Breakthrough Energy Ventures is the $1 billion investment fund associated with the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group promoting clean tech innovation. The group was originally founded by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures focuses its efforts on the five "Grand Challenges" that it has defined as the biggest factors leading to climate change: electricity, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and buildings. Within each of these categories, the group has outlined specific technologies that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These technologies are the research areas which the group wants to support through the investment fund.
The Breakthrough Energy Coalition was founded in 2015 and announced by Gates at the Paris Climate Change Conference that year. Breakthrough Energy Ventures was announced in December 2016 in a post on Gates' blog.
Many of the investors in Breakthrough Energy Ventures are well-known technology entrepreneurs, many based in Silicon Valley. Other than Gates, they include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and others. The only current institutional investor in Breakthrough Energy Ventures is the University of California, which has also partnered with the group to provide research facilities and resources.