Google Capital co-founder Tierney raises $175m fund eyeing climate change, societal improvement deals

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Google Capital co-founder Scott Tierney has raised $175m for the debut fund from his new firm Valo Ventures, which will target investments across areas such as climate change, urbanisation and mobility.

The fund will invest in Series A, B and C stage startups across North America and Europe, hoping that a focus on social, economic and environmental megatrends will lead it to strong returns.

Valo’s anchor limited partner is Fortum—a global clean energy company headquartered in Finland, which hopes to accelerate the change toward a cleaner world by reshaping the energy system, improving resource efficiency and providing smart solutions.

Tierney, who has been both an entrepreneur and investor over his career, spent the last seven years at Google, where he was co-founder of CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), as well as the leader of strategy and corporate development at Google Fiber and Nest Labs.

Prior to that he was a Partner at Steelpoint Capital and president of a nuclear and plasma physics-related startup.

Fellow firm partner Mona ElNaggar brings decades of international experience financing technology companies at all stages, from startups to large public corporations.

She was one of the co-founders of Morgan Stanley’s European investment banking practice and led non-US investing for TIFF Investment Management.

Julia Brady, the firm’s third partner, previously worked at The VIA Agency and McKinsey.

Tierney said, “We started Valo because we believe that today’s entrepreneurs and emerging digital technologies are shaping what the future looks like for generations to come.

“The macro themes that we are focused on are driving long term global economic outcomes, and we’re eager to work with innovative companies who are tackling the resulting challenges and opportunities facing our society.

“Mona, Julia and I are optimistic about the future and look forward to offering our expertise in scaling businesses to meet these opportunities.”

Valo said it intends to use its fund to support companies forging a bold path to a regenerative economy, one in which the end condition is better than the original state.

It said it will look to back businesses that develop people and global capacity, while respecting natural resources and restoring the environment.

Valo has already begun investing out of Fund I, having made recent investments in Atollogy, an industrial IoT company that uses machine vision and AI to help companies improve operational efficiency, and PlanetIQ, which is building, launching and operating a constellation of GNSS-RO satellites for high-definition weather forecasting.

It has also backed Landit, a personalised career pathing platform aiming to enable women and diverse talent to succeed in the workplace, and a stealth company developing an AI platform for electricity demand and supply forecasting.

Fortum president and CEO Pekka Lundmark said, “Commercialization of emerging technologies developed by today’s leading entrepreneurs will significantly contribute to making our vision for a cleaner world a reality.

“The Valo Ventures team has a proven track record of successful investing and brings unparalleled expertise for identifying transformative technologies and teams that are developing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.”

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