Buoyant Ventures is a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies that can generate an outsized positive impact on the climate while quickly and efficiently scaling. Buoyant focuses both on climate mitigation – reducing greenhouse gas emissions – and adaptation – minimizing risks presented by and helping people to cope with weather patterns exacerbated by climate change.
A Fund that stands out for its emphasis on impact, Buoyant has chosen four sectors that contribute the most to climate change; collectively, they represent 77%+ of US greenhouse gas emissions:
- Energy: electric power, fuel, and energy infrastructure
- Transportation: vehicles, air, marine, rail, and logistics
- Agriculture: food production, processing, and distribution
- Buoyant’s focus within this sector will be on solutions that will feed the global population, conserve water, and can help farmers and major food companies weather the storm of climate change-induced extreme weather events threatening their businesses
- Built Environment: real estate and infrastructure
- A key focus will be addressing efficiency and de-carbonization of buildings
- Buoyant will fund solutions that create infrastructure systems made to withstand the effects of climate change
The thesis behind mitigation is well-known and pursued by many cleantech VCs: investing in technologies that help reduce GHG emissions in the target sectors.
The adaptation component of the thesis is less common: Buoyant is one of few VCs incorporating climate adaptation alongside mitigation solutions in their investment thesis.
Adaptation, which means adapting to and becoming more resilient in a changing world, represents an ominously large opportunity: as climate change accelerates flooding, droughts, wildfires, and mass migration, there’s a $300bn annual market need – and current adaptation funding levels stand at only $30bn/year. Unfortunately, already vulnerable populations are disproportionately exposed to climate risk, making them even more vulnerable and widening the inequality gap.
Buoyant’s climate risk thesis is to invest in companies building the digital infrastructure needed to increase resilience to financial and operational volatility from climate-exposed assets. This includes companies that assess risk and plan for climate-driven extreme weather events, publicly disclose companies’ climate-related risk, manage short-term and long-term responses to one-off and chronic weather events, and help recover from the events. Insurance companies, for example, stand at risk of bankruptcy – and defaulting on their customer base – if they do not adapt their models to changing environments. By transitioning to real-time forward-looking models that better reflect the “new normal” of climate risks, they can better prepare themselves and their customer base for the challenges ahead.
Why We Partner
Climate mitigation opportunities are expected to continue to increase as demand for low-carbon alternatives increases across sectors, and software is expected to play an increasing role in enabling that transition. Climate adaptation is underfinanced: there’s a $300bn annual market need, and current adaptation funding levels stand at only $30bn/year. Buoyant’s focus on adaptation and climate risk distinguishes it from peer cleantech venture funds with broader theses, and it managed by a more impact-forward team with a more targeted strategy.
Additionally, we are interested supporting a 100% women-led experienced fund manager in a high-impact strategy with the potential for high returns, with further opportunities for co-investments in projects that most align with Shockwave’s impact thesis.
Buoyant’s impact thesis is two-fold: the investments in mitigation solutions are intended to lower overall greenhouse gas emissions, thereby slowing the onset of climate change impacts. The Fund’s four investment sectors of energy, transport, agriculture, and the built environment collectively represent 77% of US greenhouse gas emissions, so pursuing mitigation solutions in these climate intensive arenas offers significant opportunity for emission reductions. Buoyant’s second vertical investing in adaptation through climate risk analysis amounts to recognition that climate change is already having an adverse effect on people around the globe. Buoyant’s investments will build the digital infrastructure needed to increase resilience to financial and operational volatility from climate-exposed assets, helping people and industries cope with weather patterns exacerbated by climate change. While the Fund will not exclusively focus on vulnerable populations most predisposed to climate-related risks like wildfires, flooding, and extreme heat, vulnerable populations do stand to benefit the most from those interventions.