BNP Paribas and the Solar Impulse Foundation, created by Bertrand Piccard, are launching a new investment fund dedicated to supporting innovative and clean tech startups that act in favor of the environment.
The fund is developing at a time when Solar Impulse has also achieved its objective, with the support of partners including BNP Paribas, of labeling more than 1,000 innovative solutions intended to protect the environment.
The BNP Paribas Solar Impulse Venture fund will be managed by BNP Paribas Agility Capital and intends to invest â¬ 150 million in startups with high potential committed to the ecological transition. The Fund aims to accelerate their development and help them develop.
Based across Europe and the United States, the supported startups will be active in many sectors, such as clean energy, sustainable food and agriculture, and the circular economy. Each start-up selected by the fund will be evaluated by the âSolar Impulse Efficient Solutionsâ label.
BNP Paribas will commit â¬ 75 million to the fund, the remainder being open to professional investors sharing the same ambition as BNP Paribas and the Solar Impulse Foundation to support the ecological transition and work towards the achievement of the 8 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) of the UN. .
A long-standing commitment to financing green technologies
The creation of this fund is fully in line with an approach initiated several years ago by the Group, which aims to support young and innovative cleantech companies. At the end of the COP21 in 2015, BNP Paribas created a team dedicated to investing in energy transition startups and allocated â¬ 100 million to it. Investments were then made in startups active in areas such as energy efficiency, waste management and sustainable mobility.
Over the past five years, BNP Paribas has developed a strong culture and expertise on the issues of financing and supporting these startups from multiple geographic areas and with specific needs. Among the companies already supported by the Group are: Heliatek, a German company which has developed a low-weight, low-carbon organic photovoltaic film; or Metron, a French start-up that deploys a software solution designed to improve the energy efficiency of industrial sites, which is a key lever for global industrial companies to achieve their zero-zero carbon emissions targets.
Innovative and cost-effective solutions for the environment
For Jean Laurent BonnafÃ©, CEO of BNP Paribas, âThe creation of this fund marks a new chapter in the joint actions carried out by BNP Paribas and Solar Impulse since 2017 to preserve the environment. Before the creation of the BNP Paribas Solar Impulse Venture Fund, the Group’s support was to help Solar Impulse obtain the â1,000 profitable solutions to protect the environmentâ label. An ambitious goal, reached on April 13.
Sustainability experts from across the Group have engaged directly with the Foundation to help achieve this goal as expert advisors. Several businesses have also played a key role in the creation and deployment of these 1,000 solutions, through entrepreneurial projects developed within the Group or supported by it. These include:
The creation of this fund marks a new chapter in the joint actions carried out by BNP Paribas and Solar Impulse since 2017 to preserve the environment.
Climate Seed, a marketplace initially developed within BNP Paribas Securities Services, which structures the voluntary carbon credit market;
3 Step IT, a joint venture with BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions which provides complete and sustainable solutions for the lifecycle management of technological equipment.
THEAM Quant Europe Climate Carbon Offset Plan, a fund created in partnership with BNP Paribas Global Markets and managed by BNP Paribas Asset Management.
Formerly labeled âSolar Impulse Efficientâ, these initiatives are also subject to rigorous evaluations by independent experts, which measure both feasibility and efficiency from an economic and environmental perspective.
âThere will be no future for society without a successful and long-term energy transition. This transformation can only be undertaken collectively and requires technical and technological service solutions. To meet the challenge of selecting 1,000 solutions that promote environmental protection while being profitable, the Solar Impulse Foundation helps us achieve this goal in a very practical way and in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Jean-Laurent BonnafÃ© – Director and CEO, BNP Paribas