Our Perspective on the Growth of ClimateTech Investing

Managing Partner Matt Caspari and Partner Erik Hammer share their thoughts on consumer demand for ClimateTech solutions

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According to a PitchBook report, global investors closed as many climate-focused funds in 2021 as were raised during the previous five years combined. Alumni Ventures Managing Partner Matt Caspari and Partner Erik Hammer spoke with Venture Capital Journal to discuss the influx of capital VCs are deploying into ClimateTech. They shared their thoughts on the profitability of climate-focused startups, consumer demand for sustainability, and the lessons investors and entrepreneurs alike have learned from companies like Tesla.

Climate Investing: Why It Really Is Different This Time

Highlights from the Article

From Left: Matt Caspari, Managing Partner of Strawberry Creek Ventures (for the UC Berkeley community), and Erik Hammer, Partner at Purple Arch Ventures (for the Northwestern Community)

People believe that this is where superior returns are going to come from and that the companies that are successful in the future are ones that have sustainability at their core, and that’s going to allow them to outcompete established incumbents.” – Matt Caspari

“For a long time, the business case for a lot of these start-ups wasn’t really clear. They had the earth case and the societal case, but the ROI wasn’t there. Now, the end markets for climate businesses are starting to solidify and there are more paths to building large companies in the space.” – Erik Hammer

Matt Caspari
Matt Caspari
Managing Partner, Strawberry Creek Ventures

Matt is a two-time venture-backed Founder / CEO with a decade of startup operating experience. Before joining Strawberry Creek Ventures, he was an Investing Partner at Spike Ventures, where he participated in over 20 investments. He’s an active angel investor and leads an AngelList syndicate with over 1,000 backers. Prior to joining Alumni Ventures, Matt was a leader of the innovation team at Nike, where he oversaw a portfolio of projects and led global cross-functional teams. While at UC Berkeley, Matt founded Aurora Biofuels, which grew to over 100 employees and raised more than $100 million in capital before being acquired by Reliance Industries. He’s a longtime Judge / Mentor at LAUNCH: The University of California’s Startup Accelerator and a Mentor at Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship. Matt holds an MBA with a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a BS in Biochemistry from Georgetown University.

Erik Hammer
Erik Hammer
Partner, Purple Arch Ventures

Erik has worked with both traditional venture investors and corporate venture teams during his career. He has deep experience evaluating opportunities, structuring investments, and advising management on value creation. Previously, he helped build the strategy and make investments for the PGA TOUR’s corporate ventures group. Erik began his career with Deloitte Consulting, where he focused on corporate strategy and M&A engagements. He holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with High Honors. He has an MBA in Finance from Kellogg.

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