NEW YORK — BlocPower, a climate technology company focused on greening America's buildings, announced a fundraising round of $150 million, including more than $24 million of Series B corporate equity led by VoLo Earth Ventures and $130 million of debt financing led by Goldman Sachs.
Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Credit Suisse, Builders Vision, New York State Ventures, Unreasonable Collective, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Gaingels, Van Jones, Kapor Capital, My Climate Journey, Tale Venture Partners, and NBA superstar and entrepreneur Russell Westbrook also joined the equity round. To date, BlocPower has raised more than $250 million of capital to finance building decarbonization in low-income communities.
The investment round will drive BlocPower's mission by expanding heat pump and building electrification programs across the U.S. BlocPower will further develop its highly differentiated, proprietary 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. Notably, the round comes at a time when Black startup founders in the United States raised just 1% of VC funds last year—an estimated $2.25 billion out of $215.9 billion—nearly half of what they raised in 2021 ($4.34 billion).
"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,” said Donnel Baird, CEO and founder, BlocPower. “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."
Since its 2020 Series A, BlocPower has demonstrated 4,000% revenue growth, including signing city-scale decarbonization projects in Ithaca, New York, and Menlo Park, California, and large-scale projects in Denver; San Jose, California; Buffalo, New York; Atlanta; and San Luis Obispo, California. The company completed hundreds of green energy upgrades across the country, bringing the total number of completed projects to more than 5,000 apartments, homes, houses of worship, and commercial buildings. BlocPower has also added several new American geographies to BlocMaps, which is now being used by municipalities and utilities in New York City, Ithaca, San Luis Obispo, Chicago, and other cities to develop and implement equitable, data-driven decarbonization strategies.
In 2022, BlocPower's Civilian Climate Corps was awarded a two-year, $108 million contract from New York City Mayor Eric Adams to train 3,000 city residents for clean energy jobs and to help reduce gun violence as part of Adams' Precision Employment Initiative. The new contract expanded upon a $37 million contract from 2021, which launched the NYC Civilian Climate Corps. To support that growth, BlocPower opened two new training facilities in Brooklyn and the Bronx and raised $130 million of debt from Goldman Sachs. The program trains next-generation green economy workforce from communities with a high risk of gun violence, focusing on the use of cutting edge software to install clean energy hardware.
"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," said Kareem Dabbagh, managing partner, VoLo Earth, who will be joining BlocPower's board of directors. "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.
"Whenever someone wants to make a change, or do something new, nothing is guaranteed to turn out according to best laid plans,” continued Barid. “You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. You can't renovate a home without dust and mess and, sometimes, lead, mold, and asbestos. We go into low-income communities to finance and upgrade 100-year-old buildings, and sometimes we run into 100-year-old surprises lurking in the walls or hiding in the basement. But, I'm proud that at BlocPower we always finish what we start, and we clean up messes. The biggest mess of all is the climate crisis. We are pleased that VoLo Earth and other climate-focused investors, like Microsoft, Credit Suisse, New York State Ventures, Goldman, and Builders Vision, are investing in building decarbonization as an immediately actionable way to combat climate change. We hope our momentum will be a catalyst for further investments in other green startups and startups founded by women and people of color, which have historically received less than 3% of venture capital."
In addition to the new fundraising round, BlocPower launched its corporate rebranding, representing a new chapter of growth, maturity, and continued momentum for the company. BlocPower's new, modern brand aims to convey the intensity and energy that fuels BlocPower's vision for the future: That every home and building in America can be an engine of opportunity, and that all the climate, health, and economic benefits flowing from the green economy should be accessible for everyone.
In recognition of its work to date, BlocPower is being honored as an emerging leader by Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington, D.C., at the vice president's residence. The Biden-Harris administration is ensuring that 40% of climate infrastructure investments impact "Justice 40" communities, which are communities that have a history of excess pollution, disenfranchisement, and underinvestment. For more information, visit https://upgrade.blocpower.io.
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