Embarking on the 2150 expedition
Today we unveil 2150, a €200 million venture capital fund that seeks to back the technologies that will make our urban environment more efficient, resilient and sustainable.
“2150”, our name, represents both our ambition and our legacy. Our ambition is to back technologies that ensure that our cities become a benefit to our planet, not a burden. And the world in 2150 is the one we actually want to live in. The legacy comes from our experience building zip-code scale urban redevelopments with sustainability at the core… and realizing that even that city-level scale is not enough to drive the urgent impact we need to have across the globe.
Cities are physical cathedrals to humanity’s ingenuity. They are centres of culture and commerce, communication and connection. Hubs of government, healthcare, transportation and education. They are beacons for those that want to start a new life, make a mark or find their place in the world. Humanity is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. Half of the world’s population lives in cities, and urbanisation is accelerating.
2 billion new homes will have to be built in the next 80 years. Humanity is building a New York every month. Our cities absorb two-thirds of the world’s energy and generate over 70% of global emissions. As temperatures rise and demand for air conditioning increases, energy consumption to keep us cool will triple.
As a UN official stated:
“Ground-breaking innovation is needed in cities, where the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost”
Our “vector of attack” against the greatest challenge humanity has jointly faced is what we call, the “urban stack.” The Urban Stack comprises every element of the built environment, from the way our cities are designed, constructed and powered, to the way people live, work and are cared for. We call it a stack because it comprises a collection of interconnected and interdependent layers to enable, build, manage and experience the urban environment.
As a team we’ve been building for our entire careers. Products and teams, neighbourhoods and cities, capital and companies as entrepreneurs, operators and investors. We bring together a diverse background of experiences and knowledge, to focus on where our passions lie, the problem is huge and innovation is urgently required. Now we’re applying what we’ve learnt, the network we’ve developed and the principles we believe in to build a new approach to venture.
We call it ‘Constructive Capital’. Constructive because of the field we operate in; the mindset, skillset and toolset we deploy; and the impact we’re seeking to have on the world.
Our mission is to hunt for Gigacorns, commercially viable companies whose technology has the potential to mitigate or reduce 1 Gigaton of CO2 equivalent per year at scale. It takes a certain type of entrepreneur to create and scale these mythical creatures. Those with the hunger to go all the way and the humility to know they won’t get there alone. Who develop proprietary technology, purposeful teams and progressive cultures. Who have a rebellious spirit, unflinching resilience, unbounded resourcefulness and absolute reliability alongside the intellectual, technical and executional firepower to create a legacy that will endure. They’re not launching the next hot app, they’re creating 100-year companies that will shape the next generation.
To help us find them, filter them, fund them and facilitate their success, we have brought together a network of outstanding advisors and aligned LPs, and partners across government and business, science and technology, architecture and AI. 2150 is a facilitator connecting this ecosystem, seeking to accelerate the deployment of technologies that tackle the big, unsolved problems of the urban landscape.
And we have already started. Cement production is the biggest challenge of the urban stack. It represents 7–8% of CO2 emissions worldwide and its consumption is increasing. To find a solution to this problem, we implemented our thesis-driven approach: understand the problem, identify technologies that could address it and filter for exceptional teams with scaling potential. Key to our process is earning the trust of the entrepreneurs, who, through allowing us to back them, accelerate their technology deployment. Late last year 2150, alongside Amazon and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, invested in CarbonCure, a company mitigating the CO2 impact of concrete and are now supporting their entry into the European market. You can see Bill Gates explaining their technology on 60 minutes last week starting at the 4 minute mark.
Today we unveil 2150 and announce a first close of €130 million to support our mission. Our Limited Partners include sovereign funds, some of Europe’s largest endowments, actors in the urban value chain controlling close to 20 million square meters, family offices and successful technology entrepreneurs. We are thankful for their trust, for their alignment on the urgency of our mission and in their belief that this team and this area of focus is the right one to pursue to make the world of 2150 a reality.
2150 is a venture capital firm investing in technology companies that seek to sustainably reimagine and reshape the urban environment. 2150’s investment thesis focuses on major unsolved problems across what it calls the ‘Urban Stack’, which comprises every element of the built environment, from the way our cities are designed, constructed and powered, to the way people live, work and are cared for. Find out more at www.2150.vc