The entrepreneurial community has realized several things in recent years: climate change is not going away and there is a huge opportunity to invest in companies that promise to shape entire segments of the future economy.
With a few hiccups along the way, venture dollars have started flowing to climate tech startups with increasing volume and regularity in recent years. That capital adds up; climate tech startups have raised $88 billion since early 2021, according to PitchBook data.
The industry’s potential is practically limitless: the problems posed by climate change will stay with us for generations, meaning solutions can build businesses that last for decades, if not hundreds of years. And the slight fall in funding the climate sector saw last year does not indicate lost investor interest, nor does it reflect the sluggish Q1 numbers; for many, not just climate technology, the market is slow.
But as in other parts of the startup economy, those dollars are far from evenly distributed. According to Crunchbase, female founders received just 6.9% of investment dollars in climate technology in the first quarter, down from 8.9% in 2022.
It will use the perspectives and knowledge of all things and all people to address our changing planet. But while climate technology and its funders may be experiencing an awakening, founders who identify as women have yet to experience it.
Gender bias is still persistent
“The funding gap is astonishing,” said Emily McAteer, co-founder and CEO of Odyssey energy solutionstold TechCrunch+.
A major driver appears to be the round size discrepancy between companies with only male founders and companies with a mixed gender or female team.