Welcome to Climate 50

The most up to date, comprehensive, and insightful annual global climate VC ranking

Contrarian Ventures
Published in
4 min readJan 11, 2021


Dear Climate Community!

We’re Contrarian Ventures, an early-stage sustainable energy transition focused VC fund. We take climate and community seriously. We’re the founders of Climate 50 — the most up to date, comprehensive and insightful global climate VC ranking for the climate community. We started Climate 50 as an annual ranking with the aim of providing recognition to the most impactful climate VC investors allocating capital to entrepreneurs moving us closer to net-zero (we like to call them “climate + ve capital”).


The world’s most profound scientists tell us that 2020 was the point of no return. From this point onward — coordinated, comprehensive, and long-term focused climate action must be taken. Looking back, technology has been the primary tool to address society’s most pressing problems and move us forward. In previous instances, venture-backed businesses proved to be the most capable of building technology that delivered on its promise. Venture Capital’s role as the first institutional capital to help commercialize and accelerate technologies has never been more important. We believe this climate crisis will be no different. Technology is the only way to move us closer to a net-zero planet.

We believe the urgency to act has never been more important. Venture Capital might not be the panacea to the climate crisis but can act as a catalyst for innovation. While the stigma surrounding the 2006 Cleantech 1.0 boom and subsequent bust means Cleantech is still a “dirty” word for some investors, we believe we are at an inflection point and to respectfully disagree with Carmen M. Reinhart — This time is different! Timing in the context of venture capital is one of the most, if not the most important factor for success. We have a clear change in mindset. Back in the days, the slogan was “thinking outside the barrel”, nowadays it is the realization that if we don’t act now, we will be left with quite a different option — “thinking outside the planet earth”.

Today, we come to three key realizations as a sustainable investor community:

a) The world’s carbon budget is finite

b) It is running out fast and at an accelerated pace

c) And there is no plan(et) B

It is clear that more and more leaders in the venture capital and business community realize this. The climate in its own right has now become the new frontier in venture investing. The numbers indicate it’s having a clear zeitgeist-fit moment.


For us at Contrarian Ventures, launching Climate 50 is not simply another ranking or tap on the investor’s shoulders. Our mission is to raise awareness around the threat of climate change, help inspire more investors to join the climate fight, and deploy capital in the most important transition humanity has ever faced.

In short, our master plan consists of three key elements:

  1. To build a respected 360-view global climate VC ranking
  2. To publish an in-depth annual report on VC investments in the climate sector
  3. To gather Climate 50 leaders to an annual event dedicated to foster discussion and collaboration

We welcome you to Climate 50. This ranking is a tribute and inspiration for the climate community, and we hope it will act as a reference point for investors, LPs, and most importantly — entrepreneurs! We need more capital to join this climate fight. Each day spent fundraising could be allocated to building solutions. And we need to BUILD NOW!


This ranking was built with the aim of transparency. You can access our methodology on Github. It is a 360-view of global climate VC funds, considering Direct and Indirect criteria that we believe shapes and defines a great investor. Our ranking criteria are not limited to stereotypical VC measures of success such as a number of unicorns in the portfolio or exits done. We believe that Indirect criteria like brand awareness, community give-back initiatives, and founder’s voice are equally important.

Lastly, we did not forget you — the climate community. Your voice counts. We will have a public vote running till the 28th of February, which will contribute 10% towards the final investor ranking.

The countdown begins. Stay tuned as we will be going live with the ranking on the 15th of January!

In the meantime, spread the good news with the climate community (!!)

Rokas, Patrick, and Contrarian Ventures team

We are very thankful to our data partners Dealroom and Landscape and many others who gave feedback and shared ideas.

Our team is looking forward to receiving community feedback and ideas to improve. You can reach us at info@climate50.com or, even faster, respond below.

Spread the good news! Click the ❤ below to recommend it to others or leave a comment with feedback.



Contrarian Ventures

Investors backing European early-stage tech champions in the Energy and e-Mobility.