Why climate tech investing slowed down in Q1
Aug 27, 2023
For the last two years, climate tech was on a tear. To be fair, so were a lot of other sectors. But when a slowdown hit tech investing in the middle of last year, climate tech startups bucked the trend and kept racking up the deals.
Now the party might be over, if preliminary data from a new report holds up.
Climate tech deal-making in the first quarter registered $5.7 billion across 279 deals, according to a new PitchBook report. The amount raised was down 36% year over year with 35% fewer deals. That’s certainly suggestive of a correction.
Investors have been keeping a closer eye on their pocketbooks as fears of a recession continue to rumble through the markets. And yet key economic indicators show a striking resilience in the U.S. economy, with strong hiring keeping unemployment low while consumer sentiment remains high. That hasn’t stopped economists and big names on Wall Street from continuing to predict a recession in the coming months. (Certainly not the first time they’ve done that.)
Still, all that noise tends to give investors the jitters. Since no one wants to be left holding the bag, investor sentiment has a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re a startup squeezed for cash, you’ve undoubtedly heard from your investors, and it may feel like a recession is already here.
Yet climate tech’s resilience has led some to call it the ultimate “recession proof” investment. Is that still true?
Let’s break it down. For one, these are preliminary figures looking at data through March 31. It’s hard to say how many deals closed in the last few days of the quarter that weren’t picked up by this report. It might be billions!