CEFC launches first specialist fund manager
The CEFC spearheaded the creation of its first specialist fund manager in 2021–22 to substantially increase the amount of investment capital available for cleantech start-ups.
Already Australia’s largest specialist cleantech investor through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, the CEFC is a foundation shareholder in Virescent Ventures, a new fund manager focused on investing in ambitious cleantech founders, technologies and businesses that can help achieve net zero emissions.
Virescent Ventures is co-owned by the CEFC and its founders, formerly senior executives with the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, including Executive Director Ben Gust and Investment Directors Kristin Vaughan and Blair Pritchard, all of whom have extensive investment experience in venture sector and cleantech in particular.
Virescent Ventures is targeting a capital raising for its first fund in 2022, with the CEFC expected to be a cornerstone investor alongside superannuation funds, strategic investors and large family offices.
It will seek investments that address the largest, hardest to abate sources of emissions, investing from pre-seed to late-stage growth, including in deep tech and business model innovations, software and hardware. These companies require patient capital from the earliest stages of their development, through to additional growth capital rounds and beyond.
In creating Virescent Ventures, the CEFC is continuing to lead the market in seeding a new Australian venture manager with an outstanding track record to facilitate additional private sector investment and growth in the cleantech sector.
Virescent Ventures will capitalise on the robust investment performance and experience of the Clean Energy Innovation Fund to bring much needed capital and specialist domain expertise into this critical part of our economy.
Virescent Ventures has also been appointed to manage the Innovation Fund portfolio on behalf of the CEFC given its long association with the portfolio companies.
Emissions impact meets commercial impact
Investment focus areas
Clean energy transition
- Low cost renewables
- Green hydrogen
- Decentralised generation
- Multiple modes of transportation
- Better built environment
- Embodied carbon
Food and agriculture
- Feeding more with less waste
- Resilient soils
- Regenerative agriculture
- New food categories
Circular economy and industry
- Redefining waste
- Efficient production
- New industrial processes
At Virescent Ventures we believe there’s no need to choose between emissions impact and commercial impact. In the present decade, we will see companies born which remake the physical economy in the way the internet remade the digital economy.