The venture community have realized many things in recent years: Climate change will not go away, and there is a great opportunity to invest in companies that promise to define whole areas of the future economy.
With a few hiccups along the way, venture dollars have begun to flow with increasing number and regularity to climate tech startups over the past few years. That capital increases; since the start of 2021, climate technology startups have raised $88 billion, according to PitchBook data.
The potential of the sector is almost limitless: the problems presented by climate change will be present for generations, meaning that the solutions can build companies that last for decades, if not hundreds of years. And the slight drop in funding seen in the climate sector last year is not a sign of lost investor interest, nor are the sluggish Q1 numbers; for many, not just climate tech, the market is slow.
But like other parts of the startup economy, dollars are far from evenly distributed. Female founders received just 6.9% of venture dollars in climate tech in Q1, according to Crunchbase, down from 8.9% in 2022.
It will take perspectives and knowledge from all things and all people to solve our changing planet. But while climate technology and its proponents may be experiencing an awakening, the founders who identify as women have yet to experience it.
Gender bias still persists
“The funding gap is incredible,” Emily McAteer, co-founder and CEO of Odyssey Energy Solutions, told TechCrunch+.
The key driver is the difference in circle size between companies with male founders and those with mixed-gender or female founding teams.