Atlas Capital aims to net $10m for Southeast Asia climate tech fund


HANOI — Atlas Capital, a climate technology venture capital firm founded by Southeast Asia-based French entrepreneur Djoann Fal, is aiming to raise a $10 million debut fund that it expects to grow to $50 million over time.

Atlas Capital is a so-called angel investor syndicate that allows retail investors to participate in climate tech funds. Th community currently has over 160 angel investors. While these individual investors have helped the firm raise its first few million dollars, Atlas Capital is working with several limited partners to back the maiden fund, Fal, Atla’s general partner, told DealStreetAsia.

Fal said one institutional investor and two corporate backers are making commitments, including one anchor investor who is expected to take the fund’s corpus to as much as #50 million.

Atlas Capital expects to finish raising the first $10 million next month, although Fal said that could be delayed by current market conditions.

Some of Atlas Capital’s LPs are executive from big Thai companies, such as CP Group and Central Group, as well as a staff from Google and L’Oreal, among others.

“It’s important to enable retail investors to be part of creating the climate journey, and also part of the financial returns from this big wave”, Fal said. Atlas Capital aims to have 30% of its LP base as retail investors, while the rest will be institutional investors, he added.

The fund will use most of its capital to invest in U.S. climate tech companies that have a mandate to expand to Southeast Asia, with the remaining earmarked for venture building in Southeast Asia.

“We believe that importing innovation from Silicon Valley and Europe to Southeast Asia can help accelerate [the] decarbonization transition in Southeast Asia,” said Fal.

Because climate tech deals are still scarce in the region, the venture building business will help create such opportunities, added Fal, who previously worked for tech venture builder Rocket Internet and then founded GetLinks, Southeast Asia’s largest technology talent recruiting platform, backed by Alibaba.

Fal revealed that Atlas Capital has started three Southeast Asian projects under the venture-building program. It’s U.S. portfolio includes Posh Robotics, a startup working to automate waste management from electric vehicle batteries; genome analysis company Avalo AI; industrial carbon recycling specialist Hyperion; and urban waste platform and collection logistics company Trash Warrior, among others. Atlas Capital joins a spate of venture capital funds focused on tracking climate issues in Southeast Asia, such as Circulate Capital, Clime Capital, Aera VC and Investible. Several sector-agnostic investors have also launched decarbonization initiatives, including Wavemaker Partners, Temasek and East Ventures.

For Atlas Capital, Fal is betting on his network of expert in the field. “We have scientists in biology, environmental change and carbon detection as advisers through our whole investment process. It’s risk for climate tech if startups raise a lot of money but don’t have scientists to help them track if their technology is carbon negative or not,” he said.

“Investing in climate solutions is not only profitable but also purposeful. that’s why I’m excited about enabling small investors to be part of our climate financing movements.”

He added: “If you look at the first 40 unicorns in the clean tech and climate sector for the past 10 years, the aggregated return is tremendously high, at 250 times.”

However, to be able to invest in the funds that backed those unicorns, Fal pointed out, investors must put in $5 million as the minimum LP commitment.

“I’m excited about climate financing becoming more inclusive,” he said.