Early-stage climate technology investor Blue Vision Capital has brought on another managing partner to aid its global ambitions.
The Montréal venture capital (VC) firm has added Vladimir Savic, a former leader at Cibus and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as managing partner. London, UK-based Savic has 20 years of experience in food, AgTech, and the blue economy—areas where Blue Vision has been looking to shore up its expertise.
Savic’s appointment comes three months after Blue Vision announced its global ambitions and saw one of its managing partners depart.
Blue Vision founder and managing partner Meir Rabkin told BetaKit that as the world contends with a looming food crisis and accelerated soil degradation fuelled by population growth and rising temperatures, it was both “imperative” and “strategic” to bring on someone familiar with the tech being developed in these areas. “Uncovering the right deals in the space requires a domain expert,” he added, noting that Savic’s UK presence also opens up opportunities for Blue Vision in Europe, where the VC firm is hoping to expand.
Savic’s appointment comes approximately three months after former Blue Vision managing partner Siddartha Krishnan departed the VC firm and Blue Vision announced that it was broadening its investment thesis by “going bigger and global.” Savic joins a Blue Vision team that currently includes Rabkin and principal Gary Berdowski, according to the firm’s website.
Savic has worked in private equity, growth equity, and structured finance across Europe and emerging markets. Before joining Blue Vision, Savic led the European food and agriculture strategies at Cibus, a €500-million London, UK-based food and AgTech fund. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at EBRD and held multiple positions at UniCreditBank and Deloitte. Most recently, he served as a director at London, UK clean-label food startup Heartfull.
After spending 18 years working in the institutional asset management space, Rabkin founded Blue Vision in 2021 to help address his growing climate concerns.
Today, Blue Vision invests in climate tech startups globally at the seed to Series A levels, focusing on companies capable of having “a measurable and meaningful positive impact in solving the climate crisis,” while also generating “outsized venture scale returns.” Blue Vision targets capital-efficient climate tech startups in “asset-light, underfunded sectors that are ripe for disruption and/or at an inflection point.”
Blue Vision’s limited partners (LPs) include anchor investor the Government of Québec through Investissement Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec via Teralys Capital, and Fondaction.
Within the climate tech category, some of Blue Vision’s focus verticals include the built environment, the blue economy, energy transition, mobility solutions, food systems and land use, and climate management. To date, Blue Vision has invested in at least three Canadian climate tech startups, including FTEX, Carbon Neutral Club, and Adaptis. Rabkin declined to disclose how many companies Blue Vision has backed in total.
In July 2022, Krishnan, a former partner at BDC Capital’s Industrial, Clean and Energy Technology Venture Fund, joined Blue Vision as a managing partner. That August, BetaKit reported that Blue Vision had secured a first close of $40 million CAD for its first fund and hoped to raise up to an additional $20 million.
Rabkin declined to disclose how much Blue Vision has now raised for its first fund or confirm whether its target remains $60 million. He noted that Blue Vision plans to back 25 to 30 companies total through the fund, “depending on fund size at final close.”
“Fundraising has certainly been an incredible challenge across the VC industry in the past 12-18 months,” noted Rabkin, acknowledging that the market downturn has also been particularly tough for emerging managers like Blue Vision.
To help Blue Vision navigate these headwinds, Rabkin said that he strengthened the VC firm’s team and advisor base, while also “sharpening our investment thesis to allow for an even stronger alpha generation potential and stronger differentiation in the market.”
In October 2023, Krishnan departed Blue Vision, joining Export Development Canada as a partner of private equity investments shortly thereafter.
“[Krishnan] brought strong value and expertise to Blue Vision Capital, and I thank him for his contributions; however, due to a misalignment on vision and thesis we decided to part ways,” said Rabkin. BetaKit has reached out to Krishnan for additional comment.
That same month, Blue Vision announced that it was expanding its investment thesis and going global. In a statement at that time, Rabkin noted that the VC firm’s focus was on “strengthening international relationships with key climate stakeholders,” including Google’s climate change accelerator, global automotive VC arms, and European climate-focused funds of funds.
“Going global was key in order to broaden and enhance our deal flow so as to be able to choose from the best deals across the climate universe,” Rabkin told BetaKit. “We all know the power law principle, the higher the batting opportunities we have, the higher the odds of hitting a unicorn homerun.”
Asked what Blue Vision’s existing LPs make of the Canadian VC firm’s global expansion plans, Rabkin said they are “excited by the fact that we can now access the best deals worldwide and see the broadening of thesis as positively impacting future returns of the fund.”
Rabkin expects 60 percent of Blue Vision’s investments to be in North America, and 35 percent to go towards European startups, with the remaining five percent allocated for opportunistic investments in Asia and Latin America. Given the firm’s Montréal headquarters and existing networks in Canada’s climate and VC ecosystem, Rabkin estimates at least 30 to 40 percent of the firm’s deals will be Canadian.
Feature image courtesy Blue Vision Capital.