With €160 million in LP funds, there's no Plan B, only Planet A

Tomorrow Bank founder Christoph Gras and 20-year climate veteran Lena Thiede are among managing partners for this climate fund grounded in deep scientific methodology.
With €160 million in LP funds, there's no Plan B, only Planet A

A Berlin-based green tech venture firm, Planet A, has closed its inaugural LP fund with €160 million thanks to commitments from the likes of BMW and the German supermarket chain REWE.

Planet A was founded by serial entrepreneurs Fridtjof DetznerLena ThiedaChristian Schad, and Christoph Gras, alongside investors and business angels Tobias Seikel and Nick de la Forge.

Planet A's final close came as 14 early-stage climate tech deals from the fund had been completed. LPs in addition to those named above include development bank KfW's private equity unit, KfW Capital, as well as the Danish state's investment fund, Vaekstfonden/EIFO. Also investing, external entrepreneurs Rolf Schrömgens (Trivago), Maximilian Backhaus (HelloFresh), and Rubin Ritter (Zalando.)

The fund was established to apply a more methodical approach to screening potential impact investments.

Chiefly, its deal negotiations are subject to a scientific veto before closing i.e. Planet A's scientific advisers can reject any deal if the impact metrics don't stack up. The deal remit overlaps with the EU's green taxonomy, covering both hardware and software in sectors from construction to energy, forestry, farming, manufacturing, and transport.

As for the portfolio, Planet A has hit the ground running after securing an early presence in subscription e-bike fleets (Dance), geothermal energy production (GA Drilling), impact data scoring (Upright Project), and several other clean tech segments.

Planet A founding partner Lena Thiede spent two decades shaping climate and biodiversity research and policy. Thiede, who leads Planet A's scientific scrutiny committee, noted existing climate funds often relied on CO2 emissions as a sole sustainability baseline. 

Thiede said: "Many funds look at CO2 emissions only. We go beyond climate mitigation and also look at biodiversity protection, resource savings, and waste reduction.

"Our scientific assessments allow us to understand how much better an innovation is compared to the status quo. This in turn enables us to identify the winners of the massive economic transformation that we are seeing.”

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