“Female founders got 2% of all venture capital dollars in 2021—the lowest percentage since 2016” – Pitchbook Data’s recent Women in VC report
2021 was a bitter-sweet year for female founders, who although raised a record amount of $6.4 billion of venture funding in 2021 (up 83% from 2020), still received only 2% of all VC dollars.
This news serves as a stark reminder of the critical funding gap that remains for female founders, even as VC investment reaches some of its all-time highs (nearly $330 billion in 2021).
The data, however, also revealed some good news, such as that VC firms are noticing and hiring more women for check-writing roles. Pitchbook explained that this will mean that “Bigger headline numbers will likely appear down the road” because of women’s likelihood to reinvest in other women.
In the climate tech space, the role of female founders and investors is imperative and has the potential to both improve returns and drive social change that results in emission reductions.
In this ongoing series, we aim to highlight the female founders who are both creating the technology needed to address climate change and those helping drive and finance it. These role models inspire us to keep creating and supporting climate innovation and, in doing so, spur on the positive feedback cycle for other climate-focused women!
For more useful resources on female founders and investors, we recommend taking a look at our first two editions of Women Driving Climate Tech: Part 1 and Part 2, as well as Pitchbooks Dashboard for European and US VC Female Founders.
If you know of any female-led teams doing or funding climate-positive work, we hope you share it with us in the form at the end!
CEO & Co-Founder
Company: Clearloop Corporation
Field/Climate Action Area: Energy, Renewables, Carbon offsets
ClearLoop is a US based company that works with companies and consumers to offset their carbon footprint, clean up the grid, and ensure plenty of communities gain access to clean energy through solar projects.
Company: Made of Air
Climate Action Area:
Green materials, GHG capture
Made of Air are turning waste biomass into carbon negative materials. Their materials are composed of carbon sequestered from the atmosphere and can be applied to many building and consumer product applications.
CEO & President
Field/ Climate Action Area: Fuel & Energy
Sylvatex has developed a renewable nano-chemistry platform that can apply solutions in industry processing, materials stability, and fuels. Their mission is to create affordable, high performing solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Founder, CEO, Analyst
Field/ Climate Action Area:
Company Mission: Samawat Energy are providing affordable solar systems for off-grid residences, small businesses, and communities in Somalia through micro-leasing and a rent-to-own system.
Field/Climate Action Area: Carbon markets, carbon offsets
Company Mission: Abatable has created a carbon offsetting procurement platform that connects companies with high-quality carbon project developers in order to help companies better navigate the complexity of the voluntary carbon market.
Field/Climate Action Area: Fuel, energy & renewables
Heliogen is a renewable energy technology using sunlight to replace fossil fuels in heavy industry. They have developed an AI-enabled, modular concentrated solar technology that aims to cost-effectively deliver near 24/7 carbon-free energy in the form of heat, power, or green hydrogen fuel at scale.
CEO & Founder
Company: Community Energy Labs
Field/Climate Action Area: Energy management, Smart buildings
Community Energy Labs offer IT solutions and service packages that make smart energy management and decarbonization both accessible and affordable for community building owners.