robert Trezona, founding partner of Kiko Ventures, in a Explanation. “We founded Kiko to unleash the full power of human ingenuity, uniting ideas, expertise and capital to unlock a sustainable future. To that end, we have created an investment model with truly flexible capital that enables change rather than hinders it.”
The team has a history of making ambitious investments in high-conviction areas. Examples include fuel cell company Ceres Power, which helped the team exit Einhorn; First Light Fusion, which recently achieved the world’s first fusion result; and Oxbotica, a pioneer in autonomous mobility software that supplies some of the world’s largest companies such as BP and ZF.
Jamie Vollbracht, founding partner of Kiko Ventures, said in a statement: “My realization of the urgency of the climate crisis came shortly after leaving university and I decided to devote my career to what I could to help. I found I was most useful in commercializing innovative clean technologies and have since sought to develop better ways to make these technologies succeed. Kiko brings together all the insights I’ve had over the past two decades and I hope they will have an outsized positive impact on the journey towards a sustainable future.
Over two decades, the team has undertaken hands-on operational and investment roles, guiding innovative companies through challenging economic climates, including the first cleantech boom and crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, most of the team began with a successful research career in climate technology, combining commercial experience with an understanding of the deep technologies behind many of the most transformative innovations.
Through the IP Group, Kiko Ventures has a global footprint and network of high-level contacts from labs to boardrooms. The team is in regular contact with some of the world’s leading academics and entrepreneurs, as well as a variety of industry and capital market leaders.