Emerald Technology Ventures

Emerald Technology Ventures specializes in clean technology venture capital, focussing on the areas of energy, water, and materials.

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Financial and Banking  

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Summary

Emerald is a venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in technology companies that are shaping the future of work. The firm was founded in 2020 and has its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, with a global reach and investments in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Emerald's investment approach is focused on identifying and supporting innovative companies that are developing solutions in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation, among others. The firm's investment team is composed of experienced professionals with backgrounds in technology, venture capital, and entrepreneurship, who work closely with portfolio companies to provide operational support and strategic guidance.

In addition to its investment activities, Emerald is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. The firm actively seeks out opportunities to invest in companies led by women and underrepresented minorities and works to support these companies in achieving their goals.


History

Emerald Technology Ventures has a rich history that reflects its pioneering role in the field of sustainable industrial innovation. Founded in 2000 as the venture capital arm of Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), the firm's inception coincided with the growing awareness of the need for environmentally responsible investments. SAM, the creator of the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index, provided Emerald with a strong foundation and commitment to sustainability from the outset.

Emerald's early years were marked by its launch of the first sustainability fund with €100 million in assets under management. This fund was dedicated to supporting companies and technologies that aligned with environmentally conscious principles.

In 2007, Emerald underwent a transformation as it separated from SAM and rebranded as Emerald Technology Ventures. This rebranding signalled the firm's commitment to focusing on sustainable industrial technologies with proven market demand. The timing was strategic, as the mid-2000s saw a surge in venture capital investments in cleantech, making it an opportune moment to carve out a niche in the sustainable technology sector.

Emerald's resilience and ability to adapt were evident during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, which severely impacted the venture capital market. Leveraging its solid track record of risk minimization and co-investment with dedicated partners, the firm weathered the economic storm.

A pivotal moment in Emerald's history came in 2014 when it won a mandate from the Swiss government to manage its Technology Fund. Over the years, this fund evolved into a CHF 350 million debt guarantee program for cleantech-related SMEs, serving as a model for governments worldwide seeking to foster homegrown cleantech innovation ecosystems.

In 2016, Emerald exhibited innovation in fund management by launching the industry's first flex-term ("evergreen") fund. This groundbreaking approach allowed the firm to build enduring relationships with partners, challenging the conventional fixed-term model prevalent in the venture capital sector.

Further diversifying its portfolio, in 2018, Emerald ventured into managing external corporate VC organizations, partnering with Nabtesco Technology Ventures.

In 2020, the firm expanded its global presence by establishing its first Asia office in Singapore. This expansion marked the beginning of a series of specialist funds designed to address specific challenges in industrial sustainability, reflecting Emerald's commitment to staying at the forefront of sustainability trends.

In 2021, Emerald took a significant step by launching a dedicated energy fund. This fund was designed to capitalize on the global need for substantial investments in energy-sector decarbonization, which is vital to achieving net-zero emissions by midcentury.

The firm's commitment to addressing environmental challenges continued in 2022 with the launch of a dedicated packaging fund. This fund aimed to combat plastic waste and align with the growing demand for sustainable alternatives in the packaging industry.


Mission

The firm's mission statement is to "invest in the most innovative companies that are redefining the future of work and help them build successful and sustainable businesses."

The mission statement reflects Emerald's focus on investing in companies that are driving innovation and creating new solutions to address the changing nature of work. The firm is committed to identifying and supporting companies with the potential to make a significant impact on their respective markets and society as a whole.

Emerald's mission statement also emphasizes the importance of building successful and sustainable businesses. The firm is committed to providing not only capital but also operational support and strategic guidance to help its portfolio companies scale and achieve their goals.


Vision

Their vision revolves around driving innovation in the areas of healthcare, clean water, renewable energy, economic growth, industry infrastructure, sustainable cities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, and life on land. Their overarching vision is to leverage technology and investment to address the world's most pressing challenges and enhance the well-being of communities while safeguarding our planet's ecosystems.

