Katapult Wrapped 2021
As 2021 comes to a close and we bring in the New Year, it is a time to reflect on some of Katapult’s milestones and achievements. This is no small task! From hosting a record-breaking investor day to running our first digital and parallel accelerator to achieving our first unicorn investments, this year has both built on prior success and brought innovation to the space of impact investment. More importantly, each success takes us one step closer to our vision of building a thriving world for all. The following is an extended (but far from exhaustive) summary of what we have achieved.
Our work at Katapult is driven by optimism but simultaneously a sense of urgency. This year marked both the hosting of COP26 in Glasgow and IPCC’s declaration of a code red for humanity. Given the threat posed by climate change, 2021 is also the year that Katapult launched its first Climate Accelerator. The first Katapult Climate round selected 8 companies that place a strong emphasis on both renewable energy and optimizing energy efficiency. CEO of Katapult Climate, Nina Heir, says, “As momentum continues to shift towards immediate action on the climate crisis, we believe that the mobilization of climate tech and entrepreneurs will play a key role in offering global solutions. This conviction is evident in the high caliber of companies selected for Katapult’s first Climate Accelerator. From renewable energy to increasing the efficiency of existing infrastructure, Katapult intends to further lead on the growing impact opportunities and solutions presented by the climate tech sector in 2022.”
Further to launching Katapult Climate, 2021 marks the year Katapult Ocean accelerated their fourth cohort of companies. Building on past experience, Katapult Ocean is ranked in the top 50 climate investors worldwide and has one of the largest ocean networks globally. Earlier this year the 1000 Ocean startups coalition was launched. Katapult Ocean has been a founding member of the coalition that pledges to invest and back 1000 ocean impact startups during the Ocean Decade.
Alongside investment in offshore and blue energy, the fund’s 10 new companies also continue their investment focus within the alternative proteins and seaweed industry.“With the large climate and impact opportunities in the blue economy, there has never been more interest in investing into the oceans. As the most active ocean impact investor in the world, Katapult Ocean is fortunate to be investing in the leading companies on behalf of some of the most respected ocean and climate investors internationally.” says Jonas Skattum Svegaarden, CEO of Katapult Ocean, who is optimistic about raising a larger fund in 2022.
Continuing a theme in a year of firsts, the 18 companies selected by Katapult Climate and Ocean participated in Katapult’s first digital and parallel accelerator program. The challenging and comprehensive 3 month program not only helped participants overcome the well-known barriers for early stage companies but linked them to Katapult’s world class network of content providers, experts and mentors. Speaking of the program, co-founder of Katapult Ocean company GKinetic, Roisin Mc Cormack, says, “The whole Katapult experience, programme, team and investment has been a pivotal time for our company. It has been 3 months of value, reflection, learning, planning and getting way more ambitious! We cannot recommend the program enough.” Applications for next year’s Katapult Climate and Katapult Ocean Accelerator Program are now open. To learn more and apply, click here.
Consolidating Success: Unicorns, Exits and largest investor gathering
The efforts, innovation and expertise of Katapult’s Accelerator Program were reflected in the success of Investor Day 2021. Hosted on 14 December, the event marked Katapult’s largest Investor Day to-date. The event was attended by over 470 investors brought together in the interest of making a more sustainable future for our oceans and climate. Notably, attendees joined us from over 42 different countries, highlighting the global reach of Katapult’s impact. Click here if you would like to request a pitchdeck from the 18 companies showcased.
If 2021 has been a year of innovation, it has also been a year of consolidating success. In 2021, Katapult Accelerator portfolio companies raised a total of 85M USD in funding. Furthermore, Katapult Ocean companies raised more than 100M USD of funding in 2021.
2021 is also the year Katapult achieved its first exit and first unicorn investment. Through securing strategic investment from an industrial investor, BladeInsight became the first company to exit Katapult’s Portfolio. Additionally, Betterfly who joined the Katapult Accelerator in 2019, raised a 60M USD Series B in Latin America’s largest insurtech round. In 2017, Katapult invested in the climate-focused biochemistry company Solugen. Having raised 357M USD in their series C funding round, the company now has a valuation of 1.8B USD. This makes Solugen Katapult’s first unicorn investment.
New horizons: Katapult Africa and Foundation
The success of current and previous cohorts speaks to both the relevance and urgency of Katapult’s work. It also speaks to the need for Katapult to further broaden the horizons of impact investment. Acknowledging the important role the African continent will play in feeding tomorrow’s society, Katapult has established a new vertical; Katapult Africa. Katapult Africa will run two accelerator programs: Katapult Rwanda and Katapult Mauritius at Ferney Agri-hub. Katapult Mauritius Accelerator is now open for applications.
Katapult’s vision for expanding the horizons of impact investment is underpinned by the establishment of the Katapult Foundation. The foundation gathers all non-profit initiatives of Katapult including Katapult Future Fest, Katapult X and the Nordic Impact Investment Network. This fall the foundation launched the Ignite Program in collaboration with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Wilstar Social Impact. The program simultaneously helps private investors shape and structure their impact investing strategy. Applications for the 2022 program are now open.
Additionally, Katapult Foundation has partnered with the CSP (Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth) at the University of Zurich and the BMW Foundation to launch Accelerate. The program offers founders and entrepreneurs the unique opportunity of enabling positive impact when transitioning from owners to investors. Together Ignite and Accelerate are helping to build Katapult’s vision of bringing impact investment into the mainstream.
Towards 2022 and a thriving world for all
As we move toward 2022, we are both immensely proud of what we have achieved and excited by the opportunities that the new year presents. We also want to thank our investors, collaborators, alumni, mentors and partners for their support and sharing Katapult’s vision. We could not do this without our network!
Happy New Year!
The Katapult Team