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Liechtenstein-backed Lightrock raises €860m for first climate impact fund

Published: 21 October 2022

Lightrock’s inaugural climate fund backs tech companies focused on energy transition, decarbonisation, sustainable food & agriculture and sustainable transportation

Lightrock’s climate fund plans to make initial investments of between €10 to €40m in growth-stage companies in Europe and North America | Photo by |yangphoto on iStock

Lightrock has raised €860m for its first climate impact fund. The move takes the total fundraising of the global private equity platform founded and chaired by Prince Max von Liechtenstein to just over €2 billion.

Lightrock’s inaugural climate fund, which focuses on scaling tech companies in the areas of energy transition, decarbonising industries, sustainable food & agriculture and sustainable transportation, had aimed for a close of €600m million.

Strong support from its anchor investor LGT, as well as a host of new investors meant the fund was heavily oversubscribed.

“The worsening climate crisis has underscored the need to establish sources of growth capital in particular, which a new generation of entrepreneurs can draw upon to scale and fully commercialise their responses to the climate emergency,” Estella Langheim, growth investor at Lightrock, told Impact Investor.

“More broadly, we are finding that sophisticated institutional and private investors have been increasingly setting targets and expanding their allocations to climate and impact investments over the past couple of years,” Langheim said. She added this trend had been spurred by regulatory developments, like the EU’s taxonomy for sustainable activities and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).

New investors

New investors in the Lightrock Climate Impact Fund include pension funds AP1 of Sweden and NGS Super of Australia, New Zealand-based charitable foundation Bay Trust, andNetherlands-based Carbon Equity, among others

“This is Lightrock’s third successful fund close in little over a year and it represents a resounding endorsement of our mission to scale impact investing,” said Pål Erik Sjåtil, chief executive officer and global managing partner of Lightrock.  

In June 2021, the Lightrock Growth Fund I closed with commitments of $900 million. Lightrock closed its Latin America focused growth fund with commitments of $300 million in May.

Investment strategy

Headquartered in London, Lightrock is backed by LGT, the global private banking and asset management group owned by the royal family of Liechtenstein, which has 284.7bn Swiss francs (€290 billion) in assets under management. Prince Max, a former international banker who also chairs LGT, founded Lightrock in 2009.

The firm typically invests in growth-stage companies that pursue scalable and technology-driven business models around three key impact themes: people, planet and productivity.

Lightrock’s climate fund plans to make initial investments of between €10 to €40m in growth-stage companies in Europe and North America.  

“These companies will have proven technological solutions, with a demonstrable ability to drive significant greenhouse gas avoidance and/or mitigation, as well as emerging commercial traction,” Langheim said. “We are particularly interested in hearing from entrepreneurs working in ‘hard to abate’ sectors where efforts to decarbonise have been slower, such as transport,  agriculture, construction and heavy industries.”

Lightrock has already made several investments for its new fund, including green hydrogen producer Sunfire, clean and affordable energy provider Mainspring, and sustainable wood producer Kebony, among others.

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