Founded last year by entrepreneur and investor Jacqueline van den Ende, Amsterdam-based, Carbon Equity claims to be the world’s first tech platform for private market climate investments.
Van den Ende, 36, is a former partner at venture capital firm Peak Capital. While working there, and after reading ‘The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History‘ by Elizabeth Kolbert – a book that argues we are in the middle of an accelerated, man-made extinction – she had an epiphany about what she wanted to do with her life.
“This was the moment I thought ‘nothing else matters’”, Van den Ende tell Impact Investor. “If we do not solve climate change, what is the point in being financially successful or to have a lot of money in the bank? We need to have a planet that is liveable.”
That’s when Van den Ende decided to dedicate herself to tackling the climate crisis “with capital as a weapon”.
If there is one thing Van den Ende said she learnt during her private equity career, it is that money makes the world go round. “Capital is what makes decisions. The question I was asking myself was ‘how does capital move the needle?’”
A year ago, Van den Ende founded Carbon Equity, which focuses exclusively on private markets, with a group of experienced former investors and entrepreneurs.
These include former McKinsey consultant Liza Rubinstein and Lara Koole, a former partner of Philips Ventures. Dirk Meuleman, CEO at Amsterdam-based impact investment consultant Phenix Capital Group, is a member of the company’s investment committee.
Since its launch, Carbon Equity has grown to €30m in assets under management, spread over four different funds.
The firm’s business model is based on the following proposition: “Providing young investors with the chance to invest with the best that private equity has to offer in well-diversified baskets, with interesting returns, and direct impact,” Van den Ende says.