🗒️ It took 30 years for climate tech investments to pay off. Now they’re best placed to survive the VC winter

Photo by Malachi Brooks on Unsplash

Fortune: In the first quarter of 2023, global venture capital funding declined 53% year-over-year, according to recent data reported by Crunchbase. Another recent report highlighted that climate-specific venture funding in the first quarter dropped to its lowest level since Spring 2020. Despite these short-term trends, we should expect that climate tech will be resilient compared to other areas of innovation.

As a whole, climate investing has experienced years of breakout growth. While this has taken time to achieve, the value proposition of a modern, sustainable, and net-zero economy has become the greatest business opportunity of our generation.

The environment following Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse has been one of investor caution, and this might be doubly so due to investors’ general concerns about the VC market becoming heated in recent years. For climate, though, the current level of venture investment doesn’t reflect the $370 billion passed in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to help companies working to decarbonize the economy. That, in addition to the general maturation of zero-emissions technologies, will accelerate both innovation and investment in climate tech.

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🗒️ Top Tech VCs Take a Rare Step: Layoffs

Sequoia Capital offices in Menlo Park, California.Photographer: Josh Edelson/Bloomberg

Bloomberg: Cutbacks at Sequoia Capital or Y Combinator would have once been unthinkable. But first...

Three things you need to know today:

• Microsoft posted tepid sales growth
• Spotify shares tumbled after earnings
• Snap’s sales forecast missed estimates

Term sheet, meet pink slip
It’s a nerve-wracking time to work in venture capital. This year, the storied startup accelerator Y Combinator cut 17 people. Now, the mighty Sequoia Capital has laid off seven staffers, or a third of its talent operations unit.

On Monday, Sequoia confirmed the cuts, a restructuring that affected functions like recruiting for startups. They came just a week after news that the firm was parting ways with at least five investing partners, including two who had been involved in crypto investing.

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🗒️ Global VC Investment Remains Muted, Falling to $77.4 Billion Across 7,783 Deals in Q2’23 – According to KPMG Private Enterprise’s Venture Pulse Report

Business Wire: Global venture capital investment dropped for the sixth consecutive quarter in Q2’2023 – falling from $86.2 billion across 10,121 deals in Q1’23 to $77.4 billion across 7,783 deals in Q2’23. Increasing interest rates, stubbornly high inflation, domestic and geopolitical challenges -including the protracted war in Ukraine, and ongoing concerns about the stability of the global banking system all combined to make it a challenging quarter for VC investment across regions, despite global interest in Generative AI.

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🗒️ United's Sustainable Flight Fund Grows to Nearly $200 Million and Adds Strategic Partners

United plane fueled with SAF.

PR Newswire: The United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund – a way for companies and consumers to come together and increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through the support of start-ups - has increased its investment power to nearly $200 million and added eight new corporate partners, five months after its initial launch.

American Express Global Business Travel, Aramco Ventures, Aviation Capital Group, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group, Groupe ADP, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Ventures, will join inaugural fund partners Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase, and Honeywell.

United customers also have the option to contribute to supplement the airline's investment in the UAV Sustainable Flight FundSM when they book flights. Since the fund launched, more than 60,000 United customers have contributed a total of more than $200,000.

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Top 3 book summaries this week 📚

The Organized Mind by Daniel J Levitin
Our digital and social worlds are making it harder and harder to keep things organized, and thus stay on track with the most important goals in our life.
This book explores how to create an organized mind so we can get more done, and ultimately succeed in a world that is built for distraction.

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
Warren Bennis is the grandfather of leadership thinking, and in his classic book On Becoming A Leader, he makes it clear that the core of leadership is about a few very important things.In this summary we’ll explore what they are and how you can use them to maximize your leadership impact.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Brené Brown has written a refreshing take on modern courage, vulnerability and personal effectiveness. This summary explores why daring greatly is such short supply these days, and what we can do to create more of it in ourselves and the people we lead.

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