Blackhorn Ventures Announces Close of $150M Industrial Impact Fund II to Invest in Digital Infrastructure Accelerating the Energy Transition

Jun 27, 2024

We’re thrilled to announce the close of our third fund, Blackhorn Ventures Industrial Impact Fund II, LP (IIF II). With $150M in commitments towards our new fund, our team is exceptionally well-positioned to partner with world-class founders transforming how we build, power, and move our world. Our focus is seed and Series A stage investments into capital-efficient software solutions, vertical SaaS companies, and AI applications that address the urgent need for industrial resource efficiency and decarbonization at scale.

IIF II is taking advantage of the falling cost curve of energy storage and renewable energy, historic growth in zero-emission transportation, the persistent need for supply chain resiliency, the mandate to scale energy-efficient building retrofits, and the urgent need to build a tech-enabled workforce in manufacturing, construction, and utilities. Portfolio companies are targeting the $1.7 trillion industrial resource efficiency market and leveraging the $4.5 trillion needed for the global energy transition by 2030.

Phillip O’Connor and Melissa Cheong co-lead the firm as GPs and managing partners. Only 3% of the $107B raised by venture funds in 2023 went to VC firms with women in leadership positions. With the conviction that diverse teams drive better financial performance, Blackhorn Ventures is proud to lead the way in a commitment to inclusive leadership in venture capital.

“We are at a pivotal moment where the AI supercycle and the manufacturing supercycle intersect with historic changes in our energy and transportation systems,” said Melissa Cheong. “Our fund supports founders at the forefront of industrial AI, addressing labor shortages, and delivering scalable decarbonization solutions. With six early mark-ups, we believe our thesis is timely and essential for economic competitiveness and industry durability.”

The fund has new limited partnerships with Mitsubishi Electric, Westlake Corporation, Goldbeck GmbH and Mercuria Energy, and continued commitments from Jonathan Rose, Simpson Strong-Tie, and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. These partnerships enhance our ability to support portfolio companies through industry insights, distribution and customer access, accelerating their path to scale.

“Strategic corporate partnerships are crucial for scaling impact,” added Phillip O’Connor. “We’ve been investing in machine learning and AI since 2017 and are privileged to bring this experience to bear on collaborations with a select group of multinationals that share our vision, and are committed to supporting groundbreaking digital infrastructure.”

Industrial Impact Fund II is actively sourcing new investments, and has already invested in some of the leading startups revolutionizing the industrial landscape through advanced AI-driven solutions, including Formic, Circuit Mind, ThinkLabs, Specifix, EcoWorks, Optera, and Electric Era. As an Impact Assets 50 fund, Blackhorn Ventures actively tracks and reports on the financial and environmental impacts of its portfolio, is aligned with Article 8 and 9 SFDR requirements, and helps define industry standards through groups like Project FRAME and Impact Capital Managers.

“Blackhorn has a unique investing approach for accelerating the transition to a net zero economy in critical industries. For select Caprock clients who have asked us to help them combat climate change, Blackhorn’s thesis and current portfolio of companies are compelling,” said Nick Flores, Managing Director at Caprock, a multi-family office with more than $11B under advisement. 

“We are pleased to partner with Blackhorn Ventures on Industrial Impact Fund II. This collaboration aligns perfectly with Mercuria’s commitment to driving the energy transition through innovative digital infrastructure and sustainable solutions,” said Boris Bystrov, Investment Managing Director at Mercuria. “By leveraging AI and advanced technologies, we can accelerate decarbonization efforts and enhance operational efficiencies across the industrial sector. We look forward to supporting the transformative impact this fund will have on the global energy landscape.”