UK-based not-for-profit climate accelerator Subak has announced the opening of the fundraise targeting £20 million to back startups to help usher in climate solutions at speed. The new cash will enable the company to expand to a total of eight data-led climate centres (‘nodes’) across six continents by 2025. Each node will be self-sustaining and led by local experts to tackle the region’s most critical issues and create a cascading global impact. The funding will also aid Subak’s development of a grant technology platform to democratise access to climate funding around the world and allow funders to directly invest in critical environmental projects with confidence.
In the recent times, an ever-increasing number of startups are seeking alternative ways to raise funding. This is where Subak steps in. Parallel to the booming VC investment in climate tech, the UK accelerator founded in 2021 by Baroness Bryony Worthington, lead author of the UK’s Climate Change Act, offers a unique model. It gives a funding route to those not suited to equity funding, empowering climate startups to scale their critical missions without pressure to deliver profit.
The growing community of data-led startups and researchers is supported by some of the best minds in tech, environment and science, including Amali de Alwis (former MD of Microsoft for Startups UK and CEO of Code First: Girls), Michelle You (co-founder of Songkick), Gi Fernando MBE, and Dr Jack Kelly (former Google DeepMind ML engineer).
Amali de Alwis MBE, CEO of Subak, said: “We call on all investors who share our sense of urgency and commitment to the climate crisis to join us in this pivotal phase of Subak’s journey and the larger fight against climate change. Equity funding in the climate sector is vital but it cannot be the only option - we need a unified approach from the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds if we’re going to have a real impact on the climate crisis.”
Baroness Bryony Worthington, co-founder of Subak, added: “We see an incredible untapped potential to fund and scale climate interventions that are primed for impact rather than profit. Often it is civil society that creates the perfect conditions for not-for-profits to enter markets and scale but they receive very little support. And out of the 100 most well-funded not-for-profits in the U.S. in 2021, none were exclusively focused on climate mitigation.”
With two hubs established in the U.K. and Australia and a global Data Catalogue (dubbed the ‘Google of climate data’) in operation, the accelerator is projected to fund and scale hundreds of data-led climate organisations and projects in the next five years.