Blue Bear Capital has raised a new $ 150 million fund that will be used to find and invest in startups developing technology to accelerate the adoption and industrialization of renewable energy.
This is the second fund from the venture company, which it says is oversubscribed. Blue Bear has already backed nine startups since 2020. The firm said the fresh cash will be used to finance digital technologies that “have a huge impact” in markets including wind, solar, electric grid, electric vehicle infrastructure, transportation, and energy-intensive industries.
“Trillions of dollars will be spent to scale renewable energy, modernize infrastructure and ensure sustainable supply chains,” Blue Bear partner Ernst Sack said in a statement. “Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is redefining how data is captured, decisions are crazy, and relationships are built around us. Where these two forces converge, applying the power of AI-enabled technologies to the immense challenges of the energy transition, is where Blue Bear sees the greatest investment and impact opportunity of our lives. “
Blue Bear has a dual investment strategy. The firm’s investors are looking for those who “nail a vertical,” which is code for startups that have developed software-as-a-service solutions that help industries tackle operational bottlenecks and handle specific use cases. Blue Bear is also looking for startups that have developed software that can scale out across many markets.
Portfolio companies in Blue Bear’s “nailing a vertical” segment include FreeWire Technologies, which developed a suite of mobile electric vehicle charging products and Omnidian, a distributed solar asset management company. Scale-out businesses that BlueBear has supported include Urbint, which focuses on infrastructure security, and Demex, a weather and climate risk management company.
As with Blue Bear’s first fund, this one aims to help early-stage companies scale, and not just by investing capital. The VC promotes the expertise of its partners, who have decades of experience in sustainable investment and hands-on work in climate, policy, corporate entrepreneurship, cloud computing, and other related technologies.
“As specialists, we believe in high conviction and a relatively focused approach to portfolio building,” Blue Bear partner Vaughn Blake said in a statement, adding that the firm selects companies with a long-term partnership in mind. . Blake also said the firm avoids the high-volume approach to startup, where a handful of companies are expected to offset the returns of a fund while most downsize. “
Investors in the Blue Bear fund include AIMS Imprint of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the McKnight Foundation, as well as the leadership of other private equity firms and energy companies. Members of the Advisory Board include First Reserve Chairman Alex Krueger, former NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, and former BP Chairman and CEO Lord John Browne.