Climate tech VC firm Satgana is launching a new fund with a targeted close of €30 million to support the next generation of impact entrepreneurs. Already, the fund has invested in 3 planet-positive startups. We talked to Romain Diaz to learn more. 
Climate tech and green tech are two intersecting and booming verticals in Europe. From energy innovation making us more fuel efficient and less carbon reliant to new approaches to food and diet, and let’s not forget the rise of a shared, circular economy and the new generation of e-vehicles zipping around our cities, Europe is firmly on a mission to become more planet -positive. 
It’s an exciting thing to see and has the potential to shape our future for generations to come, leaving lasting impacts and securing a more sustainable, healthier, happier life on planet earth. We’ve been tracking green tech activity for a while now – launching a monthly greentech article – and so when Satgana announced its latest fund, we wanted to find out more. 
With a name like Satgana, which translates to ‘a good company’ from Sanskrit, there are certainly big expectations to reach. Headquartered in Luxembourg, the VC firm has the vision to invest in startups and entrepreneurs that are providing impactful tech solutions to the climate emergency. It is looking for those that are building a more sustainable, equitable and regenerative future.
Now, the firm has just unveiled the closing of its first fund with a target size of €30 million. 
The fund will invest up to €500k at the pre-seed and seed stages in startups across Europe and Africa. Beyond capital, it will also give founders hands-on operational and strategic support – thanks to its networks. 
Romain Diaz, General Partner: “The climate and ecological crisis is the defining issue of our time. As a gigantic challenge ahead of us, it is also a massive business opportunity as we need to reinvent all the sectors of our economies. There has never been a better time to build and invest in Climate Tech. We look forward to connecting with many more founders, ecosystem partners, investors and talent to join us on this journey to help regenerate our one and only home.”
Satgana was founded by a diverse collective leveraging decades of experience from both sides of the table, operating and investing with a gender lens in impact-driven companies.  We talked to Romain Diaz to learn more about the fund, as well as the importance of supporting early-stage innovation in the climate tech space, and just how Europe can become a global leader in the crucially important market. 
The fund is aimed at startups who are intending to decarbonize the economy and society. So the areas of focus are quite broad, including:
Already 3 startups have joined the portfolio:
According to Romain, investing in this early stage of a startup’s journey is critical to tackling the climate crisis. It’s vital to get to those breakthrough innovations that will make a difference in the fight.
 He explained: “From an impact perspective, we need a broad range of solutions to mitigate and adapt to the climate & ecological crisis, from policy to behavioural change, to corporate decarbonization commitments, to innovation. About half of the technologies needed to take us to Net Zero already exist, and need more financing to deploy them, whereas the other half requires risk and patient capital to develop breakthrough innovations.” 
Romain also highlighted that for these early-stage developments to be given the chance to flourish and reach their potential, investors need to take note from the very beginning. 
“Venture Capital has a key role to play on both ends. From a pure financial returns perspective, investing at early-stage means buying equity into start-ups at attractive prices, which in turn can deliver outsized financial returns in the long-run when companies grow and eventually exit. The joy and the challenge of Impact Venture Capital consist in investing in people and companies with the highest potential to deliver outstanding outcomes from both a financial and impact perspective while limiting trade-offs.”
It might seem obvious, but funding alone isn’t enough. Early-stage startups also need genuine support, access to a knowledge base and strong connections. Satgana aims to provide all of this and claims that this makes this climate fund extra special. 
“Startups also need more than capital, and this is precisely around this gap identification that we have built our value proposition at Satgana. Once we invest, we support startups with knowledge, networks, and hands-on support, based on the needs of each startup. Typically, this can take the form of supporting technology development, impact management, marketing, financial modeling, recruitment (notably around diversity & inclusion hiring) and support on raising their follow-on round of financing. In various instances, we have won competitive deals because founders want to work with us, feel value-aligned, and know that we will become true partners, giving them as much firepower as we can in order for them to succeed.”
After a bumper year for European greentech and climate tech, which has seen unprecedented levels of funding, promising accelerator programmes, inspiring innovation and a general feeling of optimism in the sector, we wanted to dig a little deeper into the role both startups and Europe can play in the climate crisis. 
While we can say all these beautiful things about the green and climate tech markets, the reality is the climate crisis isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it’s become even more urgent and even more anxiety-inducing. We are also now compounded with wider geopolitical and economic crises, creating a trifecta of challenges. We put the question to Romain.
“By definition, startups have limited impact in their early days, both negative and positive. However, the startups that scale are those that can truly make an impact, by inventing much-needed technologies or deploying existing ones in novel ways, in new markets, with new applications, etc. 
Startups alone won’t be sufficient for our economies to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero by 2050, as we need all kinds of players to do their part. Luckily, the climate agenda is now front and centre, and we look forward to the outcomes of COP 27, where, by the way, Satgana will take part in a panel discussion to discuss the role of Venture Capital to fight climate change. 
Other environmental dimensions should also not be dismissed, notably biodiversity which is still overlooked while being arguably as critical as fixing our climate, as well as plastic pollution, resources depletion, etc., and startups tackling these issues are also much needed to restore planetary health”.
“It all starts with awareness, so first of all, investing in climate education, from classroom to boardroom is one of the most powerful levers we can pull, as everything trickles down from consciousness.
Europe is already leading the global sustainability agenda, driven by policy, corporate commitments, innovation and consumer pull.
Besides, one trend I am particularly excited about is witnessing the flood of smart and purpose-driven talent shifting their career to work on climate change. The good thing is that with the advent of many impact unicorns such as Northvolt, Back Market, Innovafeed, Infarm or Octopus Energy, it is no longer a debate whether positive impact companies can also be financially successful. 
Policy, embodied by the EU Green Deal, needs to keep being a driving force to meet the EU’s sustainability goals in order to massively scale investments in decarbonization solutions across all sectors, from innovation to infrastructure to deployment at scale. The reality is that mitigation efforts will not be enough though, so we also have to significantly increase investments in climate adaptation and intelligence. 
Although I am proud that Europe leads the way, I wish for the US, China, India and emerging markets to equally put sustainability at the front and centre of their agenda.”  
Europe clearly has the potential to lead the global green movement. And as Romain highlights, the fact that it is now being widely proven and understood that greentech and climate tech investments go hand in hand with financial return coupled with changing consumer trends and habits, certainly makes for a positive outlook. 
It’s a big question- where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years – maybe even answering in relation to next week can be a challenge. However, for Satgana, the mission is clear – to show that investing can be a force for good and to push forward mission-driven innovation. 
“This fund has a 10-year life, during which we will invest, grow and eventually exit startups, aiming to generate significant returns alongside environmental impact. In a couple of years, it is likely that we launch a series of new funds, that will double down on our strategy to support early-stage mission-driven entrepreneurs, but possibly with specific angles such as with a certain geographic focus (e.g. a Europe fund and an Africa fund) or a certain vertical focus (e.g. funds focused on certain environmental impact themes or sectors). 
Through our work, we intend to show that finance can be used as a force for good and we hope to inspire many people, startups, investors and other organizations to join this journey to regenerate our planet.” is the leading online magazine about startups in Europe. Learn more about us and our advertising options.
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