Investors Back Climate Tech Startup BlocPower in $63 Million Series A

By James White Saturday, February 27, 2021

A hand holding a leaf suspended in a bubble.

Leading an environmentally conscious lifestyle is not always easy. Small steps have been taken by individuals as well as giant companies like Amazon and GM in order to combat climate change and promote sustainable habits and business practices. Climate tech startup company BlocPower recently raised $63 million from investors in a successful series A funding round to continue its business of “greening American inner-cities.”

“By combining emerging technologies, our software platform, and our new innovative green financing solution, we can now provide sustainability upgrades to millions of buildings in underserved communities," said Donnel Baird, CEO of the startup business. "BlocPower is creating new green jobs by turning buildings into Teslas, making them smarter, healthier, and more profitable by getting them off of fossil fuels."

The funding round was led by the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, AccelR8, and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, among others. The latest round brings investor support for the company to a total of $68 million.

Retrofitting Wasteful Buildings

Founded by Baird in 2014, the startup company works toward a greener future by retrofitting buildings in underserved neighborhoods with energy-efficient climate control systems. The public benefit corporation partners with a number of utility companies and government agencies in order to identify buildings that stand to gain from a retrofitted system. The startup business uses artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning (ML) technology to assess buildings and identify the most impactful and energy-efficient retrofits for installation.

Beyond providing efficient heat pump systems to aging buildings, the green startup business also provides small and medium-sized property owners with financing options to reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket expenses. The environmentally conscious company claims to have retrofitted over 1,000 buildings in underserved communities in New York City, cutting energy costs for property owners by 20% to 70% annually.

Green Solutions — Industry Trends in the Smart Climate Tech Business

The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. BlocPower’s startup company seeks to alleviate the expenses associated with this wasted energy and improve the value of properties in disadvantaged communities. Market research expects the smart heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) controls industry to reach an estimated $25 billion by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% from 2018 to 2024.

"BlocPower is proving that it is possible to have commercial solutions that improve public health in underserved communities, create quality jobs, and lower carbon emissions," Margaret Anadu, Managing Director and Head of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, said. "We are so proud to have supported Donnel and his team through the Launch With GS entrepreneur cohort and now through both equity and debt capital to further expand their reach."

About the Author


Headshot of James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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