Vancouver-based Renewal Funds, a venture capital firm investing in environmental technology and sustainable consumer products, has closed $145 million in its fourth fund, Renewal4.
Renewal4 includes 140 investors, spanning many return investors and institutional investors like BDC Capital and The Co-operators. The fund received over $40 million in commitments from investors based in the US and Europe, and a $20 million allocation from the Canadian federal government’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative’s (VCCI) Clean Technology stream, which was announced in June.
“In the intervening decade impact investing has become an asset class and many investors are aligning their investments with their values.”
“We are pleased to partner with Renewal Funds as we believe innovation in the environmental and sustainable food/consumer sectors are promising areas of growth globally,” said Alison Nankivell, vice president of fund investments at BDC Capital. “The fund’s social impact orientation including a strong focus on supporting diverse management teams also aligns well with BDC Capital’s role as a key supporter of diversity and inclusion initiatives in the Canadian VC ecosystem.”
This raise brings the firm’s total assets under management to approximately $240 million. Renewal Funds will continue to focus on early-growth stage investments. Its three investments to date include Opus One Solutions, Prana, and Swiftly.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support of our long-time investors as well as the support of our new individual and institutional partners,” said Paul Richardson, managing partner of Renewal Funds. “We are also proud to have received the innovative VCCI cleantech funding from the federal government as it reflects not only our track record and commitment to cleantech in Canada, but also the diversity of our team.”
Richardson noted that Renewal launched its first fund in 2008 “at a time when few people were focused on the opportunity to both make a significant positive impact for the planet and deliver above market returns.” Since then, fellow VCCI recipients funds like Cycle Capital Management, and Arctern Ventures, which recently closed $165 million for its second fund, have also entered the cleantech investment space.
“In the intervening decade impact investing has become an asset class and many investors are aligning their investments with their values,” Richardson stated. “[Renewal’s] current fund is over four times the size of that first fund, a testament to the strength of both our team and the portfolios we have built here at Renewal.”
Renewal4 includes two teams that evaluate potential investments by category. Its consumer products team, led by Kate Storey and Genevieve Pinto, partners with companies that are working on building a sustainable food system, cleaner oceans, and lowering the carbon footprint and waste generation of the consumer products industry. The environmental innovation team, led by Geordan Hankinson, invests across four broad themes: energy, water, smart cities, and food/ag tech. Its focus is on software and data companies that can scale up quickly with relatively low capital requirements.