Grok Ventures appoints new CEOBY RACHEL ALEMBAKIS | FRIDAY, 9 FEB 2024 12:52PM
Read more: Grok Ventures, Mike Cannon-Brookes, Jeremy Kwong-Law, Tan Kueh, BlackRock Asia, AGL Energy, Brookfield, Macquarie, SieraCo
Mike Cannon-Brookes' family office Grok Ventures has hired a new CEO while announcing it will focus all new capital into climate-related investments.
Grok has named global funds management executive Tan Kueh as CEO, while Jeremy Kwong-Law will remain as chief investment officer.
Kueh has more than 20 years' experience in asset management, wealth management and investment banking, at one point spending 10 years with Macquarie establishing their early business in the US and its distribution presence in Asia among other achievements. She was also previously a managing director for UBS, leading and managing their wealth management business in China and held senior roles in BlackRock Asia. She comes to Grok from SieraCo, where she was a partner.
Grok has identified decarbonisation as "one of the greatest economic opportunities of our time," and plans to invest in climate-related ventures from venture capital at seed stage, to major renewable energy infrastructure projects and high conviction "lighthouse investments."
"Having Tan and Jeremy at the helm means having a dream team behind Grok's investment portfolio," Cannon-Brookes said.
"Tan brings an incredible knowledge of global markets and climate tech, but most importantly, she is a visionary. She brings big ideas and big passion to solve the biggest challenge of our time - decarbonising our planet, quickly."
Cannon-Brookes said Grok will be committing more capital and will seek partners to "scale our climate investment opportunities."
"Grok has been a first mover and made real world impacts via their climate investing. I am excited by the opportunity of supporting Grok's own ambitions to deploy more capital here in Australia and internationally," Kueh said. I'm looking forward to working with Jeremy and the entire Grok team to supercharge our climate investments and engage with third party capital partners about how they can support our common goals."
Kwong-Law identified technology as a core driver of decarbonisation in terms of value and opportunity, but also where there is a large gap.
"Seeding and scaling climate tech into climate infrastructure is going to require trillions of dollars in private capital," Kwong-Law said. "However, larger investors won't fund these companies until the tech is proven at scale. This is the gap we are trying to fill, by investing early, de-risking the investments and working with founders to establish milestones that unlock additional forms of financing."
Grok's current investment portfolio across climate tech covers software (gridmo, Neara, WeaveGrid), renewables generation/storage hardware (SunDrive, Antora), sustainable fuels (Lydian), critical minerals (Fleet), sustainable food (Loam Bio, Asterix Foods), waste management (Goterra), finance and project developers (Brighte, SunCable, Solar Bay).
Grok remains the largest shareholder in AGL Energy after a failed bid to privitise the company in 2022 in partnership with Brookfield.