They found Tesla, now they prioritize decarbonization

The Westly Group raises $300mm fund for energy, mobility and buildings
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JUNE 14, 2022
HELPING YOU DISCOVER EMERGING CLIMATE STARTUPS & OPPORTUNITIES EVERY WEEK

🤔 If AI became sentient...What do you think it would think about the state of the climate?

- Stephanie Zulman & Swarnav S Pujari

PS. It is hugely helpful if you forward this email to a friend and let them know where they can subscribe (hint: it's here).

💸 VC DEEP DIVE  // 🎙️ THE GREEN ROOM
By Swarnav S Pujari • is a Growth/GTM consultant with climate startups, an angel investor and the Appointed Chairman of the Yorktown Climate Smart Communities Task Force - and has extensive growth and policy experience.
By Daniel Kriozere • is a Principal at C3, Tech Scout at For ClimateTech, and Venture Scout at Prithvi - and has an extensive network within the broader climate investment and startup community.
(Image: Westly Group)
 
THE TL;DR 💨
  • The Westly Group invests in the digitalization and sustainability of energy, mobility, buildings, industrial technology and cybersecurity.
  • Westly was created with the intention of helping startups with sales and marketing.
 

The Westly Group supports high-growth, capital-efficient businesses that support the digitalization and sustainability of energy, mobility, buildings, industrial technology and cybersecurity. To assist outstanding entrepreneurs in raising finance rounds that meet their growth needs, they’ve created a flexible investment approach.

Fund Snapshot
  • Stage: Series A – Series B
  • Check Size: $5-15M
  • Geography: Developed markets (primarily US)
  • Lead/Follow: Both (primarily lead)
  • Revenue/Valuation Thresholds: Commercial traction

About the Fund
Why was the fund created?
Steve Westly founded the Westly Group in 2007 to combine his government experience at the US Department of Energy, and as the Controller and CFO of the State of California and as an entrepreneur where he helped take eBay public. After experiencing Cleantech 1.0, Westly developed its thesis of investing in capital efficient, high growth, software startups.

What domains in climate tech does your firm have the greatest expertise in?
Westly has expertise in and is focused on 5 verticals:
  • Energy
  • Mobility
  • Buildings
  • Industrial Tech
  • Cybersecurity

What type of portfolio support does your team provide?
Unlike other VC’s, Westly was created with the intention of helping startups with sales and marketing, rather than helping with the technology. Additionally, Westly collaborates with portfolio companies and can help with:
  • Customer & Sales Pipeline development
  • Business development and/or sales support
  • Financing & exit strategies
  • Recruiting

About Investments

What is Westly’s investment process and timeline?

Westly prefers to build long-term relationships with entrepreneurs but can make investment decisions within a few weeks. Their process entails talking with the executive team and the startup’s customers, researching the market (size, competition, exits, etc.), and unit economics. That said, Westly puts emphasis on the team behind a startup, and as such, they are eager to develop relationships with startups after a Seed round. This enables Westly to track a company’s progress while showing how Westly can add value.

What would make Westly consider deviating from their typical criteria?
Westly is open to investing in startups outside of their typical criteria, as long as it is tangential to the verticals they are focused on. For instance, the cybersecurity vertical was included in their thesis after realizing that cybersecurity is a critical piece for their vision of a successful digitally enabled, sustainable future. If a technology provides value to the sector Westly invests in, they are open to it.

 
🤓 IMPACTFUL READS
👣 New SEC Rules On Fossil Fuels: What They Say; Why It Matters
  • The SEC on 21st March proposed a set of rules that will move US companies toward a financial reckoning with their use of fossil fuels and with the growing climate crisis
  • This could yet not be a big deal. The SEC has to take comments – and many, to be sure, will oppose the change, particularly looking for ways to eliminate or water down the rules

⚡ Nuclear Energy’s Role In Biden’s Carbon-Neutral Economy
  • We need to get to a net-zero economy quickly
  • Renewables won’t get us there in a meaningful time frame
  • Advanced nuclear is seldom talked about but a great solution to climate change

💰 How To Pitch A Prospective Corporate Partner
  • Pitching a prospective corporate partner is very different from pitching a venture capital firm
  • Startups preparing to pitch partnerships to corporates should follow four steps: Do research; Outline a specific vision for partnership; Invite feedback; Practice detachment

⛵ The Most Promising Electric Solution For Boating Pollution
  • Flux Marine has designed an electric marine engine for boats that bests both the traditional and developing outboard products on the market
  • Their all-electric outboards are devoid of all air, noise, and water pollution
  • After a successful Series-A round, Flux Marine looks to scale operations and launch their own boat packages

 
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Editors: Stephanie Zulman, Swarnav S Pujari Writers:.Christina Zhao

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The Impact, 19 Morris Ave, Bldg 128, Brooklyn, NY 11205, United States

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