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Investment, Value, and a Brighter Tomorrow with Jim Totty

Updated: Feb 14


To get to the real nitty-gritty of what’s happening in cleantech, we spoke to none other than the Managing Director of Viridis Capital, Jim Totty.




 


At Tomorrow Matters, we delve into the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the cleantech sector.


To get to the real nitty-gritty of what’s happening in this vital niche, we spoke to none other than the Managing Director of Viridis Capital, an investment group that works with sustainable businesses, innovation teams, and other holders of high-impact technologies with long-term and active support.


As a private markets investor with more than 20 years of experience in sustainability-focused companies (and a prior career in advisory and academia), Jim Totty is not just a star in the investment sphere, but the greentech world. He has worked in sectors such as Sustainable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Clean Industry, Agriculture, Water and Mobility. Jim was previously at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Citigroup, and Earth Capital. He holds an MSc and PhD in Physics from Imperial College London, an MA from the University of Cambridge, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.


So what makes this industry leader tick? We sat down with Jim ourselves to find out - take a look!


 

Can you share a bit about your background and journey that led you to become an investor in the cleantech industry?


I started out working in academic research in energy and quantum technologies. I moved into the capital markets after my PhD and first worked on renewables finance in 1998. I then moved to be a buyside investor, and started making cleantech investments in 2002.


 

Are there specific areas within cleantech that you believe present particularly attractive opportunities for investors?


So many exciting areas for investors, here’s a few:


Medium Duration 1-2 Day Electric Storage


Floating Offshore Wind


Autonomous Vehicles


Rare Earth and Battery Minerals sourcing and processing


Industrialisation of Biological pathways such as Photosynthesis, Methanogenesis and Biological Nitrogen fixing


Carbon Removal at $100/tonne at billion tonne scale


 

What role do you think cleantech/climate-tech thought-leaders play in advancing the cleantech/climate-tech agenda on a national and global scale?


It's all about showing the capital markets that clean and green is a great sector to invest in, so think:


Showing the cost of capital is the same or lower for sustainable investments.


Standardising sustainability and impact metrics in the 21st century the same way financial metrics became standardised in the 20th century.


Government capital is sometimes needed to get sectors started e.g. offshore wind.


Huge job creation and social impact potential – the Just Transition can be a big win-win.


 

How do you approach risk management in the cleantech space, and what advice would you offer to investors looking to navigate and mitigate potential challenges?


Lots of people understand the capital markets, sustainability or technology – very few understand all three, and you need to:


Invest alongside those who’ve been through multiple capital markets cycles.


Make sure the capital markets food chain will fund your new technology at all the stages of its development, think multiple funding rounds ahead.


Make sure that the value chain is complete for your investments, don’t try ‘build it and they will come’.


Look for yield compression opportunities as sectors mature.


 

Jim Totty will share even more industry-leading expertise at Tomorrow Matters on February 29th, where he’ll join the panel ‘Money Matters: Attracting Investment and Securing Funding’. This panel will explore funding options and strategies for business growth from seed to round C and beyond.


This session and others will allow you to gain insights from pros like Jim and other impact investors, government organisations, and successful entrepreneurs to accelerate your business growth and identify a winning investment opportunity.


Don’t miss out - accelerate your cleantech journey today by joining Tomorrow Matters.






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