The SEC’s environment rule has energized the venture capital industry

Greg Smithies helped Elon Musk market flamethrowers, but he’s equally enthusiastic about climate technology. Smithies is a partner at Fifth Wall, a VC firm specializing in the “built environment.” He co-leads the company’s climate technology investment division, which invests in efforts to cut building sector emissions and make it more climate-resilient.

About $3 billion has been invested in climate firms that create 3D-printed homes, building efficiency retrofits, internet-connected electric breaker panels, and HVAC motors. It wouldn’t be a Silicon Valley VC without some form of crypto token investment, right?

It is the world’s largest built-environment venture capital fund. Consider real estate, construction, infrastructure such as roads and bridges, and energy, as buildings absorb almost 40% of global energy. We’re a fund that specializes in these areas. Many people think that’s kind of weird as if you’re wearing blinders. It just so happens that this is the world’s largest asset class, accounting for 10 to 20% of any country’s GDP. There is $326 trillion worth of structures out there.

A vast coalition of corporates around the space — people who develop, own, and maintain buildings and infrastructure — contributes almost half of our $3 billion under management. And look for technology firms that are relevant to this.