Zero Carbon Capital
Man-made climate change is an urgent and existential threat to humanity. We need to take significant actions to address it, and we need to start taking them now as the effects of climate change are already being felt around the world. The companies that will enable our zero carbon future are being created now, and need seed capital to grow. We are excited to work with you to support them.
Our Vision: An earth where a good standard of living is enabled for everyone, safely and affordably, with zero carbon emissions; reliable electricity, healthy food, comfortable buildings, responsible industry and effective transportation.
Our Mission: To create long-term value for our investors and the world by backing entrepreneurs with innovative technologies that accelerate our zero-carbon transition.
Zero Carbon Capital makes early-stage EIS investments in companies that will invent and commercialise the next wave of technologies we need to address climate change.
We invest in ambitious teams with breakthrough ideas in energy, transport, food and industry, that can scale to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half a gigaton per year and deliver long-term value
Key team members
Pippa has been a clean-tech investor in the US for the last four years, and was an active and passionate member of the impact investing world in the Bay Area before moving to the UK a year ago. She learnt by investing alongside experts in the field of early-stage climate innovation and impact investment, and as a member of several angel networks including E8 and Investor’s Circle (now Social Venture Circle).
Before this, Pippa worked in interactive user experience research and design at eBay, building and leading teams to deliver product improvements. She was also the managing director for a consultancy in this space. She started her career learning about financial analysis at Capital One.
Pippa is a life-long learner with a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Cambridge, and recent relevant qualifications from Oxford Said Business School (‘Impact investing’) and Stamford University (‘Energy innovation and emerging technologies’).
Prior to ZCC, Alex was a senior director at Google, where most recently he was a founder and managing director at Area 120, Google’s internal innovation lab focussing on starting, supporting and spinning-in very early stage, risky ideas. Area 120 started over 50 projects in its first two years and has had numerous successes. He was previously the Product Director for Gmail and Google Calendar, leading the transition to Mobile and AI-first product development and driving Gmail’s growth to 1 billion users.
Prior to Google he worked in analytical, product, and business management roles at retail financial institutions including HSBC and Capital One.
Alex holds a Master’s degree in Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge.
Boyd Carson, the founding and managing partner of Sapphire, has nearly 30 years’ experience in the accounting and corporate finance markets, having worked as a Director for PwC LLP’s Transaction Services group in New York. Boyd currently serves on several private and non-profit boards, including companies that invest in green technologies, such as hydro and solar.
Boyd is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and the 2015 winner of the EISA Rising Star award. Boyd is currently completing a Master’s degree in Finance at Harvard University.
Sapphire is a multi-award-winning firm based in London and Belfast which specialises in SEIS and EIS funds. Sapphire currently manages the Zero Carbon EIS Fund bringing the expertise in investment management, corporate finance, accounting and taxation to the funds in the most cost-effective way possible.
Example portfolio companies
Investment: H2 2019, Seed
Technology: Gravitricity’s system suspends heavy weights down deep shafts using winches and cables, and raises and lowers them to store and release gravitational potential energy. The system has a long design life, rapid response time, high efficiency and levelised costs of storage well below lithium ion batteries.
Value: As a greater proportion of the grid’s electricity comes from intermittent sources , we have a need for grid-scale energy storage. Gravitricity’s system is competitive with the current dominant solution, pumped hydropower, on cost and performance, but can be located more flexibly. With its rapid response time, it is particularly suitable for frequency regulation applications.
Investment: H1 2019, Seed
Technology: Building a platform for rapid domestication of novel bacteria strains, genetically modifying them to perform useful tasks more efficiently, for example – creating biodegradable plastic feedstocks from organic waste, making jet fuel from wastewater, making fertiliser using the nitrogen in the air.
Value: Microbiological chemistries are already deployed broadly in industry. MicroByre can improve the economics and reduce GHG emissions by better understanding what is producing the bacteria’s behaviour and optimising it to be more efficient.
Investment: H2 2018, Seed
Technology: Room air conditioner and heat pump that is twice as efficient and more accessible, that uses refrigerants with massively lower global warming potential.
Value: Space heating and cooling is responsible for 10% of total US primary energy use, and releases refrigerants with high global warming potential. As emerging markets achieve greater income levels, emissions will accelerate. Refrigerant management was chosen as the #1 solution by the Drawdown team.
Investment: H2 2017, Pre-Seed
Technology: Lilac has developed a new ion exchange technology for lithium extraction which cuts capital and operating costs, accelerates project startup, boosts lithium recovery, and unlocks new resources.
Value: Increasing the supply of battery grade lithium available at a reasonable price will be required to meet the forecasted EV demand levels.