Ada’s Investment in Greenworkx

Matt Penneycard
Ada Ventures
Published in
3 min readApr 19

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Our latest investment out of Fund 2 is under our Climate theme: Greenworkx! This is a pre-seed stage company, building a marketplace for training and jobs in the green economy.

Image Credit: Virginia Rowe under a license

The company was founded my Mat Ilic and Richard Ng who lead a team that has deep domain and relevant experience for this emergent area of our economy.

On the investment front, we were thrilled to invest behind lead investor Mangrove Partners, working with that fund for the first time. The £600K pre-seed round also included some amazing angel investors.

Even since the pre-seed round closed, Greenworkx has exceeded the investment plan, so we think that the next round will be on us before we know it. From there, its all about scale, because this service is much-needed both in the UK (initial GTM) and beyond (watch this space…).

What was the process that led to the investment?

The Greenworkx founders got in touch with us directly, attracted by the aligned values and sector (climate) focus of Ada Ventures. At this stage they had the lead investor’s term sheet in hand, so we were able to play a supporting role on this one.

Why does Greenworkx fit the Ada thesis & what got us excited?

Sector: one of our three sectors for Ada 2 is Climate, so Greenworkx’ focus on green economy jobs is obviously of interest to us. The second sector we focus on (the third being Healthcare) is Economic Empowerment, so Greenworkx is really a double fit with our sector strategy.

Macro data: current annual “green CapEx” of $3Tr is estimated by Goldman Sachs to need to double to reach Net Zero. Working populations are shrinking (we’re now back to 1995 levels of worker-age populations in Europe). We need 30M green workers by 2030 (7 years time!) to fulfill frontline roles like installing EV chargepoints and heat pumps.

Filling the roles seems to be a major bottleneck to initiatives such as the UK Government’s 2020 £1.5B Green Homes Grant — its a start, but we don’t have the trained installers to put the panels up or insulate the roofs! In this case the Grant was retired with 80% unspent.

Team: Mat and Richard have a compelling combination of government/entrepreneurial backgrounds. In a regulated sector, this gives them an edge — in particular the deep knowledge of how the system in which they operate really works. We also felt a strong values-alignment with the team here, which is often the case but particularly so here. Mat and Richard are building a huge business, but also one that is purposeful and will deliver significant social impact as it succeeds financially.

Going forward

This is a pre-seed round, so as early as institutional capital typically gets. Greenworkx is now in build mode: building product and customer relationships. The pace of progress is such that we’re expecting the Seed round to come around quicker than usual, which is credit to the team.

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