Andrew Karsh leaves CalPERS to launch diverse-owned and managed institutional investment firm focused on scalable, profitable and impactful technology investments in Climate Tech, Health Innovation and Inclusive Capitalism
BERKELEY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bay Bridge Ventures and its strategic advisors today announced the launch of the first purpose-built, institutional ESG and Sustainability focused venture capital firm. Bay Bridge Ventures is a diverse-owned and managed organization investing in scalable, profitable and impactful technology companies. With a proprietary “ESG+ Methodology” investment strategy and an industry-leading ESG and Impact assessment framework, Bay Bridge Ventures will be investing in innovative entrepreneurs focused on Climate Tech, Health Innovation, and Inclusive Capitalism.
On a global basis, investor demand for transparent ESG and Sustainable investment strategies has been growing rapidly, as institutional investors increase their commitment to addressing serious environmental and societal risks through capital allocation. In an effort to meet this demand, many investment managers have tried to incorporate ESG and DEI considerations into their investment process midstream, which has proved challenging and difficult to measure.
Bay Bridge Ventures was founded on the belief that solutions to the world’s hardest environmental and social problems will be accelerated by the advancement of foundational technologies, such as AI & Big Data, Advanced Computing, Sensors & IoT, High-Bandwidth Connectivity, Energy Storage, Robotics and Synthetic Biology. Using this core philosophy members of the founding team achieved six successful investment exits across Climate Tech and Health Innovation through public listing or acquisition in 2021.
Bay Bridge Ventures founders Andrew Karsh, Joe Blair and Kim Kolt are accomplished investment professionals with a unique combination of backgrounds and institutional investment experience. They have shared equally in the development of Bay Bridge Ventures’ investment philosophy, impact assessment methodology and operational strategy.
“Bay Bridge Ventures is created from the belief that the future’s most successful companies will be those that solve critical problems facing the environment and humanity,” said Mr. Karsh, a General Partner at Bay Bridge. “There is a heightened demand for opportunities to invest in companies committed to positive environmental and social change along with a growing awareness of the high costs of inaction. We’ve assembled a world-class team and tapped into our extensive network to fund disruptive technologies and ESG innovation, which support a lasting positive impact on the world around us.”
With 25 years of financial markets experience, Mr. Karsh served for the past 10 years as a Portfolio Manager for the Investment Office of CalPERS, a $500 billion public pension fund. While at CalPERS, he was responsible for managing direct investments while also serving as a member of the fund’s Absolute Return Strategies Advisory Board and advising the organization regarding private market investment opportunities. Mr. Karsh also represented CalPERS as part of the United Nations sponsored Global Investors for Sustainable Development working group alongside 30 of the largest global financial institutions. Prior to CalPERS, he served as a Portfolio Manager at Credit Suisse Alternative Investments, directly managing more than $5 billion in assets for some of the world’s largest institutional investors.
Mr. Blair, a General Partner at Bay Bridge Ventures, has spent the last 15 years building and investing in mission-driven technology companies at notable venture firms, including Cota Capital, Obvious Ventures and Chrysalix Venture Capital. He has invested in and worked closely with Seed through Series B startups spanning enterprise SaaS, verticalized A.I., electric mobility, robotics, fintech, and health. Prior to his venture career, Mr. Blair was both a founder and an operator, primarily focused on product and business development.
Ms. Kolt, a General Partner at Bay Bridge Ventures, was the Founder and President of For Good Ventures, established to make investments across technologies that improve key risks to climate change, health, education, and financial accessibility for underserved communities. Through this strategy she successfully proved that scalable returns and impact can be created concurrently using venture capital, with ongoing potential to outperform other investment classes. Prior to that, she worked at Goldman Sachs in the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecom Investment Banking Groups in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
“Our goal is to create the first purpose-built, institutional ESG and Sustainability focused venture capital firm,” said Mr. Blair. “We believe diverse perspectives lead to stronger investment outcomes and that the time is long overdue to close the substantial race and gender gap in venture capital. We have committed to building a diverse, inclusive organization and moving the industry forward through values-driven leadership.”
“Our commitment to inclusivity starts at the top and is woven throughout Bay Bridge Ventures’ entire infrastructure and investment process,” said Ms. Kolt. “Engaged, responsible stewardship is imperative to our mission, as is the success of our investors and our portfolio companies. We are committed to taking on the difficult challenge of solving critical problems for humanity in a scalable and financially sound way.”
Bay Bridge Ventures is backed by a team of highly experienced operational and strategic advisors, including Wilson Chang, Founder of Sunlight Financial; Karine Dubner, CEO of Brochu Walker; Brian Finn, former President of Credit Suisse; Daniel Glenn, Chief of Staff for GoodLeap; David Lynn, Founder of Mission Driven Finance; and Barney Schauble, Chairman of Nephila Climate and Board Chair of Ceres.
About Bay Bridge Ventures Management, LLC
Launched in 2022, Bay Bridge Ventures Management, LLC is an Institutional ESG and Sustainability focused venture capital firm, purpose-built from the ground up as a diverse-owned and managed organization focused on supporting scalable, profitable and impactful businesses while providing transparency through its industry-leading impact reporting process. With a robust institutional strategy and investment criteria centered around meeting sophisticated ESG, DEI and Sustainability investment mandates, Bay Bridge Ventures invests in early to mid-stage companies focused on Climate Tech, Human Wellness and Inclusive Capitalism. For more information, visit www.BayBridgeVC.com.