New York-based private equity firm Lightsmith Group has raised $186 million for a fund that invests in technology that protects against climate events such as droughts, storms and floods.
The Lightsmith Climate Resilience fund invests in growth-stage technology companies. Investors include PNC Insurance Group, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Kinneret Group, among others.
Lightsmith, which was founded in 2016 by Jay Koh and Sanjay Wagle, formerly The Carlyle Group and VantagePoint Capital Partners staffers, will focus on six initial technology areas, including water efficiency and smart water management; resilient food systems, agricultural analytics, geospatial intelligence, supply chain analytics, and catastrophe risk modelling and risk transfer.
“Climate resilience technologies are an overlooked, multi-billion dollar investment opportunity that will just keep growing,” said Koh.
“Increasing drought, agriculture stress, and supply chain disruption linked to climate change will drive demand for data and analytics to understand those risks and for the solutions to manage them."
The fund will help companies apply their technologies to aid businesses in adapting to climate change.
To date, Lightsmith Climate Resilience has made investments in SOURCE Global, a water harvesting technology company which generates affordable drinking water from sunlight and air, and WayCool Foods, an India-based agriculture and food supply chain services company that harnesses technology to reduce food waste.
Wagle added: “As investors, we know very little about the future with any certainty. One thing we do know is that companies that have smart solutions to respond to climate change will be increasingly in demand. Investing in climate resilience solutions can deliver both financial returns and real benefits to companies, communities, and individuals.
“Climate resilience technology is an opportunity for investors and for us all.”
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