South Africa-based Sasol launches venture fund with €50M in initial funding to invest in sustainable startups
Climate change is one of the biggest threats and defining issues of our times. According to multiple estimates, losses due to weather-related events have increased nearly ten-fold over the last four decades, from a ten-year global average of $12 billion in 1980 to $119 billion in recent years.
One of the many ways to reduce climate change is through decarbonization, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through the use of low-carbon power sources, and the conversion to an economic system that sustainably reduces and compensates for the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂). It’s against this backdrop that South Africa-based chemicals and energy giant Sasol has decided to launch a venture capital fund to advance decarbonization efforts.
Today, Sasol announced the launch of Sasol Ventures, a venture fund to advance its decarbonization and 2050 net zero ambitions through venture capital. As part of the fund, Sasol will invest €50 million in initial capital over the next five years, making it the largest chemicals and industry venture capital fund in South Africa.
As part of this fund, Sasol has also partnered with Emerald Technology Ventures, a specialized global venture capital firm to enable Sasol Ventures to source and evaluate opportunities with the objective of growing a portfolio for the fund. Through this partnership, Sasol has also directly invested in Emerald’s global energy transformation fund to maximize its innovation opportunities. It will complement Sasol’s existing Research and Technology capabilities in sourcing and evaluating technologies and solutions.
The fund will pursue investments in start-up and early-stage technologies that will enable Sasol to meet the need for sustainable chemicals and energy solutions to decarbonize its business, communities, and markets it serves globally.
“We are very excited with the prospect of Sasol Ventures playing a key role in our decarbonization ambitions. As the world accelerates its energy systems towards more sustainable systems through emerging and disruptive technologies, Sasol Ventures places us in a position to access technology opportunities that will contribute to transforming our business,” said Fleetwood Grobler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sasol.
“Sasol Ventures is a new dynamic lever to our strategy to produce sustainable energy and chemicals products for a modern, thriving society. We look forward to leveraging our financial and intellectual capital through compelling and investable prospects that will create value for Sasol and our stakeholders,” added Hanré Rossouw, Group Chief Financial Officer of Sasol.
Founded in 1950, Sasol is a global chemicals and energy company. We harness our knowledge and expertise to integrate sophisticated technologies and processes into world-scale operating facilities. We strive to safely and sustainably source, produce, and market a range of high-quality products in 22 countries, preserving and creating value for stakeholders.
Emerald is a globally recognized venture capital firm building a sustainable future at the crossroads of industry and technology. Founded in 2000, it is a pioneer in open innovation, providing multinational corporations with rich deal flow and insight into the sectors and markets of tomorrow.
Since its inception, Emerald has managed and advised assets of over €1 billion from its offices in Zurich, Toronto, and Singapore. The firm is dedicated to tackling big challenges in climate change and sustainability via over 500 venture transactions and five third-party investment mandates, including loan guarantees to over 100 start-ups. For more information, please visit www.emerald-ventures.com.