Fifth Wall’s climate tech fund gets boost from Ivanhoé Cambridge

Ivanhoé Cambridge becomes the first investor in Fifth Wall's Climate Tech Fund, which made its first publicly disclosed investment this month.

In another sign of how climate tech investing is attracting GPs and LPs alike, real estate venture investor Fifth Wall announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Ivanhoé Cambridge.

Montreal-based Ivanhoé, a $50 billion real estate arm of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has now committed $85 million across four Fifth Wall funds, which focus on climate technology, retail and real estate technology in North America and Europe. And the LP becomes the first investor in Fifth Wall’s Climate Technology Fund. Fifth Wall announced the vehicle last year and is seeking to raise about $200 million.

Fifth Wall, which is considered the largest venture firm focused on real estate technology, late last year added Greg Smithies to its roster as a partner to co-lead the firm’s fundraising efforts on the climate tech fund. Smithies was previously a partner at BMW i Ventures, where he created that firm’s sustainability investing practice, committing to such companies such as Prometheus Fuels and PureCycle.

Earlier this month, the first publicly disclosed deal from the climate tech deal was announced as Sunnyvale, California-based Turntide Technologies, maker of an intelligent motor system, raised $80 million in a funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and which included Fifth Wall’s climate tech fund as well as Robert Downey Jr’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures, the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Keyframe Capital and Captain Planet.

Ivanhoé’s investment into Fifth Wall comes at a time when more interest is being paid to the climate tech sector. Union Square Ventures, the venture firm that backed Twitter, Etsy and Twilio, has raised a new vehicle to invest in early-stage start-ups focused on carbon reduction, carbon removal and climate-change adaptation technologies.

Chris Sacca, who as a sole GP at his firm Lowercase Capital backed such notable high-flyers as Instagram, Twitter and Uber, has formed a new outfit called Lowercarbon Capital to invest in start-up “technologies to reduce CO2 emissions, remove carbon from the atmosphere and actively cool the planet.”

Meanwhile, the Biden administration, which re-entered the US into the Paris Agreement, and new Congress seem eager to take on climate change as many officials recognize that tech innovation will play a role.

The online newsletter Climate Tech VC reports that climate tech investing is outpacing the overall venture market 5 to 1 as it attracts more investors to the green rush, including Fifth Wall, among others.