With a profound commitment to these SDGs, Emerald Technology Ventures aspires to create a future where cutting-edge technologies, sustainable practices, and strategic investments converge to make a positive and lasting impact on global health, environmental conservation, and socio-economic development. Their vision encompasses a world where innovation, sustainability, and responsible resource management are key drivers in fostering a better and more resilient future for people and the planet.


Key Team

Gina Domanig (Managing Partner, CEO)

Hans Dellenbach (Senior Partner, CFO)

Thierry Borner (Investment Manager)

Helge Daebel (Partner)

Stacy Fiehler (Head of Marketing)


Recognition and Awards
The firm's portfolio includes a range of companies across various sectors, including SaaS, e-commerce, cybersecurity, and more. Some examples of companies in Emerald's portfolio include: Andela - A company that connects African software developers with global companies for remote work opportunities. Nira - A company that provides AI-powered productivity tools for remote teams. Capella Space - A company that provides high-resolution satellite imagery for applications such as maritime surveillance and disaster response. Flowspace - A company that provides on-demand warehousing and fulfilment services for e-commerce companies. Fireflies.ai - A company that provides AI-powered meeting transcription and note-taking software for remote teams. Sunbit - A company that provides financing solutions for everyday purchases, such as auto repairs and medical bills. Viz.ai - A company that provides AI-powered stroke detection and triage software for hospitals. The portfolio includes companies that are addressing a range of challenges related to remote work, collaboration, productivity, and more. By investing in these companies, Emerald aims to support the development of new solutions that can help companies and individuals thrive in the changing world of work.

Products and Services

Emerald Technology Ventures' unwavering commitment revolves around the pioneering of innovations and investments strategically aligned with the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their dedication to these critical SDGs signifies a proactive approach to addressing some of the world's most pressing challenges while fostering sustainable advancements.

Emerald's focus encompasses a wide spectrum of the SDGs, including SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, where they invest in technologies that can positively impact global health. This dedication extends to SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, where they channel efforts into ensuring access to clean water, and SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, with a commitment to innovations that promote accessible and eco-friendly energy solutions.

Furthermore, their involvement extends to SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, where they support initiatives that generate employment opportunities and contribute to economic prosperity. SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure are at the core of their mission, as they invest in innovative solutions that advance industry and infrastructure. They also actively contribute to SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, focusing on technologies that create more sustainable urban environments. Additionally, they work to promote responsible consumption and production, aligning with SDG 12. They're dedicated to addressing the urgent issue of climate change under SDG 13: Climate Action, and they invest in solutions that impact SDG 14: Life Below Water and SDG 15: Life on Land, ensuring the preservation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Emerald Technology Ventures engages with various stakeholders, including corporations, institutional investors, and governments, to catalyze positive change. They empower corporates to embrace sustainability as a foundational element of good business, connecting them with the most promising opportunities to drive the transformation needed for a sustainable world. For institutional investors, Emerald Technology Ventures offers unique market insights, connections that extend beyond capital, and expertise to tap into the most promising sustainability trends, ultimately delivering returns that are financially and environmentally rewarding. They also collaborate with governments to create customized mandates that have already yielded success stories at the intersection of growth and sustainability.


References
Emerald Technology Ventures
Leadership team

Gina Domanig (Managing Partner, CEO)

Hans Dellenbach (Senior Partner, CFO)

Thierry Borner  (Investment Manager)

Helge Daebel (Partner)

Stacy Fiehler  (Head of Marketing)

Industries

Financial and Banking

Products/ Services
Venture capital, green investments, sustainable (energy, water and wastewater, food and agriculture, mobility and urbanization, materials and packaging, and industrial IT)
Number of Employees
50 - 100
Headquarters
Seefeldstrasse 215 8008 Zürich
Established
2000
Company Type
Private company limited by shares or Ltd
Company Registration
CH-020.3.030.502-9
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Wed Feb 28 2024
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