Welcome to the (burning) world, RCC!
An exclusive collaborative venture collective, backing the best and brightest in global climatetech
- Stage: Pre-seed and seed
- Geo: Global, with an emerging markets emphasis
- Value Add: emerging market expansion and payments/credit/fintech expertise
To learn more, please fill our form here.
RaliCap (fka Rally Cap Ventures – long story, best told over a beer or three) has backed 50+ founders building the next generation of emerging market fintech. Our singular focus since inception has been to find and support the foundational infrastructure enabling financial services to efficiently scale within and across a region, and we’re extremely proud of the success we’ve seen with success with companies like Pomelo, Stitch, Mono, Termii, Abhi and countless more.
Investment theses of course must evolve to reflect the dynamism of people and money and markets, and we regularly sanity check our own to reaffirm its relevance. As macro conditions tighten capital flows and reduce consumer buying power, we remain fully-bullish on the B2B business models – think APIs and SaaS – that both avoid and alleviate the challenging CAC:LTV ratios and TAM realities so persistent across emerging markets. Rest assured, at our core, we remain a fintech fund.
But, we’re also excited to be expanding our purview. While 2021 Twitter exhaustingly claimed all the top tech talent was jumping ship for web3, and that if you didn’t pivot your fund accordingly you were a short-sighted luddite (lol), we are indeed now seeing a very real shift towards climatetech. Passionate, technical, seasoned founders are jumping in to tackle the world’s biggest opportunity. And, moreover, when I divulge to VC buddies that we’re starting to explore the space, most immediately and excitedly echo: “me too!” Capital, people, regulations and supply/demand push/pull factors are converging to create exceedingly attractive market entry points and exit opps – the time is now.
As we celebrate our two year anniversary, we’re excited to announce the launch of RaliCap Climate – an exclusive syndicate backing the best and brightest in global climate technology.
Climate change is increasingly impossible to ignore, violently crescendoing from abstract inconvenience into a ubiquitous and intractable headwind. If you’re still reading this, you don’t need to be convinced of the severity or size of the opportunity, so I won’t delve any deeper here.
(If you are looking for additional resources as you embark upon your climate journey, feel free to reach out and I’m happy to share notes, links, decks etc)
It’s probably helpful to quickly share some context regarding my own climate journey: I grew up in San Francisco and went to college in Colorado, finding ways to work summers outside in Maui, Crater Lake, the Sonoran desert, coastal Ecuador, Durango and beyond. A lifelong adventurer, I always considered environmentalism to be a philanthropic endeavor, defending the places I loved – protecting the Amazon and our oceans from Exxon and Chevron, or climbing areas from Peabody Coal; rewilding the rivers and blowing up dams; staunching urban sprawl and the decimation of local wildlife populations….and I couldn’t grasp how we’d possibly externalize all these costs to truly change the path of the planet. But all of that has changed, with climatetech evolving into a thoroughly commercial career choice and indeed providing the backdrop for the most important battle of our lifetime.
What kind of companies will we back?
Our entry in the space will lean heavily into our emerging market expansion and fintech infrastructure expertise here, as we build our brand and experience and our flywheel starts spinning.
Sample pre-seed deal flow we’ve DD’d this month:
- A Mosaic-like B2B solar financing platform for Mexico
- A Watershed/Patch API for MENA
- Refrigerated EV commercial trucks, connecting rural farmers to international markets
- Various EV plays in 2-wheel mobility across LatAm and Africa
- Solar finance marketplace in South Africa
- Commercial-grade bricks from hard-to-recycle plastics, replacing concrete and rebar
What is our strategy?
For any VC firm, the key is to achieve “repeatable alpha” – in other words, what are the variables that makes your fund uniquely and scalably successful? We look at this from three key vectors:
Our pioneering hybrid fund model, marrying a Collective of strategic angels, an army of Venture Partners, and an LP base composed of tier 1 global fintech funds, has enabled us to scale a grassroots brand from Mexico to Nigeria to Pakistan and beyond. We see most decks and know most founder and we’ll strive to replicate this advantage across the climate space. Being based in San Francisco also provides obvious access upside, as fantastic companies launch here with the intent to ultimately expand into emerging markets.
Access creates options, but how do you sift through the signal and noise to identify and back the best bets? We’re bringing in a team of venture partners to lead in the creation of our initial climate thesis – these are the seasoned folks that have built, scaled and funded the soft- and hardware that defined the first generation of climatetech, and have set the foundation for this new era.
Similar to our value prop to our fintechs, we will lean into our deep expertise in emerging markets to provide hands-on support – who to partner with, how to think about expansion, where venture dollars will and won’t flow, how to solve for local KYC, payments, collections, underwriting, expansion, etc – they need to consume the same API infrastructure as B2C apps.
Who is leading the charge?
Hayden will be leading RaliCap Climate, but we’ll continue bringing in complementary Venture Partners to help us develop, hone and test our thesis; our first two additions are:
Matthew Sebonia (Energy Transition Expert, Investor in Residence, Strategic Fund Advisor): Matthew has 20 years’ experience in climate tech development, deployment and investing across the US, SE Asia, Europe, and East Africa. He developed and helped to build the Southeast Asia Clean Energy Facility (SEACEF) which invests in early-stage climate tech (EV, EE, solar, storage, wind) projects and companies across Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. He has helped run and start multiple biofuel businesses, two US first time sustainable infra investment funds and done extensive work in the off-grid space across Africa and SE Asia. Matthew has a master’s degree from Yale and currently splits his time between Denmark and SE Asia.
Minsoo Kim (Venture Capital, Growth & Private Sector Investments at Asian Development Bank):
Minsoo is an Investment Specialist at ADB Ventures, the Asian Development Bank’s venture capital arm, and has invested in climate tech startups across various markets including the US, China, Singapore, South Korea, and Pakistan. Prior to joining ADB, he spent time as a VC-backed founder, fintech operator in Nigeria, and early-stage generalist VC.