Venture Capital

The 2023 Market Downturn and the Rise of Climate Tech Startups in 2024

During the pandemic, as industries were shutting down and people began getting laid off, a digital transformation occurred, leading to a boom in the tech world. Investments, previously on shaky ground, were redirected into technology. Deep-pocketed hedge funds also made a massive push into venture capital during this time, fueling a boom in tech deal-making. However, it was only a matter of time before this trend would reverse due to high valuations and unrealistic expectations.

A few years later, these unrealistic expectations led to significant financial repercussions.

Most hedge funds that were active in venture capital have now started selling startups in the secondary markets. Tiger Global, known for its hedge fund roots, has been offloading its assets since the early part of this year (2023).

[This article appeared as a part of the weekly newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter here.]

The year 2023 will be remembered not just for the retreat of investors, but also for significant financial collapses, including that of Silicon Valley Bank, a cornerstone of the innovation economy. Its liquidity crisis sent shockwaves through the startup ecosystem, leading numerous depositors to withdraw their funds from SVB accounts.

The crisis was managed in part by selling publicly traded fixed-income investments worth $21 billion, resulting in an approximate after-tax loss of $1.8 billion. The bank is now seeking to raise new capital through a share sale.

This turmoil, combined with the FTX effect and related bankruptcies, had a profound impact on the economy.

It's a recognized fact that the startup ecosystem plays a crucial role in job creation, contributing significantly to the global economy. While more developed countries are receiving substantial funding, less developed countries are securing development and design deals, underscoring the interconnectedness of the global economy. These crashes affected not only the U.S. startup ecosystem but also had global repercussions.

To rejuvenate the sector, startups and investors must collaborate to reinvigorate the flow of venture capital. Despite the challenges, it's not all bleak. Some sectors remained resilient and are showing solid performance in 2023, with expectations of further growth in 2024.

The Resilience of Climate Tech Startups

Over the past 18 months, climate tech startups have experienced significant growth and substantial funding rounds.

The search volume for 'climate tech' has seen a significant surge, as indicated by Google Trends data. In this context, the value '100' represents the peak popularity for the term. This benchmark is relative and signifies the highest point of user interest in 'climate tech' over a specific time period, compared to all other points on the chart.

In the third quarter of 2023, venture capital (VC) investment in startups focusing on carbon and emission reduction technologies reached a record high of $7.6 billion.

Investment in carbon and emissions reducation technology soared in 2023.

Startups in green mining and energy-efficient building also saw record funding during this period, with green mining startups attracting $394.9 million and energy-efficient building ventures raising $638.7 million.

However, PwC reports a more than 40% year-over-year decline in private equity investment and grant funding in climate tech for 2023. This decrease is notable, but it's less severe compared to the 50% year-over-year downturn in private investment across all sectors.

Despite these challenges, the climate tech sector is claiming a larger share of private market equity relative to total startup investments. In 2023, over 10% of all startup investments were directed to climate tech firms, a significant increase from 7.22% in 2020.

The electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and support market is also expanding. Estimates indicate that nearly one in five new cars sold in 2023 will be electric, potentially reaching over 14 million units sold.

The number of electric vehicles sold rose sharply in the early years of this decade.

From Tesla to major domestic and international automakers, electric vehicles are selling, albeit more slowly than experts had anticipated.

One of the primary reasons for this slower rollout is the inadequate support network for electric cars. For example, reports suggest that New York City alone is short of 40,000 charging stations. Across the U.S., there are approximately 130,000 individual charger ports, compared to 145,000 gas stations, each with multiple pumps.

[This article appeared as a part of the weekly newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter here.]

This gap in infrastructure is creating opportunities for startups. ElectroTempo, a Virginia-based startup, has carved out a niche in providing software and analytics solutions to forecast demand for charging stations and identify the most cost-effective infrastructure development strategies. The company closed its most recent funding round in August 2023, securing $4 million in seed funding.

Software from ElectroTempo can map EV Charging demand in any location.

Additionally, more charging companies are emerging, offering diverse solutions at competitive prices. For instance, the Balkan-based startup E387 has developed a charging concept that adapts to the power grid. This includes advertising space on chargers, which aids in adoption rates.

E387 specializes in manufacturing cutting-edge charging technology, offering EV Route Planning and serving as a charging assistant.

In conclusion, while 2023 was challenging, predictions for 2024 indicate potential crises but also opportunities in certain sectors. The climate tech sector, with its various subsectors, is one such area poised for growth and innovation."

This revised version maintains the original content's essence while improving the flow, structure, and clarity of the information presented.

Stay informed with the latest insights and trends by subscribing to our weekly newsletter. At Tech387, we're committed to empowering entrepreneurs and innovators. To support this mission, we've developed the AI Advisor tool, designed to assist you in gauging product-market fit and guiding you through the initial steps of building a successful startup.

Discover the potential of your startup idea and explore market size projections for 2024 with our AI Advisor. 

This tool requires only two minutes of your time, yet the insights it offers are invaluable, providing a solid foundation for your entrepreneurial journey.

If you have any inquiries or feedback, our team is always available to assist you. Feel free to contact us at