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Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, VoLo Earth Invest in Green Energy Building Startup BlocPower

March 30, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Microsoft's Climate Innovation Fund has invested in BlocPower, which develops a SaaS analytics software platform for the greening of America's buildings, and the decarbonization of low income communities.

Donnel Baird, CEO, BlocPower

The overall funding round from multiple investors was $150 million -- including over $24 million of Series B corporate equity led by VoLo Earth Ventures, and $130 million of debt financing led by Goldman Sachs.

Additional funding participants included Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, Credit Suisse, Builders Vision, New York State Ventures, Unreasonable Collective, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Gaingels, Van Jones, Kapor Capital, MCJ Collective, Tale Venture Partners, and NBA player Russell Westbrook.

To date, BlocPower has raised over $250 million. The company's valuation was not disclosed.

BlocPower: SaaS Analytics for Green Buildings

BlocPower, founded in 2014, is based in Brooklyn, New York. The company had 125 employees listed on LinkedIn as of March 2023.

BlocPower will leverage the new funding in multiple ways, including:

  • Expanding heat pump and building electrification programs across the United States;
  • further develop the BlocMaps SaaS analytics platform;
  • grow its financing and administrative capabilities; and
  • broaden its Civilian Climate Corps green workforce initiative, focused on training and hiring at-risk individuals in vulnerable communities.

Among BlocPower's business milestones to date, the company said it has:

  • Signed city-scale decarbonization projects in Ithaca, New York and Menlo Park, California;
  • signed large-scale projects in Denver, Colorado; San Jose, California; Buffalo, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; and San Luis Obispo, California; and
  • completed projects across 5,000 apartments, homes, houses of worship and commercial buildings.

BlocPower Funding: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the latest funding, BlocPower CEO and founder Donnel Baird said: “Since 2014, BlocPower has focused on decarbonizing America’s urban core, developing the green economy’s workforce, and bringing climate justice to underserved and vulnerable communities. We are fighting the climate crisis while improving quality of life for city residents. Series B equity and working capital financing from Goldman Sachs will allow us to accelerate building decarbonization across America. We will help low- to-moderate income communities to access the benefits of President Biden’s once in a lifetime green economy investments."

Kareem Dabbagh, managing partner, VoLo Earth

Concluded Kareem Dabbagh, managing partner at VoLo Earth, who will be joining BlocPower’s Board of Directors: “BlocPower has proven that the right combination of technology, finance, industry know-how and determination can help tackle some of the world’s most difficult challenges, and we are excited to support the company as it embarks on its next phase of expansion. At VoLo Earth, we dig deep to source companies with the right combination of technology, scalability, climate and social impact, winning economics, and tremendous long-term growth potential. BlocPower is emblematic of this mix, and we look forward to leveraging our operational expertise to help contribute to the company’s future success.”

Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund

Meanwhile, the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund continues to invest on multiple fronts. For instance, the fund in early 2023 agreed to invest in such firms as:

  • Circular Services, a startup that's building and expanding recycling infrastructure across the United States.
  • Novata, a software startup that assists private equity, private credit, venture capital and limited partner organizations with their Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) efforts.
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