March 3, 2023

Black-Led BlocPower Secures $150M To Make America’s Buildings Greener

Brooklyn-based climate tech company BlocPower has raised $150 million to drive its mission of making America’s buildings greener.

The round included over $24 million of Series B corporate equity led by VoLo Earth Ventures and $130 million of debt financing led by Goldman Sachs. Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Credit Suisse, Builders Vision, and New York State Ventures were among the investors.

Making buildings greener

10% of all US greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels in homes and buildings for heating and cooking. Traditional heating and cooking appliances that run on fossil fuels are also inefficient and expensive.

BlocPower, founded by Donnel Baird in 2014, wants to change this.

BlocPower uses its proprietary software to analyze, finance, and upgrade homes and buildings with energy-efficient electrical technology. Since 2020, it has upgraded over 5000 homes and buildings with green tech and appliances.

“Whenever someone wants to make a change, or do something new, nothing is guaranteed to turn out according to best laid plans,” Donnel Baird, BlocPower founder and CEO, said in a statement. “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

“You can’t renovate a home without dust and mess, and, sometimes, lead, mold, and asbestos. We go into low income communities to finance and upgrade 100 year old buildings–and sometimes we run into 100 year old surprises lurking in the walls, or hiding in the basement.”

“We always finish what we start, and we clean up messes. The biggest mess of all is the climate crisis.”

“But I’m proud that at BlocPower, we always finish what we start, and we clean up messes. The biggest mess of all is the climate crisis,” he continued.

“We hope that our momentum will be a catalyst for further investments in other green startups, and startups founded by women and people of color, which have historically received less than 3% of venture capital.”

The next generation of green workforce

In addition to expanding BlocPower’s decarbonization projects, this latest round of funding will allow BlocPower to broaden its Civilian Climate Corps green workforce initiative. 

3 people looking at a device on the wall. Two are wearing pink sweatshirts with text that reads 'Bloc Power Civilian Climate Corps'

The program aims to train and hire people living in communities with a high risk of gun violence, focusing on using cutting-edge software to install clean energy hardware.

Since 2021, the program has trained nearly 2000 New Yorkers – 97% of them people of color – and granted over 400 job placements.

Vice President Kamala Harris will also be honoring BlocPower as an Emerging Leader. The honor comes as part of the Biden-Harris Administration Justice 40 initiative ensures that 40% of climate infrastructure investments impact the communities marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

Samara Linton

Community Manager at POCIT | Co-editor of The Colour of Madness: Mental Health and Race in Technicolour (2022), and co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography (2020)