Pioneer Raises $2.9M to Help Climate Tech Entrepreneurs Unlock Billions in Federal, State and Local Funding and Incentives
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SAN FRANCISCO, November 9, 2023-- Pioneer, the AI-powered service for climate tech companies pursuing government incentives, today announced the close of $2.9M in seed funding led by Blue Bear Capital. Participating investors include Collaborative Fund, Soma Capital, Cool Climate Collective, and Kayan Ventures. The funds will be used to accelerate the company's growth.
Founded in 2022, Pioneer combines large language models (LLMs) with process execution expertise to help climate tech companies win more non-dilutive funding more efficiently, from the vast ecosystem of government and non-governmental funding. Specifically, Pioneer enables companies to match their sector focus, business model, and capital needs with potential funding sources, and then apply across thousands of grants, contracts, and other incentives from hundreds of sources at a federal, state, and local level. Pioneer's emphasis on LLMs allows them to handle a lot of the bureaucracy associated with the application process through software, and the company's co-founders have extensive experience working in artificial intelligence–Dimitar "Mitko" Simeonov (CEO) received a Masters in AI and natural language models from MIT and deployed AI to hundreds of millions of users while working for Twitter; Kyle Treige (COO) previously founded two startups and worked at an early-stage VC firm.
"For thousands of climate tech companies, access to non-dilutive funding can make or break their growth trajectory," said Mitko Simeonov, CEO, Pioneer. "Our seed round will enable us to speed up development and serve more entrepreneurs looking to rapidly deploy and scale key climate solutions."
In 2022, non-defense federal grants and contracts to private businesses exceeded $220B and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) bucketed roughly $359B for energy security and climate change work. Despite such massive funding opportunities, applying for and securing government financing is often a labyrinthine process, fraught with complexities and challenges that deter many companies from applying. Since launching their service in February 2023, Pioneer enables companies to quickly discover and strategically apply for funding opportunities, helping companies to continue growing and focusing on their core business.
"There is a lot of hype in both AI and climate tech, but what Mitko and the team at Pioneer have built is truly impactful," said Ernst Sack, Partner at Blue Bear Capital. "Parsing and matching huge amounts of written data for a process that's non-core to your daily operations: that is a perfect job for LLMs. Informed by Pioneer's industry expertise, their LLMs are already revealing millions of dollars of new funding for companies that otherwise don't have the bandwidth or experience to navigate the complexity of grant, program, and credit funding."
Pioneer is helping coordinate funding for rapid decarbonization of our economy, working with its clients to win grants, contracts, and loans for climate tech companies. The company serves as an extension of their clients' teams, managing the end-to-end process and automating tedious tasks, ultimately saving time and resources. Founded in 2022, Pioneer's team has deep expertise working across AI, startups, and in climate ranging from strategic and grant consulting to energy efficiency technologies. For more information, please visit www.pioneerclimate.com.
About Blue Bear Capital
Blue Bear is a venture capital and early growth equity firm driving the expansion of digital technologies into multibillion-dollar verticals across the energy, infrastructure, and climate industries. The team comes from leading energy private equity firms and features technology expertise from the tech startup world alongside operational leadership from large-scale technology developers and adopters. Blue Bear's portfolio covers operational AI, IoT, and cybersecurity technologies, all deployed with enterprise customers to drive connectivity and efficiency across the world's most critical industries. More information can be found at www.bluebearcap.com