Collaborative Fund is excited to announce that we led Dandelion’s recent seed round.
I once described a part of our investment philosophy called the villain test.
The gist of the strategy is that the greatest returns will come from backing companies that satisfy consumer’s self-interest while promoting the broader interest. We want to back companies doing good in the world, but only those a villain would also be interested in.
Tesla, which appeals to evolving consumer interest towards sustainability, while also appealing to the villain who focuses on the incredible design and performance.
Impossible Foods, which appeals to consumer interest in sustainable farming, animal rights, and plant-based diets, but the villain who only cares about taste and texture doesn’t have to sacrifice.
Warby Parker, which appeals to consumers who love the notion of supplying a pair of glasses to others with each purchase, but also the villain who wants higher quality at lower prices and more convenience.
While we care deeply about backing companies doing good, their products can’t be sacrificial. Otherwise your returns will also be sacrificial. On the flip side, if you enable consumers to do good, feel good, and better compete, they will reward you and your investment handsomely.
Which brings us back to Dandelion.
Originally conceived at Google X, Dandelion offers geothermal heating and cooling systems. Geothermal heating and cooling is the cleanest and most efficient and heating and cooling technology on the market. Because the system taps into a renewable resource — the earth — your heating and cooling source will never run out and monthly bills are predictable. An average homeowner who uses oil or propane to heat their home spends $2,500 a year on heating fuels, or about $210 per month. With Dandelion’s technology, homeowners can expect to pay less, with costs locked in forever.
Dandelion founders, Kathy and James, share a personal commitment to mitigating climate change by making renewable technologies more accessible. In the U.S., buildings account for 39% of all carbon emissions, and the majority of these emissions come from heating and cooling. Dandelion’s solution will cost consumers around half of what geothermal installations have cost to date, be less expensive than using fuel oil or propane heating, and can substantially move the needle on reducing carbon emissions.
That passes the villain test, and we’re excited to support this company’s development.
More on Dandelion here.