Goldman Sachs and Rockefeller Help Blue Bear Close $150 Million VC Fund for Tech Startups

By Adriaan Brits Friday, September 24, 2021

Blue Bear Capital, a venture capital (VC) company that provides business funding for startup companies that utilize AI and data-driven technologies to tackle global energy, infrastructure, and climate concerns, announced it raised $150 million for its new fund.

Startup network concept.

Helping Early-Stage Companies Grow Beyond the Startup Phase

Blue Bear’s second VC fund is designed to provide business funding for tech startup companies that have a high impact on markets such as wind, solar, the electric grid, electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, transportation, and energy-intensive sectors.

“Trillions of dollars will be spent to scale renewable energy, modernize infrastructure, and secure sustainable supply chains,” said Ernst Sack, a partner at Blue Bear.

Through the latest fund, the VC company will continue to utilize its vast network of thousands of industry contacts. These include corporate and private equity leaders and high-profile board members to help startup companies achieve their scaling goals. 

Their business model allows early-stage business organizations to grow beyond the startup phase and connect with major institutions and public equity markets that continue to look for innovative climate solution providers. 

“Meanwhile artificial intelligence is redefining how data is captured, decisions are made, and relationships are built all around us. Where these two forces converge — applying the power of AI-enabled technologies to the immense challenges of the energy transition — is where Blue Bear sees the greatest investment and impact opportunity of our lifetimes,” added Sack.

Vaughn Blake, a partner at the VC company, said the company is looking for startup businesses that offer promising long-term relationship prospects. The aim is to avoid “the high-volume approach to venture, where a handful of companies are expected to make up a fund's returns while the bulk are left to fall away.”

The second VC fund, which attracted strong demand yielding an oversubscribed funding round, was backed by leading institutions, including Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s unit AIMS Imprint, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, ZOMA Capital, and the McKnight Foundation. A number of major private equity firms and energy companies have also participated in the funding round.

Blue Bear has already invested in nine startup companies through the second VC fund since last year. The VC company said it will continue to employ the two key strategies which Blue Bear leaders characterized as “nail a vertical” and “scale horizontal.” 

The first approach involves vertical SaaS (software-as-a-service) products that are designed to tackle critical operational bottlenecks, particularly across energy, infrastructure, and climate tech markets. Developers of such solutions include startup companies like Omnidian, Raptor Maps, Shoreline, FreeWire, Accure, Copper, Voyager, and EnMass.

The second business strategy revolves around horizontal enterprise software startup companies that have use cases in multiple markets. Such companies include Urbint, Everactive, First Resonance, Datch, Mira, Demex, Mission Secure, and Transect. 

Sack said Blue Bear always focuses on identifying emerging technologies that are on the verge of commercialization. The VC company wants to listen to new entrepreneurs who are applying innovative concepts to revolutionize the way the world is powered.

Summary

VC business Blue Bear Capital announced it closed its second investment fund, with a hard cap of $150 million. Just like its predecessor, the new fund will focus on tech startup companies that can produce a major impact on wind, solar, the electric grid, EV infrastructure, transportation, and energy-intensive industries.

About the Author


Headshot for author Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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