Friday Letter: Infrastructure bill may or may not benefit VC

Broadband and climate-tech investors could benefit from the momentum and attention the infrastructure bill brings.

On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which allocates funding to various projects, including environmental remediation initiatives as well as improving the nation’s broadband.

Climate tech and 5G are certainly in the wheelhouse of venture. But venture shouldn’t hold its collective breath. Its passage is not guaranteed.

The 2,700-page bill next goes to the House, where progressives may balk at supporting it until the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion bill that addresses poverty and healthcare concerns. So the infrastructure bill is not certain.

Also uncertain is what it means for the venture community.

GPs and LPs aren’t policy wonks. The venture community is never one to pin its plans on what Congress is up to. But diving into the White House fact sheet, there are facets to the infrastructure bill that could provide headwinds to certain venture-backed start-ups.

For instance, the bill would provide $65 billion in investments to improve the nation’s broadband infrastructure. President Biden initially sought to allocate $100 billion for broadband.

The bill would also aim to help lower the price households pay for internet service by requiring federal funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan by creating price transparency and by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate service.

For climate-tech investors, the bill supports clean energy and electric vehicle infrastructure. This includes $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers “to accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs.”

Indirectly, the support for broadband and EVs could benefit certain start-ups. I doubt any investment strategy will change if the bill is signed and sent to Biden for his signature.

But I can’t imagine anyone in the venture community would balk at its passage.

We’re working on a story about the bill and its impact for venture.

Let us know what you think. You can drop me a line at agoldfisher@buyoutsinsider.com.