The real estate and property tech-focused venture capital firm Fifth Wall has announced the completion of its inaugural $500 million Climate Fund that aims to decarbonize the real estate industry.
Having first launched with $116 million in August 2021, the fund is aimed at promoting environmentally-friendly technologies in the renewable energy, energy storage, smart buildings and carbon sequestration spaces.
The Climate Fund includes capital commitments from organizations such as American Homes 4 Rent, BBVA, British Land Camden Property Trust among others, and brings Fifth Wall’s total capital under management to $3.2 billion.
Fifth Wall co-founder and Managing Partner Brendan Wallace (pictured) praised the strategic LPs in the Climate Fund, saying they have taken a “true leadership role” in the industry by making real financial commitments to address the industry’s contribution to climate change.
Those participants will benefit from their largesse, gaining first dibs on a range of promising technologies that can help them to decarbonize their real estate assets. Fifth Wall said that over 100 of the U.S.’s largest real estate owners and operators are invested in its funds.
“The investment for us is relatively small, but the access to a number of small proptech, as well as environmental companies all looking to improve single-family rentals is really what excites us about the opportunities,” said American Homes 4 Rent CEO David Singelyn. “We have a lot of rooftops and a lot of consumption of energy.”
Singelyn isn’t exaggerating. Real estate is said to contribute around 40% of all global carbon emissions. It’s a staggering number, with around 70% of it stemming from building operations and construction accounting for the other 30%.
Fifth Wall said that despite the real estate industry’s outsized carbon footprint, it has previously only invested $94.6 million into climate technology research and development over the past decade. Thanks to the Climate Fund, that figure has now risen five-fold, it said.
“What we’re looking to do is identify the major spend categories where real estate owners are going to have to deploy capital,” Wallace told CNBC. “And then our business is buying non-controlling minority positions in those companies.”