On 23 February, the European Investment Fund (EIF) – back by the InvestEU Programme – announced investing €25 million into climate-tech investment firm Contrarian Ventures, joining more than 65 investors including the state-owned Polish Development Fund (PFR), the investment company of the Colruyt family, Korys, the Grantham Foundation, and the founders of Vinted and Wix.com.
Founded in 2017 by Rokas Peciulaitis and led together with Tomas Kemtys, Contrarian Ventures is among the few investors to focus specifically on climate tech startups at the seed-stage. It aims at backing the boldest and most ambitious climate entrepreneurs across Europe and Israel, through a collaborative, hands-on and founders-first approach.
Since its first fund of €12.5 million, Contrarian Ventures has supported promising European startups including e-bike maker Zoomo, ratings agency BeZero Carbon, and green hydrogen startup H2Pro. The firm also hosts the annual Energy Tech Summit, one of Europe’s largest climate-tech conferences which brings together over 1400 venture capital funds and startup founders.
EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt reminded that cleantech is a key area of EU policy:
“Contrarian Ventures is a highly promising player in this burgeoning space and one we are proud to back. Their first fund showcased their ability to build a portfolio of exciting energy, transport and infrastructure startups and is a marker of the team’s resourcefulness and resilience. With the support of the European Commission, we look forward to helping Contrarian Ventures back the next generation of high-impact clean-tech startups across Europe.”
Rokas Peciulaitis shared his enthusiasm:
“We’re thrilled to have the European Investment Fund onboard as an anchor limited partner in Contrarian’s second fund, bringing us closer in our mission to become the go-to fund for climate entrepreneurs at seed stage. Their support will be critical as we look to back the ambitious founders building the infrastructure of tomorrow and helping Europe to decarbonise. The opportunity for climate tech in Europe is immense, and the sector remains heavily underfunded — especially at seed stage. Climate tech is going to be one of the most lucrative and important investment opportunities for the next 30 years, and the EIF’s support will help us take advantage of this seismic shift in how businesses operate.”