Twenty-eight of the world’s wealthiest investors are pooling their money to solve climate change.
Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition on Monday, timed to coincide with the U.N Climate Control Conference in Paris. The initiative is dedicated to investing in early-stage companies that will move the world towards zero-carbon energy.
The coalition includes four Chinese partners, Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, SOHO CEO Zhang Xin, SOHO Chairman Pan Shiyi and founding Managing Parter of Sequoia Capital, Neil Shen.
“The risk-reward balance for early-stage investing in potentially transformative energy systems is unlikely to meet the market tests of traditional angel or VC investors,” states the Breakthrough Energy Coalition on their website.
To overcome this barrier, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition will provide seed, angel, and Series A funding across five different sectors: electricity generation and storage, transportation, industrial use, agriculture, and energy system efficiency.
According to their website, the organization is looking for “outliers.” This includes companies that are developing innovative and new technologies or are enabling existing technologies to be dramatically more efficient, cheaper, and scalable.
Like Bill Gates, who announced at $1 billion USD investment in clean energy technology this past summer, Jack Ma has already made commitments towards environmental solutions.
In an interview with President Barack Obama during this year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Jack Ma said that he had been investing 0.3 of his company’s revenue in programs to encourage young people to solve environmental issues for the past six years.
Jack Ma is also the Chairman of the Board for the The Nature Conservancy’s China Program, which is dedicated to conserving and protecting different habitats in China.
So far, no amount of investment have been disclosed by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. In addition, the process of how companies and organizations can start pitching to the coalition remains unknown.
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