Valo Ventures, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm, raised $175m for the first fund.
Anchor limited partner is Fortum, a global clean energy company headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, whose mission is to accelerate the change toward a cleaner world by reshaping the energy system, improving resource efficiency and providing smart solutions.
The fund will invest in startups that are integrating digital technologies in innovative ways to improve the quality of life today and for future generations.
Led by partners Scott Tierney, Mona ElNaggar and Julia Brady, Valo is a thematic focused firm targeting five social, economic and environmental megatrends:
– Climate Change,
– Empowered Users,
– Autonomy and Mobility,
– Urbanization, and
– the Circular Economy.
The fund will invest in series A, B and C stage startups across North America and Europe.
Tierney brings the perspective of having been on both sides of the table, as an entrepreneur and investor. He spent the previous seven years at Google, where he was co-founder of CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), as well as the leader of strategy and corporate development at Google Fiber and Nest Labs. Prior to that he was a Partner at Steelpoint Capital and President of a nuclear and plasma physics-related startup.
ElNaggar brings decades of international experience financing technology companies at all stages, from startups to large public corporations. She is an experienced board director, was one of the co-founders of Morgan Stanley’s European investment banking practice and led non-US investing for TIFF Investment Management.
Brady brings expertise in strategy and marketing, honed at The VIA Agency and McKinsey. She has built brands and led integrated marketing communications for both Fortune 500 companies and startups for over 20 years.
Valo has already begun investing out of Fund I, having made recent investments in:
– Atollogy, an industrial IoT company that uses machine vision and AI to help companies improve operational efficiency;
– PlanetIQ, which is building, launching and operating a constellation of GNSS-RO satellites for high-definition weather forecasting to deliver high-quality and cost-effective data for on-the-ground decision making; and
– Landit, a personalized career pathing platform that enables women and diverse talent to succeed in the workplace.
The fund has also invested in a stealth company developing an AI platform for electricity demand and supply forecasting.