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Celebrating Cohort 417: D3's Inaugural Startups Move On

Highlighting climate tech wins from our first 46 startups since their inauguration 18 months ago.

Congratulations are in order for Third Derivative’s inaugural group of trailblazing entrepreneurs—Cohort 417—who recently became our first cohort to make the transition to D3 alumni! Over the last 18 months, these 46 inspiring climate tech startups have demonstrated the system-level innovation we need to enable climate technologies to succeed at scale and move markets.

In a recent celebration of the cohort’s elevation to alumni status, ecosystem leaders came together to share highlights of their journey with our tailored accelerator program. 

Honoring 18 months of decisive and inclusive growth

Onboarded on December 1, 2020 and named for the year’s peak atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 417.1 parts per million, Cohort 417 represented solutions addressing every major greenhouse gas emissions sector and was noted as the world’s largest climate tech innovation cohort to date.

Since then, the startups of Cohort 417 have been working diligently to bring their solutions to market and help cultivate a sustainable, scalable climate future for all. Their growth journey also took place alongside our own, given this cohort formed within D3’s first year of existence. 

Following are key highlights of D3’s Cohort 417:

    • 735 clean energy jobs were created within the cohort
    • $2.6M total funding was awarded by D3
    • $26.6M investment came from D3 partners
    • $357.3M follow-on funding has been raised—and counting
    • 100+ ecosystem programs and 170 corporate and investor introductions took place throughout the program
    • 47% of founders are women and 39% are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) 
    • 9 countries are represented

Progressing toward commercialization in hard-to-abate sectors

When Cohort 417 startups entered the program, they were predominantly grant or self-funded, with a handful that had reached Seed or Pre-Seed levels, and only one that had either raised or was raising a Series A round.

Eighteen months later, many of these same startups have progressed into Seed/ Pre-seed and on to Series A and B as well. Significantly, many of these investments into the startups came from D3 investment partners. Of the total raised by startups since joining D3, $26.6M was led or joined by D3 investor partners, representing about 7% of that investment. 

Considering that our investor partners are considerably less than 7% of the global investment into climate tech, their investments in Cohort 417 are meaningful in more ways than one. 

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Here's a snapshot of some of the many instrumental D3 investor partnerships committed to Cohort 417 startups to date:

    • Since joining D3, Antora Energy raised $34M, joined by D3 investor partner 50 Years and corporate partners Shell and BHP.
    • Blue Frontier’s Seed round was led by D3 investor partner VoLo Earth, joined by D3 investor partners Twynam and CRCM.
    • NCX closed a $50M Series B, led by D3 investor partner Energize Ventures.
    • Traxen recently closed a Seed round with VoLo Earth.

Daniel Betts, CEO of Blue Frontier, put it this way:

"D3 made an important difference in the life of our company. In fact, D3 was our first outside investor. From D3’s initial $50K, we ended up with $1.8M in support from other investors. This seed allowed us to accelerate and expand our efforts and provided a bridge that gave us time to find the right partners and negotiate a Series A that positions us for further success. D3 put an important spotlight on our company and on the entire advanced HVAC space for VCs and partners. I don’t know if we would have gotten to where we are without D3, quite honestly."

On the commercial side, our highly collaborative ecosystem also helped catalyze high-value interactions, pilots and demonstrations between our startups and corporate partners—including numerous collaborations to validate the applicability, reliability, and durability of various software, hardware, and hard science solutions across Cohort 417.

One metric that doesn’t exist but still counts for a lot: The depth of support cohort members gained from each other. By selecting dedicated, inspiring founders to join our ecosystem, D3 is nurturing a highly engaged community where startup leaders can—and do—share best practices and serve as a support system for one another.

One startup founder noted, "D3 has provided an amazing ecosystem of founders all experiencing similar challenges. Being able to talk to peers who have tackled a challenge and can help us do the same is invaluable."

What's next for Cohort 417? Continued momentum, backed by D3.

Completing D3’s accelerator program is a momentous achievement for these startups—but our shared journey is far from over. Accelerator alumni can still actively participate in, and benefit from, D3’s global ecosystem of experts, corporate partners, investors, and other startups. They can also join our first-of-its-kind Ambassador program and become one of the front faces for D3 to spread the message and help shape the program.  

Please join us in raising up cheers to the cohort that put D3 on the map, and has already accomplished so much.  🎉

Visit our portfolio page to learn more about Cohort 417 and other D3 startups.
Know a great climate tech startup that could use D3's help developing, commercializing, and scaling up faster? We're looking for our next global cohort now!
➡️ Startup founders can apply here directly, or refer other startups here