Buoyant Ventures, an early-stage venture fund investing in digital solutions to climate risk, has announced the close of its debut fund with $76 million in commitments with an additional $5.7 million raised in co-investments, making the fund’s total assets under management $81.7 million. According to Pitchbook, this is the largest first-time female-owned venture fund outside of the coasts.
While this flagship fund is Buoyant’s first, it is led by experienced investors and entrepreneurs. Amy Francetic, co-founder and managing general partner in Chicago, has more than 15 years of investment expertise. She was the founding managing director, raising $165M at Energize Ventures. She was also the founding CEO of Clean Energy Trust and has been a board member and CEO of high-growth companies. Allison Myers, co-founder and general partner in Denver, is a former Accenture Strategy executive with deep domain expertise in energy, mobility, built environment, and digital transformation strategies. She is a founding board member for Michigan Climate Venture at the University of Michigan.
“Buoyant is investing in companies across a broad set of industries that can deliver near- term solutions to climate change. Having founded and run several companies and another venture fund, we understand the positive impact entrepreneurs can bring to the table and what motivates them,” said Amy Francetic, managing general partner, Buoyant Ventures. “As a 100% woman-owned firm, we seek to support founders who may have been traditionally under-represented. We strive to be a trusted partner to our CEOs and the most helpful investor in the boardroom.”
“Digital technologies will play a vital role in identifying and mitigating the risks associated with climate change. Buoyant Ventures is investing in climate intelligence tools to help industries manage the climate transition. Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund is proud to invest in this vision,” said Brandon Middaugh, director, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund.
Leveraging artificial intelligence, and satellite data and data analytics helps pave the way for more complicated scientific breakthroughs that can take years to mature. The Buoyant Fund is focused on seed and Series A opportunities and has made nine investments to date: Raptor Maps (optimization software for utility-scale solar); StormSensor (software and hardware to manage urban flood risk); SupplyShift (software to measure ESG metrics in global supply chains); FloodFlash (parametric flood insurance); Shifted Energy (demand response software for residential energy load); Audette (decarbonization software for commercial real estate); ReelData (software to optimize land-based aquaculture production); Beni (software to streamline secondhand clothing shopping); and Canopy (climate benefits software for employee decarbonization).
“As national leaders in the clean energy transition, we know cutting-edge technology will play a crucial role in our vision to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to customers,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “This venture fund will help bring innovative digital technologies to the forefront in Colorado and all the states we serve so we can continue building a resilient energy system that provides customers with safe, reliable and sustainable energy.”
“There is an urgent need for innovative solutions that help us adapt to climate change and mitigate its worsening impacts,” said Allison Myers, general partner, Buoyant Ventures. “By focusing on digital solutions that rapidly can be deployed and scaled, we see our investments accelerating the effort to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time and put us on the path towards a sustainable future.”
“The Buoyant team has deep expertise in energy transition and supporting ambitious startups tackling existential climate issues. They have been invaluable in connecting us with financiers and asset owners in the utility-scale solar ecosystem, so we can power their digital transformations and build and maintain more solar assets,” said Nikhil Vadhavkar, CEO and co-founder of Raptor Maps.
The fund’s investment focus areas include energy, mobility, agriculture, water, circular economy, and the built environment.
Buoyant Ventures is a female-led venture fund investing in entrepreneurs using digital technology to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Buoyant invests in startups leveraging software and simple hardware to address climate change across the energy, mobility, agriculture, water, circular economy, and the built environment industries.