Amazon bought the naming rights to rename Key Arena to Climate Change Arena.
Source: NHL Seattle
If Amazon is going to achieve its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, it’s going to need to rely on new technology. To spur the process along, the company has a $2 billion venture capital fund to gather and grow climate tech start-ups.
Watching where Amazon is investing is one way to track innovation in the space. It can also give investors a sense of what parts of its own business Amazon intends to prioritize in the future.
“A lot of what we invest for is three to five years out,” Matt Peterson, the head of The Climate Pledge Fund at Amazon, told CNBC. “We try to look around corners to see where our needs are going to be and where the needs of other companies are going to be. I mean, with with a 2040 time horizon, you know, you can’t really afford to look one or two years out, you have to think long term.”
The Climate Pledge Fund, which was announced in June 2020, is funded entirely with money from Amazon’s own balance sheet. For Amazon, the priority is more about incubating the technologies it will need to meet its own climate objectives — making money is good, too.
“If happens to be that the companies we invest in do well and they become the next Tesla or they return a multiple of our investment, then that’s great. It shows that it’s a validation of what it is, but it’s not the main focus of the fund relative to the broader strategic goal,” Peterson told CNBC.
It’s also open to investing in companies at many different stages, and has invested from seed-stage up to series B rounds. “We can invest a million dollars in the company or invest over $100 million in the company,” Peterson said.
Amazon is not alone in investing in climate tech. The space has seen a five-fold increase in investment dollars to $32.3 billion in 2021, up from $6.6 billion in 2016, according to a recent report.
On Wednesday, Amazon announced new investments in Resilient Power and CMC Machinery and a second investment in Infinium. Amazon has previously announced investments in CarbonCure, Pachama, Redwood Materials, Rivian, TurnTide Technologies, BETA Technologies, Ion Energy, and ZeroAvia — bringing the total tally of climate tech start-ups Amazon has invested in to 11.
Amazon is still accepting applications for start-ups looking for funding. The company plans to make investments both large and small.
Here are five areas within climate tech that Peterson told CNBC Amazon is looking to invest in and how those areas track with Amazon’s current or future goals.
Food production requires a ton of land and fuel, food waste and spoilage result in methane emissions, and dairy and meat production releases in CO2 and methane emissions — all of which are problems for