Specialist investor Blue Bear has closed its second venture capital fund on its $150m hard cap. AIMS Imprint of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, ZOMA Capital and McKnight Foundation took part in the fundraising.
First Reserve president Alex Krueger, former NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and ex-BP Chairman and CEO Lord John Browne are on the Blue Bear advisory board.
The firm said the new fund will focus on early revenue stage companies in digital technologies making impacts in markets including wind, solar, the electric grid, EV infrastructure, transportation and energy-intensive industries.
Fund II had already backed nine companies since last year.
Blue Bear partner Ernst Sack said, “Trillions of dollars will be spent to scale renewable energy, modernize infrastructure, and secure sustainable supply chains. Meanwhile artificial intelligence is redefining how data is captured, decisions are made, and relationships are built all around us.
“Where these two forces converge — applying the power of AI-enabled technologies to the immense challenges of the energy transition — is where Blue Bear sees the greatest investment and impact opportunity of our lifetimes.”
“Our team is always looking ahead to new technologies on the edge of commercialization. Concepts like machine learning for solar systems or digital twins for wind farms seemed like a bunch of buzzwords a few years ago, but have proven to make great businesses. Now we believe wide learning will be the next deep learning, immersive computing will be the next human/machine interface, and distributed systems will be the next way energy and value are networked together.”
Private equity firms have been doubling down the effort in impact investing. Africa Finance Corp launched a new asset management arm last week with plans to raise up to $2bn over the next three years, targeting infra investments aimed at managing climate change challenges such as rising temperatures and sea levels.
European buyout house SWEN Capital held a €52m first close earlier in the month for a dedicated fund looking to address major threats to the ocean such as overfishing, ocean pollution and climate change.
It pulled in €225m for the interim close in March for its fourth infrastructure fund aiming to back the transition to a low-carbon economy in Europe.
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