Generation Greentech: How young ideas change the world

Five quick questions for Daniela Bach, Senior Investment Manager HTGF and Christian-Hauke Poensgen, Co-Founder Maya Climate

Christian-Hauke Poensgen, Co-Founder, Maya Climate and Daniela Bach, Senior Investment Manager, HTGF

What is Maya Climate and why can your idea make the world a little better?

Christian-Hauke Poensgen: We are a financing platform for nature-based solutions (NbS). These are some of the most efficient and scalable solutions for avoiding and reducing carbon in the atmosphere. However, the projects are struggling with very high costs. There is an urgent need for solutions to bridge the time between the start of a project and the first issuance of carbon credits. The Maya Climate platform enables investors and financial institutions to find and analyze projects at an early stage.

What is the state of the climate tech industry in Germany?

Daniela Bach: Climate tech is the fastest-growing sector in Europe! Germany has already produced important players with Enpal, Infarm and 1Komma5. Compared to other European countries like Sweden and the UK, however, we still have catch-up potential.

Even in the current difficult market environment, there is still plenty of capital available for greentech start-ups. HTGF has been investing in climate technologies for several years. But more and more venture capital funds are also being launched that invest exclusively in the climate-tech sector.  

You are young founders. How did you come up with the idea for Maya Climate?

Christian-Hauke Poensgen: It has always been clear to us that we need to tackle the problem of man-made climate change together. However, market mechanisms for pricing externalities such as carbon and biodiversity certificates are only just emerging and pioneers have to take a high risk in this area. Unfortunately, this has led to a very inefficient, timid and slow investment market for these projects. However, we need to invest today to even come close to achieving our 2030 and 2050 climate targets. Maya is designed to address the inefficiencies of this market.

Why did HTGF decide to invest in Maya Climate?

Daniela Bach: With its capital and network, HTGF wants to play a significant role in shaping the green transformation of the German economy. With start-ups like instagrid, Sunvigo or traceless materials, we have a great portfolio. The carbon market is playing an increasingly important role in achieving climate goals, and with Maya Climate we found a setup that convinced us to invest very early on. The young founders have achieved a lot in a short time.

Climate change is the central challenge of our generation – and beyond. What needs to happen so that we can find technological solutions even faster?

Christian-Hauke Poensgen: Technological solutions that enable both carbon capture and long-term storage are available, but they are still at a very early stage of development. First of all, investments are needed to reduce costs. But it will take several years before the technical solutions reach the necessary scale. Here, venture capitalists are challenged to create investment structures in which long-term investments can be made in hardware development.

Thank you for the interview!

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