Skip to main content

Funding | Propeller | Founders

Introducing Propeller

October 20th, 2022 | 3 min. read

Introducing Propeller

Print/Save as PDF

Today we are proud to announce our first fund of $100 million [press release],committed to innovators building scalable companies that tackle the climate crisis with science-led solutions. Our mission is to leverage and protect our planet’s greatest asset, the ocean.

Propeller will accelerate the science, innovations, and solutions that can mitigate the worst effects of climate change. The ocean is critical to reducing emissions and drawing down carbon dioxide, and few know this as well as our friends and partners at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

As WHOI’s president and director, Peter deMenocal, once put it to us, “You simply can’t get there without the ocean.”

But if you look at the current solutions, and funding in climate tech overall, there are not enough dollars being invested in the ocean-climate sector. For 2021, we estimate venture funding in ocean-climate tech to be less than 1% of all climate-tech investments. Less than 1%, despite the ocean covering 71% of the planet, providing vital oxygen we breathe, and holding tremendous potential to permanently store carbon. Less than 1%, despite the ocean providing primary protein to 1 billion people daily, regulating our weather, and connecting our global industries through a $2.5 trillion blue economy. Less than 1%, despite the ocean sustaining critical biodiversity, and well… you get the idea. Point is, this has to change.

We are excited to have a fresh fund of over $100 million dollars ready to deploy and we are wildly enthusiastic about the future. We primarily invest in pre-seed and seed stage companies across three core themes:

  • Ocean Carbon – ocean carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and blue carbon methodologies and technologies for measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV)

  • Ocean Organics – innovative uses of marine organics such as algae and microbes for emissions reductions through novel food, energy, packaging, and pharmaceuticals

  • Ocean Industrials – decarbonization, efficiencies, or solution-enabling technologies in maritime industries like shipping, wave energy, offshore wind, and desalination

With this first fund, Propeller will accelerate IP out of WHOI’s labs via a grant program led by our Partner and chief scientist, Dr. Julie Pullen. Additionally, Reece Pacheco sources and leads in-market investments, while Steven Fox heads our EIR Program. Our Founding Partners, Brian Halligan and Devdutt Yellurkar conceived of Propeller, set our course, and brought our team together. The whole Propeller Team is dedicated to finding and funding pioneering solutions across the globe.

Collaboration is a must. We are eager to work with and inspired by the investors, academics, accelerators, agencies, activists, institutions, philanthropists, and more who are focused on this incredible challenge and opportunity.

The challenge urgently demands more ocean entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and geographies who are looking to build businesses as deep and wide as the ocean. We light-up at smart, tenacious, courageous founders who want to make a difference, and we know that our combined decades of experience across science, startups, and investing will help founders go further, faster.

Our Limited Partners recognize this, too, and we are honored and grateful for the support of some world-class investors and institutions who helped us raise an innovative first-time fund in record time.

We already have an active portfolio, talented Entrepreneurs-In-Residence working on new ideas, an intensive “Ocean MBA” course we built for founders, more deal-flow than we could’ve imagined, some top tier syndication partners, and we’re having fun while we’re at it! There’s more to come, and we’ll share it soon. Until then, you can get to know our team, pitch us your startup, subscribe to our newsletter, or follow along on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Full speed ahead!

Propeller - Brian, Devdutt, Julie, Reece, Steven